Helsby, Cheshire: Shirley Miller

#TheList Shirley Miller, born c. 1960, of Swireford Road, Helsby WA6 9BA – let her horse suffer after refusing to get him treatment for cancer

RSPCA said that Shirley Miller's cancer-ridden 23-year-old horse Bradley had suffered for at least 12 months.
RSPCA said that Shirley Miller’s cancer-ridden 23-year-old horse Bradley had suffered for at least 12 months.

At a three-day trial, Miller was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a 23-year-old horse called Bradley.

The court heard how the horse had a large tumour on his penis which she failed to seek veterinary attention for – and a veterinary witness believed he was left untreated for 12 to 18 months.

Bradley’s suffering was noticed on the day that Miller had loaned him to a woman to be his new owner in August 2018.

The new owner realised immediately there was something wrong with the horse and a vet attended.

The vet advised the new owner to contact the RSPCA and Inspector Leanne Cragg was sent to investigate on August 15.

Leanne said the vet found the cancerous tumour to be 10cm long and 8cm wide.

The tumour had been left untreated for so long that maggots were also visible. The vet said he believed Bradley had been left untreated for between 12 to 18 months and the tumour was inoperable.

Miller had denied causing unnecessary suffering by failing to seek veterinary attention and said she checked the horses daily but had no idea that Bradley had any health issues.

Leanne said: “Poor Bradley must have lived in agony for at least 12 months – even urinating would have caused him horrendous pain.

“The court was of the view that any reliable and competent owner would have noticed the suffering.

“It was clear he was in discomfort and there was a horrendous smell caused by tumour and maggots had infested it, which must have been almost unbearable for him.

“After hearing from expert veterinary witnesses the district judge was satisfied Miller would have known about the health issue.”

Bradley was seized by the RSPCA and was cared for by his new owner until a vet decided in October he was suffering so much the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £9,850 costs and a £1,500 fine. Banned from keeping equines for just three years (suspended for six weeks so that she can make arrangements for eight other horses currently in her care).

Horse and Hound