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Shocking case of animal neglect

Judge Tuohy described photos, like this one documenting the wounds suffered by Kaimanawa mare Missy, who was later put down, as “disturbing”.PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Local woman sentenced
Neglected, suffering animals

Three horses euthanised due to maggot-infested wounds, internal parasites, and a lack of adequate feed, suffered for many months as a result of neglect, a Masterton District Court judge said on Wednesday.

Lindsay Fraser, 63, at her Mikimiki Rd property. PHOTO/FILE

Lindsay Anne Fraser, 63, appeared for sentencing before Judge Chris Tuohy on three charges.

One was of reckless ill treatment of an animal relating to a two-year-old stallion named Max – one of the horses which was euthanised – and the remaining two were representative charges of failing to prevent suffering relating to several other horses and a mob of sheep.

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said it was one of the worst cases she’d seen.

“Words can’t describe the pain and suffering these animals must have gone through with a lack of food and no treatment sought for their severe injuries.

“It is inconceivable that any person could not notice that intervention was required for these animals.”

In January 2018, SPCA inspectors visited a Norfolk Rd property in Carterton to inspect a flock of about 50 sheep in paddocks covered in “excessive” amounts of faeces.

Despite two gated paddocks having fresh feed, the sheep had insufficient grazing.

Of six sheep taken by the SPCA inspectors, all were found to have body condition scores of one out of five, showing signs of poor nutrition and internal parasites.

One’s wool was matted which indicated it had not been shorn in more than a year, and the two others were suffering badly from fly strike and were infected with maggots.

One died and two others were euthanised.

“They showed obvious signs of neglect,” Judge Tuohy said.

In March 2018, the SPCA visited Fraser at her home on Mikimiki Rd where they found two-year-old stallion Max in an underweight condition and suffering from internal parasites.

When they returned in August, he was unable to stand and found to have a body condition score of zero out of five which led to him being euthanised.

Two other horses, a 20-year-old gelding named Cookie with too-long hooves, and Freja a Clydesdale mare, were also found without access to adequate grazing in a “light body condition”.

Both were taken in by the SPCA and had body condition scores of one out of five, and were suffering from dental defects likely caused by going a long period without proper grazing.

From September to October, SPCA staff visited again and found an eight-year-old draught horse named Keera in the same poor condition. They took possession of it in November.

They visited the Norfolk Rd property again in March last year after receiving calls about two Kaimanawa mares in poor condition.

Four horses were found at the Mikimiki Rd property in severely underweight condition.

Venus and Missy both had deep maggot-infested and infected wounds on their neck caused by another stallion on the property and were later euthanised.

“This is a serious case in which a number of animals suffered lengthy and significant pain and distress due to neglect,” Judge Tuohy said. “To put it bluntly, Max died over a period of months of negligence on the property where Fraser lived.”

Fraser’s defence lawyer Ian Hard asked that her disqualification from ownership be limited to the types of animals involved in the offending and for a much shorter period owing to her “mature” age.

Judge Tuohy said she struggled already with caring for animals and this was “unlikely to change with advancing age”.

“I’m not satisfied the animals will get the care required.”

He disqualified her from owning more than two stock animals for 10 years and ordered that any animals in her care be forfeited.

The properties on their own were not sufficient for producing enough feed for the type of animals on the farm and she showed an unwillingness to destock or buy feed, “which is what farmers have to do”.

He acknowledged Fraser had both mental and physical health issues which affected her ability to properly care for the animals and which made prison an inappropriate sentence.

He adopted a sentence starting point of 10 months jail for the lead charge relating to Max, plus an additional eight months for the other charges which translated to 150 hours of community work.

Fraser was also ordered to pay $15,000 reparations to the SPCA for the cost of feeding and treating the animals and contribute $5000 towards their legal fees.


  1. The SPCA should have closed her down years ago – then msny animals would not have suffered such a cruel existence

  2. Why didnt the spca act on the first visit….confiscate all her animals, instead of leaving it until months later. when it was too late to save them.

  3. This is a cruelty case that has been going on for years, no mention of the hoards of dogs allowed to breed on the properties, the poultry that died through neglect, the properties brought to hide more horses that are neglected. This needs a further reaching investigation. Ms Fraser’s heart may be in the right place, but her care of animals needs a very serious look at.

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