Our Strategy

The principles under which SWHP operates are that whatever the circumstances, the animal's welfare is paramount. This strategy obliged us to oppose, through the courts, demands that SWHP rescue case Target should be returned to the owner who abused him. This stand was ultimately rewarded with success.

However, we have never taken out a prosecution against anyone for abusing an animal, first of all because it is beyond our financial means and, secondly, because in many cases a prosecution brings little or no relief to the animals concerned. More often than not magistrates will impose a fine. More often than not, the owner will have other animals. A fine, if in fact it is ever paid, will make it more difficult for the owner to care for the other animals properly.

We always try to act before the situation becomes desperate, frequently providing emergency feed and advice. In the majority of cases, although the people concerned may initially take offence, with tact and a practical approach we have been able to avert the need for animals to be taken into our care.

For this strategy to succeed we rely on receiving reports of animals requiring help before their condition has deteriorated to the stage where our specialist care is needed. If you are concerned about the welfare of a particular horse or pony, please go to our Report a Case page, where details are given of what you can do.