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Miraculous transformation of a rescued horse

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THE ‘miraculous transformation’ horses can achieve after being rescued by the RSPCA. It is perfectly highlighted by Jack. Jack is a veteran 15-hand chestnut gelding who is proving a perfect companion to animals and humans alike at his new premises in North Shropshire.


However, he looked a very different horse when he first came to the attention of the RSPCA in May 2018.


Jack had been abandoned with serious welfare concerns at stables in Furnace near Llanelli without the consent of the land-owner.


RSPCA inspectors Rohan Barker and Nigel Duguid arrived and found the horse to be emaciated, and in urgent need of help.


Inspector Barker said: “This poor horse had been mysteriously dumped at stables in Furnace in Llanelli, in a really bad way. His ribs and spine were visible, and he was badly emaciated. The veterinary examination confirmed he was suffering, and it was just miserable to witness.”


The horse was seized by Dyfed-Powys Police and taken into the care of the RSPCA – before heading to a boarding establishment in the Swansea area.
Poor Jack underwent many months of rehabilitation and care; including time under the stewardship of equine expert Juls de Smet, who looked after Jack for around 10 weeks as part of his recovery.


Ms De Smet said: “He’s such a friendly, easy horse who was no trouble at all. He appreciated us tending to him and helping him get better.


We found Jack to be such a sweet, genuine horse who was easy to treat and medicate. Such a gorgeous boy. It’s just such a great shame he had been left in such a horrendous state. It looks to me that as poor Jack was getting older, someone thought he wasn’t good enough anymore and just dumped him. It’s just so cruel.”


Jack was eventually adopted by Tina, at her yard in North Shropshire. Her family had recently been struck by great sadness – but Jack helped turned their fortunes around, as well as his own.


Sadly, the family saw two of their horses die within ten weeks in 2018, leaving the third horse on her own and without companionship.


However, Jack has proven the perfect addition to their family, and Tina was full of praise for both the work of the RSPCA and the role that rescue horses can play as companions.


She said: “Tragically, we lost two of our horses within just 10 weeks. It was an awful situation, and we were left with one horse, suddenly all on her own and lonely – having lost both her mother and friend within weeks. We were all so upset.


We were desperate to get some new company for our mare – initially moving three sheep in next door to stave off our lonely horse’s unhappiness. That’s when we called the RSPCA – and they were so helpful.
They soon found Jack, who’d they rescued some months earlier in South Wales. Jack initially moved in with us on a trial basis, and immediately was an amazing companion. He was a fantastic addition at such a stressful time when we were under real pressure to find another suitable horse.


His rehabilitation has continued with us – and the weight he’s put on, his beautiful shiny coat and his fantastic personality are a far cry from how the RSPCA found him in Llanelli.


“I’m so grateful to the RSPCA, who were just brilliant. I’d say to anyone – if you’ve got the right facilities, wherewithal, experience and space, rescue horses can make the most fantastic companions. After what they’ve so often been through, they deserve happiness, security and comfort.


“We completed the formal, final adoption of Jack a couple of weeks ago – and it was one of the best decisions we have made.”

Dozens of rescue horses are available for rehoming in or around Wales at any one time, and the RSPCA hopes to continue to transform the lives of horses rescued from incredibly difficult situations and finds them loving new families.


RSPCA equine welfare manager for Wales and the Midlands Gareth Johnson said: “Jack’s story shows the miraculous transformation rescue horses can go through.


“From being dumped heartlessly in Llanelli and a woeful condition to making the perfect companion to humans and animals alike many, many miles away in Shropshire – this has been some journey for Jack.


“There are dozens of other rescue horses in our care in and around Wales, and we’d love to introduce the equines in our care to prospective adopters across Wales. From adult ridden and companion horses to youngsters who will need bringing on in their new homes, people can start their search for a rescued horse on the RSPCA website.”


The RSPCA’s Homes for Horse campaign is aiming to find forever homes for horses and ponies by showcasing the versatility and capability of the horses it rescues.

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Llanelli bus depot to close after 100 years

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THE LLANELLI HERALD understands that the Llanelli Bus Depot at Inkermans Street will be closing its gates for good. 

The Bus Depot has served the local community for approximately 100 years, Drivers will now be sent to work from depots in Carmarthen, Swansea and Tycroes. 

All services will remain in the the town, this newspaper can confirm, and our reporter was told that there will not be any redundancies. 

One bus driver told us that he and he co-workers were “not completely happy”, but the unnamed source added “At least we still have jobs to go to.” 

Further updates are expected on this developing story.

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Drakeford to make decision on ‘fire-break’ lockdown in Wales by Monday

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WALES is facing a national lockdown lasting at least two weeks in plans described as a “fire-break” by the first minister.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continue with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

Responding to the speculation First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is set to announce a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in Wales, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “I implore the First Minister to think again before heading down this path.

“The decision to lockdown Wales once again will have devastating consequences – from an economic and public health perspective – and should be the last resort.

“Only yesterday, the former director of communicable diseases at Public Health Wales, Dr Roland Salmon, said a circuit-breaker is likely to fail and the Welsh Labour Government should listen carefully to his warning.

“Earlier this week, Welsh Conservatives called for the urgent resumption of shielding in Wales with a substantial package of support to ensure the financial, physical and mental well-being of those most at risk is protected.

“This should be the immediate action taken by ministers along with prioritising PPE and testing in the problem areas in Wales such as hospitals, care home, universities and meat factories.

“It’s not too late for the Labour Government to reconsider and choose a different approach in Wales.”

Mr Drakeford warned that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.

“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he added.

Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”
Plaid Cymru has been calling on Mr Drakeford to introduce the circuit-breaker without delay, while Labour at Westminster says a similar approach should be adopted in England.

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Former Police officer sexually assaulted two young girls on Welsh train

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A FORMER West Mercia Police officer who sexually assaulted two young girls on board a train has been sentenced, following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.

Leighton Phillips, 34, and of Forest road, Shropshire, was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault at Swansea Crown Court on 18 September.

Today (15 October) Phillips was handed a two-year community order, ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity days, and was made subject to an electronically tagged curfew between 10pm and 7am for three months. He will also be subject to notification on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

On 1 February at around 5pm, Phillips was travelling from Cardiff to Shrewsbury after the Wales V Italy Six Nations match. A 14-year-old girl was standing in the aisle of the carriage near to where Phillips was sitting. She noticed Phillips was staring at her, before he then went on to start stroking her thigh.

The court heard how Phillips then went on to touch the thigh a second victim, an 11-year-old girl, who pushed his hand away when she noticed.

Distressed and upset, the two girls moved down the aisle to get away from Phillips, however, he continued to stare at them. Before the two girls alighted at Abergavenny station, a passenger challenged Phillips about the incident, to which he denied and replied, “I’m a police officer.”

The incident was reported to BTP and Phillips was met by officers at Shrewsbury station and arrested.

BTP Detective Inspector Paul Stanley said: “Tackling all forms of unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway is a priority for us – we take every report seriously and will thoroughly investigate all offences.

“I would like to commend the bravery of the victims and the support of the family in reporting the incident to police, and I hope that this conviction will encourage other victims of sexual offences to come forward and report incidents to us.

The officer in the case, Detective Constable Nicholas Donovan carried out a thorough and comprehensive investigation. I hope this serves as a strong reminder that sexual offenders will not be tolerated on the railway.

“We encourage anyone who experiences any issues on the railway to report it to us using our discreet 61016 text service.”

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