A COUPLE from Selby have been banned for keeping horses and dogs for 18 months.

Sarah Jane Harrison, 38, and 50-year-old Christopher Ian Clarke, from Harlthorpe, had been instructed by the RSPCA to improve conditions for the animals in 2013, but a warrant was carried out last March at the property.

Inspectors found two suffering horses - an emaciated bay gelding, and an Appaloosa gelding with a chronic bacterial infection. Both horses were seized and placed into RSPCA care.

RSPCA Inspector Karen Colman said a Bernese mountain dog found at the pair’s home had two claws hanging off. It was claimed this had happened days previously when a horse had trodden on it.

Harrison was found guilty of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering and three offences of failing to provide animals with a suitable environment. Clarke was found guilty of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a Bernese mountain dog.

Deputy Chief Inspector Colman said: "Miss Harrison blamed everybody but herself, when she should have taken responsibility for the welfare of the animals in her care.

"The magistrates made it quite clear in their sentencing, that if found guilty of cruelty, anyone could face being banned from keeping animals, regardless of whether it is their livelihood or not."

The pair were found guilty following a trial in June and sentenced at Beverley Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Harrison was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, pay £3,000 towards costs and was given a 12-month supervision order. Clarke was banned from keeping dogs for six months and ordered to pay £3,000 costs.