(HORSES/ANIMAL WELFARE) UNITED KINGDOM — Grey Lady Too, a four-year-old dapple grey, has been living in her caretaker’s home on Isle of Lewis since 2011 following a dispute over grazing area. Her guardian Stephanie Noble moved Grey Lady Too into her home “for her own safety.”
Noble built in a hay bed and turned her chairs into feeding troughs. She has two chairs full of straw to feed from and a bucket of drinking water regularly refilled from the kitchen nextdoor.
Grey Lady Too was moved indoors despite complaints from several neighbors as well as Scottish SPCA officials. Noble stood firm in her belief that Grey Lady Too was happy.
“This is my own property – if I want to even keep an elephant in the house I can. I have had nothing but stick from people because it is unconventional,” Noble told the Daily Mail last year.
“It is not normal to keep birds in a cage, because they should be flying about, but people don’t complain about that. Grey Lady Too is very happy.”
The controversy began when investigators further explored conditions inside the home. The pony was kept in the living room in a stall constructed from wooden pallets, with her hay resting atop 60 liters of cat litter and four heavy-duty rugs to catch her urination and droppings.
“She goes out to the lawn – though she has eaten a couple of the neighbour’s plants – and comes back in the house herself. The situation is not ideal, but it is safe and secure for her,” Noble explained.
However, Noble’s neighbors adamantly disagree with the situation, and have voiced concern for both of their safety.
“Who in their right mind would ever want their next-door neighbor to be a horse? The problem is not unsympathetic neighbours. She has been a pain in the neck from the minute she got here,” one neighbor said.
The Scottish SPCA volunteered to take Grey Lady Too off Noble’s hands, but she refused.
“I will sell myself before I sell that pony. I don’t think any horse or pony should be out in this climate in winter. All I’m doing is fighting for my rights against people, who because it’s unconventional, think it’s wrong,” Noble argued.
Noble was then issued an official care notice to improve interior conditions, but she ultimately failed to comply. The notice included instructions to increase stable size widen and lengthen its doors so the animal would not feel trapped in the event of an emergency.
Inspector Andy Brown told the Daily Mail, “We are concerned about the welfare of the pony. But it does appear to be in good condition and well cared for.”
Earlier this week, a Scottish animal welfare council decided to remove Grey Lady from the Isle of Lewis in a horse box. Noble was given a letter revealing potential plans for a future court date.
Noble was said to be in tears watching her companion being removed from her property, and voiced her intent to fight the decision.
“I am totally stressed out. They should have gone to court first. They have refused to tell me where they have taken her. It is just completely heartless – in fact beyond heartless,” Noble said.
“If I am taken to court I will sell Grey Lady Too to a pre-arranged buyer for £1 and then buy her back for the same sum when I can prove I can keep her where she is or in better circumstances.”
A spokeswoman for the council said, “We are proceeding with the case which is based around the welfare of the horse.”
Do you think the council made the right move by removing Lady Grey Too from the premises? Or should she have stayed in the hands of her devoted guardian? Share your opinion in the comment section below.
— Kayla Newcomer, exclusive to Global Animal