Devoted horse and pony foster carer Marissa Marriott was recognised for her efforts in the equine industry earlier this month, receiving a state award from RSPCA WA.
The Darling Downs resident was jointly awarded as the RSPCA WA Volunteer of the Year for her two and a half years of volunteer service with the not-for-profit organisation.
RSPCA WA president Lynne Bradshaw said Marissa had often fostered horses with medical issues who required daily medication, as well as emaciated horses that needed special diets and monitoring around the clock.
She said Marissa had also rehabilitated horses who were suffering with behavioural issues like kicking and biting and had done her own research to ensure she was providing them with the best possible care.
“Marissa has taught horses that were so frightened they could barely be touched, to trust people again,” she said.
“She has made personal sacrifices to ensure the horses in her care don’t go without and provided safety, stability, love and care to animals who had suffered abuse and neglect and rehabilitated many horses, giving them the chance to find loving homes.”
Ms Marriott said she was surprised but honoured to receive the award at a presentation on World Animal Day.
“Winning this award provides me with recognition for the countless hours and extra costs involved in feeding and handling equines that have been rescued and need to be rehabilitated,” she said.
“So far I have helped care for and rehabilitate five horses, which each had their own set of challenges.
“It is very rewarding to win an award and contribute to an animal’s welfare as we are their voice against neglect and cruelty.”
Ms Marriott joined fellow award winner 10-year-old Thornlie resident Dean Morris, who was recognised as this year’s RSPCA WA Youth Award recipient.