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February 2014



Is it just me that is surprised that we are almost a quarter of the year done?  Time seems to be galloping away.  And those that live in PE will have been more than a little aware of the lack of rain and high temperatures, day after day after day (and night!).

Our monthly visits to Humansdorp resumed for the year 2014.  Supply of dip for the eradication of ticks on their horses, how to teach a horse to pull a cart was an unusual question, and then Leila had received, somehow, a cut on her body so she was unable to have her second AHS vaccine.  Almost everybody else had their follow up shots.  It was so hot that we treated our young helpers to an ice cold Coke at Wimpy as a thank you.  On the way back, we used two frozen ice packs to try and cool down it was that hot.

A motorist noticed a lame donkey on Victoria Drive  and  phoned to tell us.  Stanley duly went and uplifted the boykie and brought him in when it was found that it was quite possibly a snakebite to the hock area of a hind leg – not once, but three times!!   All in a neat stripe going down the leg.  Supportive therapy (injections and cleaning and flushing) commenced forthwith.  Recovered well and should be heading home shortly.  I don’t know about the snake though.

An extended electricity outage had us removing our precious stock of AHS vaccines to MegM who had a fridge that was available.  Thank you, MegM!  And, a great big Thank You to the African Horse Sickness Trust for their donation of vaccine received late in December.

A discussion with a Municipal Inspector about how ‘we’ (animal shelters) handle things as he was being berated by the ‘public’ to ‘take the animals away’ and ‘prosecute’.  It would be well to remember that the Law, over the years, has changed and this kind of behavior would not be good.  The process is to first ascertain the other side of the story (and sometimes there are more than two!), work through the problem, if possible with the owner and only in the end event of matters not improving, are Confiscations and Court Cases initiated.   Generally, it works, but yes, sometimes, it doesn’t!

The stray pony stallion found at the end of January, cohabiting with a bunch of mares, was claimed by his owner, the pound fee paid, and the horse returned to its home.  He had travelled miles!  I hear he will be heading to Humansdorp soon with his herd of cows that he herds.

A number of horses have been surrendered this month aside from our ‘confiscates’, so we are well and truly ‘full’.   Yesterday, the last day of February, Carol very kindly came around and took photographs of all the Available for Adoption equines for the website (www.echcu.co.za) that Sonja and Marie Claire had spent the morning grooming and giving haircuts!  They look so spiffy now and the uploaded pictures are beautiful.  Thank you, Carol, Sonja and Marie Claire for all your hard work.

Stanley Transkei equines and their owners again and managed to complete their AHS second shots.  The owners clamour for these vaccinations as they do care about their horses and once that is all done, it is down to hoof trims, dewormings where necessary,treatment of wounds, sharing of donated tack and lots of overwhelming stuff for him to handle.  He is faced on every trip with every type of equine, from Thoroughbreds to Working Horses (called Salt Fetchers), mules and donkeys.  No Zebras as at this stage but in this type of work, nothing would surprise us.  Well done, Stanley!

Our Vet came to visit, at our request, some of our problem animals and was shocked to see the condition of heels and bodies.  Certificates for Court Cases in hand.

Sonja and Marie Claire, joined by Alison from time to time, have taken up the task of grooming and visit regularly, even giving the grey a shampoo that once he realized what was going on and that it was nice actually landed up enjoying it!  Thank you, Ladies, for making it easier for all of us, including the equines that are showing good results from your elbow grease, especially in this hot and humid weather.

SamS was very helpful too with the cleaning and sorting out the heels of two of the confiscated horses, which meant that the grooms had breathing space, but what a yucky job!  Thank you, Sam.  Also, trying to give us breathing space, she bought her own industrial sewing machine and started making our donkey harnessing.  Luckily she is a quick learner so Stanley was able to instruct and now Sam is churning them out.  Such a clever girl!

Our Friend, Jonker, organized for the SABC 2 Pasella crowd to visit the Unit, mainly for his geocaching hobby in January.  The program was finally flighted in February and the Unit was given great coverage by the program.  Well done, Stanley, on your initiation into TV and a Big Thank You to Jonker for including us!  Stars, both of you!

Feedback from the attending Vet, Dr Karl, indicated that the ‘sick’ horse in Transkei had been dipped with Triatix, a cattle dip that is very toxic for equines.  Stanley has been instructed to spread the word and we know YOU always use the ‘right stuff’.

Our first monthly Grahamstown trip for the year had some surprises for us.  The owners and their donkeys arrived and were given the dates for the ensuing year, but then we were all upended by a frantic call about the SAPS going to shoot a donkey.  What???!!  All of us went down the hill at great pace into the depths of the township where Stanley and Tim had their hands full handling a bunch of very angry men – somebody had stolen a cart and used somebody else’s donkey that had been impounded by someone else.  A real mishmash in Xhosa that of course I do not speak nor understand.  The SAPS did arrive and between Stanley, Tim and the officers, the matter was finally resolved, sort of.  Well done to Stanley and Tim.  And SamS had a great time giving out the harnesses she had made too!

A ‘complaint’ received about a pony outside the gate was resolved when the owner was phoned to ask if it perhaps belonged to them.  Pony safely at home shortly thereafter.  This, of course, is what is supposed to happen, good neighbourliness.  Unlike the 4 donkeys released from behind a fence near the airport and let them out thinking they were ‘confined’.  Yes, they were confined but their owner does do this to ensure they do not roam the streets of Walmer terrorizing the motorists.

A rural donkey with a strange ‘rash’ to her face was attended to and treatment continuing.  Strange because it is only on her face and the hocks. (A bit of head scratching going on here.)

Facebook:  Our Unit Facebook page is great on a surface level, hence we take the time to do a monthly newsletter in a more detailed form.   At the same time, we have an Auction room, where good tack is up for auction – ECHCU Auction Room.  The bids received go towards furthering our activities far and wide.  Our Tack Recycling Shop, is run by Isabella Childs who sorts through donations, keeping items that are inappropriate for Transkei dispersal for sale in the shop or the Auction Room.  The bidding gets quite hectic, depending on what is posted. And now, we have received a donation of new Equi Wear products too!

We are still in the process of trying to resolve the matter of a horse with the biggest hernia our Vets have ever seen.  Yet another difficult case to handle when all is considered.

A Complaint received upended a quiet Sunday, about two donkeys on Sardinia Bay Road.  In due course, with help from the tenants, we managed to get them back inside the property.  It turned out that somebody had left the back gate open, so the donkeys decided to check in on The New Old Cash Store offerings!  Naughty girls but looking splendid indeed.

A phonecall, always more immediate than a Facebook comment, was received about two horses on a very busy road in the middle of the night was resolved by getting them off the road and behind a fence.  Duly collected by the owner. Thank you, Manie, Gaby and Odyssey Security Company!

An appeal to horse owners selling or giving their horses away was handed out, with varying degrees of acceptance.  It is always important, never mind the type of equine, to make sure the new owner knows what they need to know about feeding.

3 hours in total is what it took to collect Trigger the horse from the other side of town and get him to our Veterinarians for treatment for Biliary and back home again.  Owner happy and horse doing well.

Donations Received for which we thank you:

Fodder and Feed:  Kelly and ‘our’ Nobby, Janique via Antoinette, Alison, Ashley (as a birthday gift), the pupils from Theodore Herzl High School, Olivia via Treloar, Nadine and Nicky (as their Neknomination donation), Nicky on behalf of Erin (as well as a sweet muffin for me – teehee)

Tack: Kiara, Flo, Alison, Judy and Carol and Carol on behalf of Kieran.

…and so ends February 2014.



Banking Details:Bank:  Standard Bank    Universal Branch Code:  051001
Account: Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit (all donated monies are used by us in the Metro and beyond!)
Account Number: 080733875
Landline:  041 366 1594
Cellph: 072 357 2505
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website: www.echcu.co.za Facebook: East Cape Horse Care Unit


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