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April 2014



While quieter – a little – than March, April has again been an on-the-go month.

We started off with an AHS scare on the second day of the month.  In due course, test results confirmed a positive result but it appears to have stopped right there thankfully and with the cooler weather that we are now having, hopefully this years’ ‘panic’ is over.  We cannot stress enough the need to vaccinate against AHS every year as required by Law.

Stanley and I were invited by Algoa Cares to visit their studio with Roy, Queenie and Nio.  Many donations offered and it now just a case of following up, but it was a very nice calm interlude heard by a number of people.

We so often hear of Golf Days that are postponed due to rainy weather as this sometimes means we receive donations of fodder.  So, when the Radisson Blue Hotel Golf Day was postponed we were asked to collect bales.  Followed by another call to collect bales purchased for their second try.  It is all grist to our mill and our equines.  Thank you so much!  We are always happy to oblige.

We thoroughly enjoyed the company and food at the Race Day on the 4th April organized by Dorrie and for which we thank her most sincerely.  Again.  Unfortunately, Stanley had to leave early to go on one of his Transkei Missions, but enjoyed the afternoon such as it was for him.

I don’t know how he does it, but in excess of 300 horses, including one man with ‘a couple’ of donkeys – actually 38! – received attention from Stanley during April. Stanley has had to explain to concerned equine owners, that the Unit will still return after the Elections as they were worried that he would not return afterwards. He explained that the Unit is not a political party and we deal with everybody who needs our help.

The yearly Ironman Competition always means a bit of a problem to get to work and get back out again. However, on the following Monday morning, thanks to a tip off from Isabella and Treloar, Marius from Khanya Cleaning brought in a ‘donation’ of ‘dead’ i.e. empty, Bonaqua Pump bottles gleaned from the side of the Sardinia Bay Road. Everybody had great fun unpacking, washing, removing labels from the bottles for future Epson Salts water. WE all know that in the Unit you never ever drink from a Bonaqua Bottle without a label, because it probably has Epson Salts in it and this could have consequences!

One of our adopted out donkeys managed to open the feed room door and take her pony in with her where they pigged out on Cubes until found by their parent who started bouncing off the walls!  All sorted.

Our Unit My Planet Card has been accepted by this company, but in order to qualify we need to find 100 people to sign up.  This would mean the Unit would benefit by a small percentage of your purchase at any one of a number of shops and would be painless for you.  But we need to sign up the Applicants.  We have copies in the Unit office should you wish to join up and name us as your beneficiary.  We need to send the 100 forms in one batch to them before being ‘listed’ as a Beneficiary.

A painter, on being asked to paint a statue of a donkey, asked if it was possible for her to come and see where exactly the cross on a donkey’s back was.  No problem.  Wish all problems were this easily solved!

One of our donkey owners in Joe Slovo township found his donkey jenny very lame after work one day and promptly phoned us for assistance.  On arriving we found a very sore jenny with a foal at foot.  Jenny was treated by the Vet and admitted to the Unit along with her foal.  The next morning, there being no change in her condition, we returned to the Vet Clinic for X-rays only to find that her pedal bone was in two pieces.  No question about it and with the permission of the owner, she was euthanased.  However we were left with a foal that would not have a protector (her mum) back home.  An agreement was reached with the owner and the foal surrendered to the Unit, whereupon we commenced milk feeds.   A Friend in Addo, who runs a popular Organic Restaurant and also teaches Permaculture to anybody interested and who grows her own organic veg for the Restaurant, was smitten with Coco and promptly adopted her.  And this led to a trip down the road with Coco in the canopy of the Toyota with a safe pair of hands as company to a safe landing in her new home where she is settled and much loved.  Thank you, Hazel, for taking on this little scrap of a donkey!  We just know she is going to ‘grow good’ with all the organic veg!

On two occasions in the past month, we have had kindly, concerned Walmer suburb residents, one at night and one during the day, taking stray donkeys into their gardens until we can get there to collect them. Thank you for caring.

The owner, on collecting them from the Unit, asked if he could leave Whitey and her foal, Milo, with us because she could only get into ‘trouble’ in the township.  This we knew as she had been brought in for a stab wound about six weeks ago, now healed.  No problem.

A white stray jack found himself on a horse owners farm and we were asked to collect him as he was showing interest in the resident mares and was actually quite ardent about his feelings.  Definitely not a ‘working’ donkey but to date, he has not been claimed by anyone!  Sjoe!

Replacement of harnessing and bits, deworming were order of the day for Grahamstown and Committee’s Drift.

Alfred and I had our work cut out for us when called to a stray pony colt in Kirkwood as he had absolutely no intention of getting in the horsebox!  With help from 5 Department of Education men we managed to load him.  To date, although the local Police Station was notified, nobody has come forward to claim him.  But this is not surprising as he had serious skin problems and still resists human interaction although he does holler when we arrive for work in the morning now knowing that breakfast will be served shortly.  A generous financial donation received from the Complainant towards diesel costs was much appreciated!

And then it was Easter. As donkeys are closely connected to this time of the year, the Unit had been asked to provide a donkey for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Sunday morning service. We duly arrived with a jenny in the horsebox and in due course, Alfred assisted with leading her into the ‘church’, accompanied by happy congregants speaking a language neither of us understood, singing, clapping, waving palm fronds, drumming, ululating and Jenny taking it all in her stride. Just part of our ‘corporate social responsibility’.

Our Bezant was adopted out and has found himself in a loving home as companion to another pony who has decided he is the ‘bees knees’.

An AWS volunteer walking a strong dog was shocked to find the chain on the lead he was using had broken, leading to the dog tearing into one of our camps to chase a horse.  Luckily, we were all there, it being lunchtime, so it was a matter of catching the dog and sorting out the horse.  Was quite an experience for us and the poor Volunteer was in a complete state.

Thanks to a sick donkey in Motherwell some considerable time ago, the Unit was befriended by a SAPS Colonel who had a burning issue with dogs in her precinct.  She also keeps an eye on the donkeys there. Over a period of time, she has perservered and this has led to The Animal Welfare Society and Dr Juan of 9th Avenue Vet Clinic starting a ‘clinic’ in Motherwell.  The Colonel popped around in high excitement to say that, just that morning, 300 dogs had been dipped and inoculated.  A Spay Day is being set up and she would welcome lead and collar donations.  These can be left at the Unit for onward transmission to this Project.   SO well done, Comine!

A 3 or 4 month foal was collected and taken to the Vet for assessment as he had run into a fence and got all tangled up in it.  It was found that he had sustained a dropped hip and had developed a large abscess right on his hind joint.  The 2 Veterinarians gave their Opinions and the foal released from pain forever.

The ECHCU Auction Room, run by Tracy Poshpaws has had another bidding war for tack and brought in a tidy sum of money for the Bank Account. We would like to thank Tracy most sincerely for her efforts in this regard as well as the many folk who have participated in the Auctions as well as the donors of the tack. Well done to all.

A Kwanobuhle resident found a donkey outside his house that clearly was having difficulty walking. In due course, she was collected and brought in and Stanley, on giving her foreleg hooves the ‘once over’, found that she had trodden on a nail on the one hoof and the other had a problem with the hoof wall. Regular poulticing and hoofwork by Stanley has meant that she is now walking much easier and should be ready to return home in the not too distant future.

Ayanda had his hands full on the Humansdorp trip, doing remedial hoofwork, assisting with deworming and catching a stray donkey with an excuse for a bridle still on. Obviously been taken and ridden and then just left. Bridle now safely at the Unit and donkey now able to move and eat freely.

A horse that had been taken and ridden without the owner’s permission attended to as he had limped home and was now stretched out on the grass with a very worried owner.  Treatment initiated and when contacted a few days later we were told that he was recovering well.

A yelling phonecall about a pregnant jenny that was ‘too big to come out, medem’, had us tearing off to Kwanobuhle on one of the many Public Holidays, only to find that in fact the jenny was already dead and had been for some time.  With many helping hands we managed to load her into the horsebox and remove it from the township.  Cause of death unknown.

New Complaints have been received as well as follow-up Rechecks done this past month, and it is clear that All is not well in this part of Africa.

With the plethora of Public Holidays in April we have been able to get our ‘client’ database up to date as well as sorting well over a 1000 photographs into the relevant ‘client’ files.


FODDER: Radisson Blue Hotel, Micrographics

TACK:  Robin, Madelein, JackieT, Anne and Amy, Pat

VARIOUS: Suzie – 10kg bucket of Iceman, Epson Salts, Vaseline.



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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