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ECHCU June 2014


JUNE 2014

…and so, the Complaints are still coming in, far and wide and near to home.  It has been difficult with vehicle problems, battery problems, glow plug problems, horsebox connection light problems, bakkie repairs, slow punctures, no lights or dash lights either!  It has been really difficult but here we are at the end of June – only 5 months to December and the Next New Year!

I think I might have mentioned before that frequently when you are already in the middle of something, something else comes along.  And so it was for Stanley, out working and getting a phone call from Radebe.  His donkey had been hit by a truck and was dead and could he please come and remove it. Don’t want to put the mockers on anything, but this is not a frequent occurrence, thankfully.  However, the owners are desperate to get the carcass out of the townships before anybody gets any funny ideas.

A Friend phoned a few days later to say that a cow had been knocked down on Victoria Drive and could we assist.  Yes, I know we do not do cows, but this was an animal in trouble.  Luckily the Walmer SAPS were already on the scene and were able to show us which way the cow had gone into the bush.  The Unit grooms were able to track her and get her out onto the roadside to be met by our Veterinarian and Dave, and after a thorough going over by Doc H, she was euthanased due to a fractured leg and internal injuries and Sam from the NMMM Cowboys (it’s their job to remove stray animals on the roads) removed the carcass.  The right people were in place and all the right things happened all before 8am – Thank you all.

Our Grahamstown Donkey Clinic was a seriously ‘seriaas’.  You never know what is coming your way at the best of times in this job, and so we were not surprised to find many waiting for us.  The Clinic started off with a SAPS and Farmer Imbizo (meeting).  Then the fun started.  Between Tim, Johnson, SamS, Ayanda and I, 11 donkeys had their hooves trimmed, 10 donkeys were dewormed, various minor wounds tended to, 18 ordered harnesses and 6 bits replaced and orders for more on the next visit put in.   Hectic!

We then departed for Committees Drift for their clinic and again a further 12 harnesses replaced, 12 donkeys dewormed and  4 hoof trims done.

One of our Complaints this past month was the case of a horse that, after a bout of ‘choke’, just could not put on weight and he was not looking as he should and everything possible had been done to rectify his situation.  One thing led to another and we collected him and took him for a Veterinary Assessment where it was found that he had a major heart problem.  Poor boy.  But released from his suffering now.

A further Complaint was received about a pony that did not appear to be being fed.  However, he was ‘acceptable’ and it was established through the owner that all the right things were happening with the guidance of a knowledgeable person.

You could say that it was rather ‘ordinary’ for Stanley to go to Kwanobuhle to deliver harnessing to a number of Carties that had requested them.  They, of course, were very happy!

Samuel’s pony was not a happy chappy and so he phoned, as he always does, immediately to ask for help.  Over the next few days his diarrhoea worsened at first becoming horizontal, but finally a vertical descent was achieved and all the time he just kept on eating, suffering occasional cramps.  Alls well that ends well and now back at home.

We still get the occasional call about stray donkeys in Walmer, but it must be said now, that since 2006/7, the calls are calm.  Absolutely nothing like the abusive phone calls we got way back then when they were seen as marauding savages.   And so, when we went to sort out three donkeys on 10th Avenue, we were able to catch William’s one donkey that was lame, having a stone embedded deeply in her hoof that Stanley has managed to sort out.   She is almost ready to return to work.

Then you have choices too.  Alfred from Grahamstown phoned about his donkey with a ‘very bad cut’.  Mmmm, what to do?  Just go and see or just go and see taking the horsebox with you, in case…?  It turned out that the cut was not too bad and after a shot of Penicillin and armed with his Epson Salts Water, he disappeared into the township with his donkey.

Then there was the Complaint about three donkeys that had been walking up and down a busy road for three weeks and that he had brought into his farm for their own safety as well as the motorists.  Alfred and I, along with Neil’s help, managed to corner them in a vast camp eventually, put on halters, and then load into the horsebox.  Quite a performance as they had no intention of being caught and clearly were not used to being handled, but settling down now, helped by carrots and treats, and should soon be ready for adoption.  Jenny with foal at foot with the Girls and the boykie in with the Boys.

Another Complaint about a horse was attended to and it was found that contrary to what we had been told, the horse was getting fed, we could see it eating it out of the bucket as we visited at feed time!

A further Complaint about tick infestation on the horses was solved with a bottle of Dip and discussions about deworming ensued.

A Ward Councillor asked for Unit assistance with regard to the dumping of refuse in her Ward.  Stanley spent a morning visiting the Carties and laying down the Law.


Blackie was collected and admitted to the Unit for lameness at the request of his owner, but will be going home shortly as he is now sound again.

Another problem led to discussions with an owner about his horses and their lack of grazing.  Case being monitored.

A 3.30am phonecall from WO Van Staden and Fry from Kabega Park Police Station for a donkey that had been hit by a vehicle and had sustained a broken leg was handled and now the poor child is in a far better place.  My thanks to Van Staden and Fry – you are Stars!  They could have done what others do and ‘just left it for later’, but they didn’t.

Not all Complaints are in Port Elizabeth, some are out in the country.  So this finds us spending time travelling to get there.  And then we find that there is actually a problem with a specific horse that is going to take some time to sort out to the benefit of the horse.  Ongoing.

Ayanda and I stopped in at the PE Riding Club Fair and were delighted to find our Sure to be Special taking part in the Fancy Dress – as a Unicorn!  Delightful and so well behaved too.

A recumbent donkey was found by his owner, just lying.  Not doing anything.  The only thing we could do was to get him into the horsebox and off to the Vet.  Even the Doctor was puzzled with the lack of responses she got from him, until she looked at his eyes - blind.  Clearly a head injury of some major impact.  Instructions given and carried out.

And then one of our own children who has been battling with a very bad hindquarter problem exacerbated by the cold weather we have been having, was humanely put to sleep.  Very painful for all concerned but he went with dignity on all four hooves.  Leaving a chasm behind for the parents.

A suspected African Horse Sickness death reported to us earlier in the month turned out to be negative, thanks to getting the official blood test done.

A Complaint via another animal organization led to Patrick being given a lecture by Stanley about the fact that he had put a shoe on his donkey and now it was lame because he had managed to prick the hoof with one of the nails.

And then, Animal Champion Queenie from Algoa fm radio station invited us to visit the studio to collect a ‘little something’ that she had arranged by tapping every member of staff for a small donation and that she had used to buy boxes of Epson Salts.  Wowzer!  Thank you Queenie and Mio and ALGOA FM staff for your thoughtfulness and support.


TACK: SPCA Grahamstown – 20 sheepskins; TRELOAR – numnahs; MARGARET – horseblankets; SANDY – horseblankets; KALMA - two saddles and a bag of tack.

FODDER:  FEED N SEED – 3 bags Train and Leisure and 15 bags leavings  ; AWS Wagtails, 6TH Ave, Walmer  – bales lucerne; ELEANOR - 30 bales green lucerne via Horse and Hound; ANTOINETTE – woolbale of leavings; ENID – 2 bales lucerne.

HARVEST GRADE 4S – visited and left behind a donation of R200 received from their Civvies Day.

And today, the 1st of July, Carla will be joining the Unit!  Yippee!  Welcome Carla and be prepared for absolutely anything!


And, just to keep things interesting and cost effective for some, we are now on Whatsapp on 072352505!


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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