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August 2010

Although this is the August Newsletter, we have to start off with September because it is one of the reasons why this Newsletter is so late!  Some months ago, we were asked if we would like to have a ‘stand’ at the SA Dressage Championships to be held at the P E Riding Club and naturally we said yes.  Riders came from around the country and many ‘locals’ came to watch the beautiful and well trained dressage horses and riders making their moves.  The ECHCU volunteers and staff manning the stand found themselves gasping at what the horses and riders were doing. 

The current SA Individual Dressage Champion, Candice Hobday, arranged for an Auction of donated items, many of which were hand-made by Treloar Childs (she also potters, you know?), and which brought in a handsome injection of funds to the Unit.   We congratulate Candice on her win, and thank her for fund raising initiative.

On the final day of the Championships, away riders were encouraged to leave any excess baggage like teff, hay and/or pellets in Treloar’s horsebox for the Unit with the result that a vast amount of fodder and feed has been received and will be put to good use.  Thank you to all those that contributed!

Back to Augustus!  (It feels like a year ago, not just a month!)

It is that time of the year again, and so one of our Carters, Patrick, was hired by Roxy who wanted to arrive in her finery at the Feathermarket Hall on a donkey cart for her Matric Dance.   He had some stiff competition from four white ponies with feathers on their polls drawing a generous cart, but some were heard to say, wow, how different to have a donkey cart!   We encourage our Carters to participate in these activities as it brings much needed finance into their homes for their families.

We were visited by a friend who wanted to use one or any of our donkeys as a ‘model’ for a sculpture she is busy with, much to the bemusement of the donkeys!   She has since returned for some long pieces of horse hair – of course, we are dying to see the end result!

The collapsed Motherwell donkey from last month which was slowly recovering and being helped to walk again caused much consternation to Stanley who came in yelling that there was something wrong.   On inspection, it was found that she had in fact sustained a snake bite to the very top of the forearm and part of her chest and this had been abscessing all along and had finally burst.  Anyone will tell you that a donkeys hair is long and thick and to have found the two holes initially would have been extremely difficult.  Of course, once the poison was released from her system, she recovered very quickly and was returned home to her owner who had spent a fair amount of money phoning in to hear how his donkey jenny was doing.  We completed the job by deworming her and her ‘husband’ and foal, who were also happy to have her home.  Thanks to Sallyb who scavenged some containers from the Davis family, the owner was given his very own container to collect water for his donkeys – there is absolutely no water available in his area and he has to bring it in any way he can.

There seemed to have been a number of travelling donkeys during the first part of the month (including one down at the Beach Office in Happy Valley), and leading to the incarceration of 5 by another organization.  Once it was established where they were, they were bailed out of jail and repatriated back to their area.   This in turn led to the Unit convening a meeting between the NMMM Cowboys (079 4900 540) whose job it is to clear livestock off the Metro highways and byways, and our Walmer Carters.  A very fruitful meeting was held with everybody’s opinion and view being thoroughly discussed under the Chairmanship of Stanley.

The complaint received about ducks in the middle of a road (we receive many calls of this nature!) was transferred to the AWS inspector, who as usual, on getting to the ‘spot’, found that the ducks (or whatever) have disappeared!

Tack Sales have been very good this past month but we still have stock available.  However, in addition to riding gear, we have 2 yacht/windsurfer sails and as we never seem to have the time to ‘play’, we have decided to sell the sulky.  All offers considered.
Another welfare organization on the coast phoned about a trailer transporting a number of donkeys through their town and requesting that we attempt to stop him on his way through PE.  Although we alerted the SAPS to keep their eyes open, we never did find the man.  However, we did have his cellphone number and Stanley phoned and had a chat with the owner who assured us that the donkeys had reached their destination safely and thanked the Unit and the other organization for all their help and care.

One landowner found herself invaded by four horses and contacted us.   As we know the horse owners in that area, we were able to contact the horse owner and get him to fetch his horses and contain them.   Last we heard, all were where they should be and looking much better after the deworming we gave them a few months ago.

A donkey that had been brought in with a hind lameness and that had been inspected by the Vet never fully recovered having suffered a dropped hip/stifle problem.   He clearly would never pull a cart again, but had shown himself to be a kind individual.   We made a plan with the owner who was devastated that the animal would never recover and now Basterman is safe in a new home along with the stray Sam whose original owners, although they thought he was theirs, never claimed him.   The two fellows were last seen heading out into green pastures miles long and wide.  We are happy!  As are Fiona and Veronica, jennies that were previously rehomed to the same farm as predator controllers of calves.

And then our Hanna got a home too!  See the picture of her original wound and then her cheek just before she went to her new home – and it only took 5 weeks!   Thanks to Epson Salts and John Sweet’s donation of Repcillin.

An amazing sight for motorists must have been William driving his donkey cart to the Unit with a foal standing on the back!   The foal without its defending mama, had got himself stabbed, and just like you or I would do, he was loaded onto the transport and taken for help.  The foal was reunited with his ma and has made a full recovery – but it was quite a surprise at the enterprise of the owner!

As so often happens, we go on a call for a horse, and some other animal is found with a problem that can be fixed.    This time, we quickly identified the problem with the horse, but were not happy about the goat!   The nanny was unable to put her off fore on the ground because her claws were so long.  The owner had had difficulty in finding anyone to assist, until he phoned us, and then we phoned Treloar the Farrier, and in a short space of time, the horse and goat were sorted and last seen the nanny was slowly realizing that she could now put all her claws on the ground!   One can’t just stand aside and say, don’t do goats, now can one?

Because of the attack on the General Manager of the Animal Welfare Society in the middle of the working day by two men with evil intentions, all our staff were in a tizz about their own safety.  Through our connections with the SAPS, a nice Reservist was dispatched to give everyone, and I mean everyone, some self defence tactics.   Although there is a fair amount of banter and laughs, we have all learned a little about what we can do in a similar situation.  Our thanks to Constable van Staden who has us all throwing our ‘fighting’ partners all over the place and breaking out of neck locks and much ringing of bells!  

A Grahamstown donkey with a serious skin problem has made quite an improvement thanks to a donation by Sallyb of Equiwash.   Having tried all sorts of other remedies, Anthony is very pleased with the results and the mare is now breaking out all over with new hairgrowth.

A complaint received at 2am on a Sunday morning had me driving all over Walmer looking for ‘7 donkeys going down William Moffett’.  I simply could not find any donkeys nor evidence that they had been there nor the direction in which they were travelling.   I am sure that some folk (like the newspaper men and tow truck drivers) were a tad concerned about being asked at this strange hour the question.  A further phonecall at 7am led me to Builders Warehouse and then further up the hill at Superspar Mount Pleasant!   That’s when I finally found them.   After rustling up all sorts of extra help and hands like Moses, a Walmer Carter, we were able to load two donkeys into the horsebox and then with the loading rope, he individually tied the four remaining donkeys together abreast and walked them home via Glendore Road.   Gosh, talk about ‘four in hand’!

The two donkeys who thought that King’s Court parking lot was a good place to hang out, were caught by regular shoppers, loaded into the horsebox and brought home.

A phone complaint received from Klerksdorp(!) in Gauteng was referred to the HHCU.

We completed the month with Thembi giving birth to a beautiful large foal, son of Boesman.  The birth process was anything but easy but the problem prolapse was solved by the attending Veterinarian.

Chuckle of the month:   Being sent, like many other organizations, an email asking us to rehome an elephant herd!  Any takers?


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