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ECHCU Februay 2015



‘They’ say a change is as good as a holiday, so rather than wait for the end of this letter this month, we are going to start by thanking those, who over the past month, have donated time, fodder and tack from the start.  THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!

Fodder:  Nicky – Lucerne, Atlas Plant Hire - bales; Riana – bales; Antoinette – Readymix (Combo of teff, lucerne, oathay, grassmix sweepings).

Human Spoilings: Grass Roof – breakfast, lunch and coffee, RHODA – cokes and apple juice.

Equine Spoilings:  Anne – bread, Rhoda – carrots, Hilary AACL – carrots.

Tack: Lesley, PE Riding Club, Nola, Stan McGarrigal – a leather plough harness for Patrick’s Samurai.

Volunteers: Rene – grooming, detangling of tails and great ideas, Marie Claire - grooming, Celine and MegM – Exercising and preparing our equines for their new lives; Naledi and Siya – muck outs, feed ups and translations!

Medical Supplies: Ciplavet, 9th Avenue Vet Clinic.

Arena Project: willing hands to assist with grass cutting, planting, weed pulling with MegM.

Harnessing Project: Webbing Products - nylon webbing for sewing onto cotton webbing for donkey cart harnessing.

Special SALUTE to SUPA QUICK, 6th Avenue for their free puncture treatment for our horsebox and the Walmer Carties, and LESTERS for their prompt free horsebox brake repair and regrease!

The Unit is truly blessed!

And now, to the rest of February 2015:

An alert about a stray donkey on the PE/Despatch Highway, near Redhouse was received.  We were already in negotiation about the donkey’s future, and the following week, Fiona was collected and brought into the herd.  Available for adoption.  Sweet girlie who is enjoying being with her kind.

A delivery of Woodie and Jack, the newly gelded donkey jack, to their new home had to be called off due to the condition of the road due to the excessive rain we had received.  We were able to escort the lads later in the week, and last we saw they were settling in with a new pony friend and very knowledgeable family.

ALWAYS a very worrying time is when one of our Carties passes away – we worry about the future of his animals!  William had been to see us just prior to his death and we had arranged with him about three of his donkeys that were with us for various reasons and we had reached a ‘deal’ with him.  We were very sorry to see him go, but we have now discussed with his family what is going to happen and are happy to know that things are going to be the way William wanted them to be.  Farewell, William!

We uplifted Freddie’s preggie jenny from Langa, Uitenhage, as he was very concerned at her lameness.  As Stanley was off on a Mission, Ayanda and Treloar had a look at her hooves and found the problem – a massive itoomba (abscess), caused by tiny stones between the laminae and hoof wall.  Immediate relief for the girlie on removal of them and now she will soon be going home, sound. Thank you, Treloar and Ayanda.

ALWAYS a difficult decision to make, but we assisted in setting up a humane euthanasia for a horse and owner.  The horse released from unremitting pain that made her very ‘sour’.  The owner penned a beautiful poem on her experience and thanked all who had assisted in the horse’s painfree release.

Our beautiful, now ‘let down’ after his racing career, Gecko Boy, along with his ‘donkey at foot’, Peanut, were delivered to a beautiful farm down the coast.

I have been meaning to say that many of the Thoroughbred Racehorses that come to us for rehoming after a racing career, have very little ‘wrong’ with them and when the ‘right’ adoptive owner comes along, they find their ‘happy places’.   When we do find a ‘problem’, they are individually dealt with and mostly we are able to solve the problem, and it could be a simple as a tooth filing or a bit of R and R and donkey companionship!

Cartie Moses found that his jenny, Daisy, was about to foal down and asked for her to be admitted to the Maternity Wing/Pink Palace camp.  She duly foaled down with a jack, a fellow with looooong legs and a lot of attitude, so he has been named Buster!  Growing like a weed now with his mum who was getting ‘cabin fever’ and needed more space for both of them to move around.

A small herd of donkeys down the coast were found by another animal organization, ALL suffering from slipper foot.  They asked for our help and signed the case over to us.  It took a bit of organizing, but finally Stanley and Carla were able to get in touch with the owner who had a problem that many people have:  A qualified farrier who does not have a problem working on donkeys and trained to remedy slipper foot on an equine, i.e. a Stanley!  A botched slipper removal remedied by Stanley, left 4 donkeys with their owner and carers much happier and before their fetlocks had collapsed that requires euthanasia.  Additional education imparted for the donkeys wellbeing.

Our horse owner in Jacksonville found his horse lame and asked for help.  Stanley popped around and found that it was a corn in the sole.  Sorted! Followed shortly by an AHS vaccination and deworming of his three horses.

Because we had a Tetanus death of a young donkey foal, a morning was spent using R180 worth of petrol to burn the soil in the Hospital camps.  Stanley knows exactly what he is doing, so with water hose at hand, all (staff) hands on deck, in the space of a few hours we had hopefully ‘killed’ the Tetanus bacteria, for the moment anyway.  (We do this about once a year to the Hospital Camps – preferably to be done on a cool day!)

Stanley and Carla, after a bit of a battle to contact the owners and with the assistance of a Racehorse Trainer and a Veterinarian, visited a group of Thoroughbreds and Crossbreeds where they vaccinated and dewormed the group without too much of a battle.

After a very good ‘try out’ ride, the beautiful Jupiter Symphony was delivered to her new home.

We try and ‘tie up’ more than one recheck on a day ‘in the country’.  It just makes sense to visit more than one owner on a long distance drive, and it works well.  A number of these have occurred this month with Stanley and Carla sharing the driving.  It just takes a bit of juggling sometimes.

Sometimes our ‘volunteers’ land up doing things they never ever thought they would do.  MegM accompanied Carla to an AWS generated complaint about a stray donkey, but they found 4!  So MegM pitched in to help Tom with their return to the township.  And then, MegM assisted Carla with removing and replacing of old harnessing at one of the shacks.  Thank you, MegM, for everything you do for us!

A ‘Complaint’ was received late one evening from a Unit Friend that she was at a braai in town and two loose horses had wandered into the garden.  We contacted someone who we thought might be the owner, and found that it was not!  So, she and I both got out of our beds and went ‘hunting’.  I collected the bakkie and some halters and lead reins from the Unit and using our cellphones, ‘found’ each other and finally the horses along with others folk that had seen the notification on Facebook!  Jann volunteered her stables for the night, and Eleanor and Rae led the horses back being safeguarded by the two bakkies.  All’s well that ends well and the horses were claimed in the morning.  Thank you, Jann, Eleanor, Rae and SamT for a successful capture and ‘rescue’!

Nice and early on a Saturday morning, we did not see what was coming our way – if only we had known!  A Nobuhle owner phoned in a panic about his ‘sick’ donkey.  Naledi very kindly translated the Xhosa for us and we hitched up the horsebox and headed north to Uitenhage.  The road well travelled many times in the past was our choice, only to find ourselves stuck in a sewage spill!  It was absolutely revolting! The donkey owner, Tom and all the nearby residents, knowing that we were there to help the donkey jack, willingly participated in extricating us from the ordure, getting well and truly splattered with muck.  The horsebox did not look too good either!  Finally, we were released and got to firm ground and many willing hands brought the donkey to the horsebox for loading – which is when my heart fell into my very squelchy shoes.  Obvious Tetanus case.  Owner advised.  Confirmed by our Vet.  Humane Euthanasia ensued.  ‘Negotiations’ currently being undertaken with the Municipal officials and various others to get the ‘spill’ fixed.  And then home to ‘clean up’ and disinfect everything and Tom and I.  Enjoyed a good long shower at home!

A few days later, another Animal organization phoned about a lame donkey in Kwanobuhle.  Carla and I had little difficulty in catching him and loading him into the horsebox.  Stanley found the next morning that a hoof abscess was again the problem because of a small metal shard embedded in the sole of the hoof.  Under treatment.

It was a bit of a hectic end to the month with a Donkey Clinic in Grahamstown involving hoof trims, donkey fight bites and reharnessing, as well as a Humansdorp Horse visitation for AHS vaccination follow ups.

Thank you if you have managed to read this Newsletter to the end, and if you have not got this far, don’t tell me I did not tell you about some of the things we do.



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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