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ECHCU March 2015


MARCH 2015

Here we are, already the first quarter of the year gone and it has shot past like a bullet!  I apologise in advance for the length of this letter but it really has been quite a month.  The letter does not include Complaints, investigations, inspections, rechecks, adoptions and surrenders – just what is!

We started off March with a 2 donkey problem in Target Kloof.  It was Carla’s weekend on duty, but when I checked my Facebook page early on Sunday morning, I found my name splashed all over the place.   As we all know, cellphones are the best thing since sliced bread – when they work!  When they don’t, or give problems as they do, everybody gets very het up.  Carla on finding that the work cellphone needed charging as it kept on ‘crashing’, had put it on charge and missed all the frantic phone calls.   When she found all the missed calls and smses, she took off with the work bakkie, scouring Walmer, the Harbour, Settler’s park, Essexvale and all points in between until I said stop, somebody will let us know, which they did – the two naughty children were waiting in the Spar parking lot on the next day, Monday, next to the Walmer SAPS.   Retrieved by their owner shortly after the ‘spotting’ and report occurred.   What a way to start the day and the month!

Only to be followed by a Uitenhage donkey with colic that was collected and admitted to the Unit and although treated by our Vet, she was not meant to be as she had developed a twist and was humanely euthanased on the Veterinarian’s instructions after a couple of days of supportive therapy and observation.  Twists are like that – deadly!  The owner’s other jenny with a hoof abscess, was returned after some serious work by Treloar and Ayanda.

A Dog Walk in aide of the Unit was held at Fairview Race Course.  36 people with about 100 dogs, from Aztec to Zeus, participating.  By all accounts, it was a very much enjoyed event and we thank the generosity of the Sponsors:  Quilts by Animal Outreaches, Feed n Seed, Grass Roof, Rosewood Spa, Elephant Walk, Dizzy Dolphin, Hair by Traci, Honey, Promix and Wuma Dog Food, Precision Vision, Nadine Low Ah Kee – gloves for scooping da poop.  Well done and Thank You to Traci and Karin for your excellent organization and funds!

On the Tuesday, three different phonecalls reporting 2 donkeys in Walmer all in different locations!  We took two grooms because we had no idea just how many donkeys were causing drama.  We found four – all safely shepherded safely to the township.

Followed midday by a request from my Police station as to what to do with a tortoise that had been found in a vehicle used in the commission of a crime.  We put them in touch with Arnold of Wildline who was able to assist, and when we were able, the tortie was collected and released him safely in a Conservation area where we know he will be safe and not find himself held hostage by people again!

At the request of a Humansdorp owner, Dr Pieter gelded his two donkeys that had ‘been fighting too much, madam!’  Thank you, Dr Pieter!

After delivering another donkey to Uitenhage townships, we had been requested by a horse owner to help him with his new pony that was covered in ticks.  His intention was that we collect it and detick it ourselves!   I don’t think so!   Advised him to shampoo with sunlight to lift the oil and gave him a bottle of tick dip, dewormed the pretty little colt (with Carthy’s donation of dewormer) and last we heard all was well with the colt.   Thank you for your donation, Cathy!

As so often happens, Transkei Missions for one reason or another, ‘run’ into each other, which entails a bit of detangling and debriefing and reporting to the Directors.   TRANSKEI MISSIONS:  In short, two Transkei Missions done by Stanley over the past month.  2919 Kms travelled, 5 villages or towns visited,  92 horses given Primary Health Care, 1 euthanasia carried out, 13 horses received hoofwork, 27 horses vaccinated for Equine Flu, 93 horses belonging to 27 owners dewormed, your donated tack distributed to gleeful users, all thanks to the financial support of Phumelela Racing and tack donors.

Rasta from Booysens Park was very happy to receive two donkey bridles.

The collection and admitting of a sick pony from down the coast at the request of the owner, led to many days of anxiety for us, regular checkups by our Veterinarian, pain control, supportive therapy was just not enough to cut it.  But.  On doing a post mortem the problem was found, an enterolith weighing over ½ a kilogram and obviously of long standing.  Always emotionally exhausting for all.

One of our adopted jennies duly foaled down but in the process sustained some internal bruising.  Foal doing well and jenny treated and recovered!   Well done, Dalene and Andrew!

A Complaint from Patensie about a pig being chased by dogs across a farmer’s fields, was referred to Humansdorp SPCA.

After Races on a Friday, Friend SallyB found 4 donkeys loitering in the dark on Lake Farm Road.  She was able to contact Carla, on the cellphone, who was again on duty, and Carla brought her partner with her and along with the Neighbourhood Watch and armed response patroller, got the donks off the road into safety from where they were collected by their owners in the morning. Thank You, Grant!

Moses was supplied with a long rope to keep his donkeys tethered off the road after losing the use of his ‘safe fenced place’.

Patrick of Kwanobuhle, Uitenhage, was happy to receive his sound donkey after removal of the metal shard in his sole by Stanley.

Two unrelated orphan donkey foals from Grahamstown found by a passing motorist were admitted, having had the only jenny around euthanased because of her broken shoulder and leg and reported to the Grahamstown SAPS.  It has been a bit of a struggle getting both to do all the ‘right’ stuff.

Another Humansdorp owner had a troublesome fighting donkey problem and requested gelding.  Done by Dr Pieter.  Thank You, Doc!

One of our Walmer Cartie’s donkeys was hit in the township by a vehicle, smashing the windscreen and knocking the external rear view mirror right off.  Amazingly, Rusty was OK except for a small scratch on his shoulder and probably a bit of a headache.  Recovered.  But now the Cartie working to pay for the damages!

We said a final Farewell to PE Saddlery’s Michael Schultz in the last half of the month.  Michael had become a bit of an institution over the years at the PE Riding Club and in the riding community.  RIP Michael.  We will miss you!

ECHCU Auction Site:  Between MegM and Tracy Poshpaws, every Auction seems to outdo the previous one on an ongoing basis.    Add to this the fact that MegM assisted with setting up the Snapscan to enable easy payments for either Auction goodies or donations.  This helps to cut Bank Charges as we pay a tiny percentage of the amount banked.    Thank you, Meg.   The Snapscan logo will appear in due course at the end of newsletters for your convenience.

An easily solved colic in a Kwanobuhle donkey was admitted at the request of his owner Samuel, and having produced the goods the next morning, was returned home.  And then, the owner asked for his jack to be gelded so he was loaded and brought in.

Another KwaNobuhle owner found his young foal that appeared to have been attacked by dogs, leaving a nasty, broken, infected hock joint.  Poor little one was absolutely exhausted from pain and the inability to lie down and get up again – fell asleep on my lap on the way to the Vet.  Thank You Dr Johan for doing a gentle release, painful though it was for all of us.

Along with the now normal loadshedding, we have had two occasions on the property, where loud bangs have heralded ‘no electricity’.  All sorted for the moment aside from the fright of humans and equines!

A complaint received of two donkeys in a cart standing on Cape Road in the dark.  The cellphone had begun its nonsense again, even though a new battery had been purchased.  So, yes, I did not get the call!   It was however forwarded to me whereupon I yelled for Stanley.   On arriving at the scene, we found lots of concerned folk standing around and one Cartie in tears.  He knew what was coming!  We uploaded the donkeys into the box and then Stanley, bless his cotton socks, decided that we were going to bring the cart in as well!   Luckily, he is ridiculously strong, so with other helping hands the cart was deposited onto the back of the bakkie and we were homeward bound.

The next morning, the two different owners of the a) donkeys and b) the cart, were hot on the phone asking for their belongings to be returned.  Mmmmm…. Let me think about it.   Why did you lend your cart and donkeys to somebody who clearly has no idea what he is doing???  They are resting with us and you will have to visit to negotiate their release.    SAPS advised and supportive. The funny part was Treloar, Ayanda, Volunteer Marie Claire, Carla, Tom and I taking the cart off the bakkie the next morning!   Much yelling and instructions, pushing and shoving, from all sides.

Much later the following day, a report from an ambulance service about two ponies in a small trailer with NO tow vehicle attached on the verge of a ramp onto the highway!   I collected Carla from Colleen Glen and went off at high speed, only to find the trailer no longer there!  And nobody seems to know anything about it!    Yet another late night, but armed with a brand new cellphone, at least we got the call!

While in Grahamstown for our monthly donkey clinic, we were approached by a man asking for the number of the local SPCA because he had a problem with his dog.  We obliged and sent him off smiling.    On the other hand, we were very happy to note that the donkey presented at last months’ clinic with a punctured hock, had made a great recovery, considering that somebody had recommended euthanasia.  A shot of penicillin and regular application of Iceman appeared to have done the trick.

A request for assistance with transport of a laminitic horse from his home to a place where he can be treated was handled with care by Stan, Carla and Tom.

An early morning, on the way to work, call from Ann, found me finding the two donkeys at the robots on Main and 9th, munching out of the rubbish bin.  Armed with a beeeeg stick – not for beating but for guiding them to where I wanted them to be (donkeys take ‘instruction’ better than most) – I was met by the owner coming the other way and assisted with getting them across Heugh Rd in the hectic morning traffic.

A request for ‘hospitalisation’ for a horse that had taken fright during the night and crashed through a fence with concrete uprights, doing considerable damage to his leg and face.  The donkeys are working their calming magic on him and with veterinary assistance, we hope to return him home when it is ready to receive him.


Denise – identitags for the horses.

Rene – made and donated 3 nosebags – works a treat! And brought lots of milk for the orphans!

9th Ave Vet Clinic – dewormers

Anne – regular bread donations delivered by her to 9th Ave Veterinary Clinic for collection by us.

TACK DONATIONS: Flo, Danny, the PE Riding Club, BarbieS, Traci, Feed and Seed, Marie and Siobhan.

PE Riding Club – donation of tack and cash from Georgia and Taylan Perrin, Marilise Buys, Tracey Ruddy, and the March edition of SPORT ELIZABETH with an article about the fund raising and tack donation article.

RHODA – stamped envelopes for her monthly newsletters.

Duwayne - lucerne donated by Duwayne via AWS, and Kelly - lucerne

Flo – donated R500 from the Course she gave recently.

VOLUNTEERS – Celine, Marie Claire, Sally, SamS, MegM, Elandre, Naledi and Siya, and from Coega CDC – Michelle and Lee Anne.  Visiting AWS to assist with dipping in Walmer township and now to walk dogs, but wanted to do something for the equines too!   MegM – planting plants in the Arena Project.

Orphan TLC and night feed ups – SamS.

Ian Robertson Pharmacy and PE Saddlery – collection tins and in the case of PE Saddlery, a bin for tack you want to ditch while buying new!

Well, so far and no further – We have to be done with March and ‘get on’ with April.



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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