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July 2010


Inspections:                          1      Equines:     3 donkeys

Rechecks:                          18       Equines:   47 horses and 13 donkeys

Township inspections:          8      Equines:     2 horses and 17 donkeys

Euthanased at Game Park:  1 horse

Suburban Spotchecks:        12      Equines:    3 horses and 22 donkeys

Country Trips:                       3       Equines:  27 horses, 1 mule, 21 donkeys

Medical cases into Unit:        8 donkeys of which 6 have been returned to owner

Adopted out:                         1 donkey

Fostered out:                        1 donkey

Medical cases out of Unit:    3 donkeys     

Died at Unit:                         2 donkeys

 No sooner had went sent out the June newsletter than we were called to assist with a suspected gunshot wound to the hind leg of a horse!   What a way to start.   The gaping wound has since healed and the horse can class himself as quite lucky, don’t you think?

Month end is always a bit of a circus for the Unit as in addition to the normal activities, we have to account for our expenditures as well as animals we have been in touch with over the past month.  We also have to ‘do’ our newsletter so that you are kept informed factually of what we have done, and as with most months, we have to whittle away at between 17 and 20 pages of Diary in order to do so!

On the fostering front, Matilly has joined Marjana – perhaps now they will bray in unison to their human companion.

The SAPS call centre, 10111, had me gallivanting around Walmer at 2.30 in the morning, looking for donkey but alas, I certainly could not find them and the Walmer Police Station was advised.  A report of 2 donkeys outside Balizza at 8.30 on a Saturday night were also not found, but perhaps they were in the bar!?

It is always sad and painful when one has to say farewell to our precious animals, but also good that we can do it as it is our responsibility to send them on with dignity and before things become nasty.  So we have assisted a number of owners with their difficult decisions this past month.

Some seriously generous tack donations have also been received during July, with many happy customers going away with items they have wanted for years.   We benefit too as we were able to fit Chesterfield with a yearling bit which has enabled us to commence his ‘education’ so that when he becomes available for adoption, he will be a well mannered boykie.

The Animal Welfare Society received a large donation of metal filing cabinets and said we could partake of their windfall, so we did.  And then we welcomed Megan and Stephanie as volunteers.  They spent an entire day unpacking the Tack Room, moving in the two cabinets and sorting, labeling and unpacking sacks of donated tack.   They did a sterling job and were quite grubby when they went home, but I am sure they slept well that night.   Thank you for your time and effort, Megan and Stephanie!  Our tack buyers are suitably impressed with your handiwork as are we!

Then we had a young pony that had got hold of something that we are still trying to work out what it was.  He was treated by the vet, but as we all know, it is nice to know when you have got a friend or two to help you over the trauma of seeing your animal in a bad place.  After many days of struggle, the pony has come out of his experience well and hopefully will stay away from funny parcels in the future!

It is always good to go on our country trips and see that our horses and donkeys are looking good and that our harnessing is doing its job.  Being hailed as soon as we enter an area means that everyone has the message about our arrival on a particular day, and everyone is ready and eager with their animals ready and waiting for our attention even though they are having a funeral.  The Animal Anti Cruelty League sponsored the SPCA Humansdorp with an excess of blankets and food for dogs and we were the happy transporters of their donation.  Our new friend Rebecca also got a share for distribution to the townships.

We experienced a lot of rain again in the middle of July, which led to a ‘run’ on our horse blanket sales, but I am happy to report that the trenches/culverts I got the grooms to cut in the camps worked very well indeed, so that the rainwater was led away meaning that the camps did not become dams.  We have been happy to see that grass is even growing in the camps even though it is the middle of winter!  Who says there is no such thing as global warming.   We also found time to neaten up our Knobwoods in the girls’ camp with help from Courtney, a new volunteer.

Our carrot top donor took the trouble to phone in about two horses that had gone missing and we were able to send out an email asking landowners to advise if they had seen the horses.  I am happy to report that she received a number of phonecalls in reply and was able to ensure the safe return of the horses to their farm.  That is real good neighbourliness.  Thank you, Anne.

Again, we need to thank the Robertsons, the Aqua Company, Feed and Seed, Treloar, Nicky, and Gina for their donations of feed and fodder – we really do appreciate your contributions.  And a special Thank You to Sallyb for the carrot ball that keeps Chesterfield occupied for ages.

Our Crash Test Dummies came and spent some time, testing the horses to see what they would do when they were mounted – and all was well!    Thank you, Kiara and Ruthie.

Our Renaldo (a young Nobuhle donkey) was returned to his owner, but not before the owner’s brother got all shirty at our saying hello to Renaldo’s mum and auntie, but he settled down when he realized we were returning Renaldo now that his wound was fixed.  Hanna (badly wounded cheek from last month) has made a rapid recovery, and is in the camp with the rest of the girls and is looking for an adoptive companion human. 

Veterinarian referrals have meant that 5 horses have had their first deworming ever and are looking better all the time.

And sometimes, things happen that really make you wonder:  One of our Walmer Carters, driving down the street was stopped and told to take a bale of Lucerne off the owner’s bakkie for his donkeys.  And yet another Walmer Carter, on going to Hi Q to fix his puncture found that some motorist who was also waiting for his puncture to be fixed, had raced into Pick n Pay and bought a bunch of carrots and was standing feed his donks while he waited!   How amazing is that?

A referral from another organization introduced another donkey cart owner on the other side of town.  We found the donkey down and out but having loaded her up and taken her to the Vet we found that she was still unable to stand up.  It is always distressing, to both the donkey and us, when they cannot get up unaided.  However this morning I managed to get her up on my own, rather than with 5 people pulling and pushing. Soon she should be able to get up without anyone and then be returned to her concerned owner who peppers us for regular updates!

We try our best to encourage our Carters to do work and this month we have had a number of calls for Matric Dance transport, or in one case, to bring a whole bunch of children (the parents followed in cars) from the Victory Raceway to the Animal Welfare Society for an educational morning with the small animals and then return them to the Raceway.  Well the Carters really outdid themselves, with the donkeys having been brushed to within an inch of their lives (with the brushes YOU have donated!).  I am told everyone enjoyed their morning!

Another report from Uitenhage SPCA, meant that we went off to Kwanobuhle to try and find the address where a donkey was in trouble.  We were able to identify the owner and go directly to his house to where he had removed the foal and collected the donkey foal and his mum.  Not everything goes as planned, and in this case, the foal died but not without a concerted effort to save him.

Here is a picture of Catherine, Anne and Brittany with Renaldo who came in to groom the donkeys on Nelson Mandela’s birthday and as part of their contribution to the 67 minutes of community work to celebrate this day nationwide.  Thank you, girls, for your caring and doing.  PS I hope this picture carries across in the email!

The donation to Animal Welfare Society of new signage has meant that we – the E C Horse Care Unit – have benefitted as well as AWS from the donation.  I am advised that a young girl who comes to exercise the kennelled dogs decided that the old signage was just not good enough and did something about it through her mum.  Thank you Skye and Premier Sayina Africa!

And for those of you who have a problem disposing of horse or donkey manure, Francois (compost maker from next door to us) has told me that contributions are welcome!  

And then Liezl, on taking her daughter to school, came across 4 donkeys on 3rd avenue.  The donkeys were as good as gold, standing with her quietly on the pavement while I raced off to get some backup.  We even got a thank you call from the owner for bringing the donkey in.  We also had Dorrie reporting a donkey with a purple halter at the Airport and we were able to phone the owner and get him to go and collect Boesman!   Thank you Dorrie.

Treloar has given instruction this month in removing onion weed from the Basil Bartlett garden as well as putting up a wooden hook near the stable grate for the green bag with grooming tools for volunteers, as well as getting Chesterfield lungeing well on his ‘wrong’ side.  Mandy, a new Volunteer, has fitted in neatly on weekends, lending assistance and imparting her knowledge and experience with horses and donkeys alike and hopefully the backing of Chesterfield will commence soon.

We completed the month by collecting 3 donkeys playing chicken on the N2 to Cape Town.  One of our clients very kindly and, at great threat to his and his wife’s safety, brought them off the highway into an adjoining farm from where we were able to load them up and bring them in.   Thank you, Ted and Bronwyn for your willingness to assist in times of crisis.




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