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January 2009


In terms of Item 2, subsection (q), of the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962, a charge can be laid against a person for NOT getting assistance for their sick animal/s.

Due to the fact that the owners are sufficiently trusting of the ECHCU they have no problem in phoning us, and due to your support, we can provide this valuable service of getting the animals to the vet – the owners are therefore compliant and they probably don’t even know it – they just want someone to help the animal!

Thank you for helping us to help them!


It had to happen at some stage, and I had hoped that it would occur later rather than sooner!  But that’s the way it goes, isn’t it?

In the middle of the Taxi strike in the Metro in January, I got a call from a frantic owner that his donkey was in serious distress and ‘come fetch quickly, ma’am’.  When the Forecourt Manager at the petrol station heard that I was off to Soweto on Sea, he did a triple flik flak and said ‘please ma’am, take the amaPolisa. The Taxi’s are striking’.

After a quick visit to Walmer Police Station and after being assisted by Capt Wagg (a most obliging lady), I hitched up the horsebox and proceeded to New Brighton Police Station, where none other than a Superintendent took it upon himself to escort me to the Kwazakhele Police Station where I was met by Insp Caqwebe who had arranged a Nyala to escort me into the thick of the problems in Soweto on Sea where I was assisted by the donkey owner and the SAPS Nyala personnel to get the donkey into the box and to the Doctor for equally prompt assistance.

We don’t normally take this step as we are seen as solutions rather than problems in the townships and although everything went off smoothly, no-body wants to take the chance with the ‘idiot factor’ that could upset the entire apple cart (no pun intended!)

Top marks to the SAPS Police Stations and personnel (from superintendents to constables) who went to great lengths to ensure my safety in a very tense moment in time – Thank you to you all!

As far as the donkey is concerned, and as the owner was told when he phoned to find out how his donkey was, he has made a full recovery over a period of 2 days when finally the offending plastic was produced after a little fine-tuning with our donated Lucerne and returned home.


Little Smokey was rather taken with a load of donated fine shavings that Alfred put in a midden in her camp and had a jolly good roll.   Picture 1041 attached to this newsletter is of her post roll and will show you why some folk were rubbing their eyes in disbelief!


I have commented before about donations and the shape they take.  So December and January was made up of receiving such donations, specifically from people who were moving, those that took the opportunity over the December/January holidays to clear out the Tack Room/Feed Room and to hand over their unused/unwanted/excess bounty of tack and feed, and a packet of ‘coppers’!  This meant that a whole bunch of halters, lead reins, overreach boots, Lucerne leavings, hard feed, shavings and hard cash were received.

Our thanks to Tracey, Dorrie, Greg, Petro, the New Turf Carriers drivers, Mandy, Lyall and Val!!


It was great to meet up with old friends during the African Horse Sickness Vaccination project.  I love it when a plan comes together!


Found by the Animal Anti Cruelty League about two years ago and who called us to assist. He had been abandoned in New Brighton with his mom who had a broken pastern and subsequently humanely euthanased.  Jack found a new home with Jenny and is just the most delightful donkey, sleek and shiney and boss of the family of Shetland ponies!



Now rehomed to an equine loving family.  They are both growing and in Beauty’s case, the hair on her hindquarter has started growing and covering the scarring of the dog bites, although Rusty will need gelding shortly! 



Looking healthy with attitude to match.


Both have become beautiful donkeys and in excellent condition, thanks to their 'parents' loving care – a lot better than when they arrived at the Unit.  Smudge was paralysed by a knife wound to the spine and Ntombi had a parrot mouth that meant she was permanently in a state of ‘plastic colic’ and her owner made the decision to get her out of the township so that there would not be the continual colic episodes!



Another case of the owner taking the decision to remove the animals from township life.  Fudge has been gelded by us, and Schoolgirl duly produced another foal named Gypsey.   They are so well that they gave us a real roughhousing when visiting to vaccinate!   Clearly they are happy!



Shiny, fat and happy! And their adoptive parents still besotted with them!



Picture 1043 - Brought in after a frantic call from the owner because someone had laid into her with an axe!   Two weeks down the line I am happy to say that she will be going home soon!


Then there were the two donkey stallions that were attacked by some insane person – he slit their throats on Boxing Day!   Thanks to prompt action by their respective owners, they were taken to the vet and stitched!    In due course, the stitches were removed and it was found they had healed perfectly and were collected by their very relieved and thankful owners.

24 JANUARY 2008

During the week, the concerned wife of a donkey owner approached me while we were doing vaccinations and told us that her husband, Radebe, was in hospital being treated for lung cancer.  He was stressing that somebody would come and take his donkeys and abuse them and he would be much happier if we would please come and take them and out of harms way as soon as possible.

Fully understanding the man and his predicament and the possibilities that could occur, we returned on Friday and collected two mares with foals at foot and one auntie and took them to a donkey’s idea of heaven.  The owner’s wife had very kindly kept the donkeys in for us, so that whole thing was accomplished with minimum fuss by the MAC team.

Picture this if you will:  every day when you are not working, you are out scrounging for food of which there is a little grass and lots of plastic bags with some interesting things inside.  One day, you are caught and put in a metal box that rattles and shakes and after a while one of the metal sides goes down, and you are met with the sight of green grass with nary a sign of a plastic bag.  This is donkeys I am telling you about – although the people have a similar problem that does not end so satisfactorily.

To the temporary Foster parents, Peter and Val – Thank you for the use of your camp!

I slept well that night!  I hope that Dan did too, and that in due course, he will return home to his beloved donkeys.


Having received a positive acceptance of our latest edition of donkey harnessing, a horse owner asked ‘what about me?’   This has led to Craig accepting the challenge to make one, based on the leather harness that was given to us as a pattern.

After fittings and adjustments, much like a dressmaker, we will be delivering a set of harnesses to the owner who is very happy that oiling will no longer be required – just good old Omo!

Even the sewing machine that my mother gave me ‘when pa fell off the Bez Valley Bus’ is being used to do ‘soft’ work.  I bet she never ever thought that the machine would be used for this purpose! 


Having set up the plans for the day, the entire caboodle was upended by one simple ‘please call me’ sms.   This led to us taking off at speed collect what turned out to be a 3 day old donkey foal that had been attacked by dogs. 

As various hospitals around the world have found, children respond better to treatment if a parent is with them in the hospital, so we always bring the mare along with us and that helps with the feeding part!  Brandy, the mommy, had already been treated by us in November as she had had a nasty penetrating wound to the hindquarter, so she knew the drill when we got home.  Baby – I think I will call her Cookie – was taken to the vet and once everything was cleaned up and shaved, started to suckle again, making up for lost time.   I have found in the past that sometimes mommies, when the baby appears to be heading down mentally, actually reject the wounded baby.   So I always heave a huge sigh of relief when suckling recommences, and that is exactly what happened the minute we got them into the camp!   Less than a week later we have Cookie shoving and pushing ma when she is lying down, and her ears, which were folded over like a Jack Russel’s, have stiffened up and look like any self- respecting donkey’s should!    Her wounds are healing quite quickly and thanks to the milk bar being open 24 hours a day, she is growing rapidly.  See the pics attached of Cookie being cleaned up and then with her little blankie comforter before her ears filled up.

Well, that is January done and dusted!  And February has started off with Tshova waiting at the gate to be in time for breakfast!   Ah well!




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