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February 2011


I apologise for being late but the end of February, that I had been looking forward to, just snuck up on me and caught me by surprise!


February has proved to be both an emotionally uplifting and bruising month for the Unit and we all hope that March is going to be much better, or at least cooler, which will also help.


We started off well with the donation of 40 bags of spoiled feed from Feed and Seed and another roll of grass from Nicky, 10 bales of Lucerne from Gina as well as 20 bags of dried grass from Stan. Christine chipped in with 10 bales of Lucerne too and the same from Leigh and Olivia.  The Shoprite Hyper at Greenacres, having completed their store promotion, summoned us to come and collect 30 bales of Lucerne – so very welcome and thank you all.


With the adoption of Chester to his new home, the safety and security of his stable was no longer necessary and so the beds were cleaned out and stables washed.  By the way, Chester and his rider are just so happy with each other.


A complaint received from a far off town meant spending the day away from the office, only to find that when we got there, it was part of a Conservancy.  Added to the fact that with all the rain they have been having which meant the grass was green and the drought broken, matters were handled most expeditiously.


This was followed by a request to visit and assist a horse with a problem at another Nature Reserve that has plans for Trail Riding.   Also handled and hopefully the horse will be fixed soon too.  The funny part of it all was that it was one of our Kwanobuhle owner’s son that had identified the problem and told them who to contact.


On two occasions, a day’s work from Ayanda has been sponsored by two I & APs (Interested and Affected Parties) – Thank you Neville and Treloar!   As I sometimes am heard to say, donations come in all shapes and sizes.


And then, because the Unit has grown considerably over the past few years, it was decided to turn the back Storeroom into a second office.   On hearing what the quote was, one of our benefactors stepped up to the plate and before we knew it, the ceiling was in, the furniture moved around and with a donation from the Animal Welfare Society of some of their donated office furniture, the office took shape.  It also means that Stanley has space to sort out and make harnessing.  The fact that the staff also erected an ‘afdak’ over the water trough in the horse camp while they were waiting to finish their day was a bonus.


A generous offer of grazing from a nearby landowner meant that some of our ladies could move to the green stuff.  I am reliably informed by Liezl who pops in to check on her way to work that the entire neighbourhood all gather at this property before school and work with treats for the girls and are absolutely smitten with the donkeys.   And Nestle, one of the youngsters, is a firm favourite with the children.


A Langa, Uitenhage, township visit was interrupted towards the end of the ‘rounds’ by a referral from the SPCA Humansdorp.  On arriving in Hankey, we were faced with absolute horror.  The who, where and how of it will never be known.  Although pictures were taken for my files, I cannot look at them and they will never see the light of day.   It took me quite a while to suppress the sight and distressed us greatly.  Donkey removed and euthanased.


Our first visit for the year to Humansdorp townships was conducted as speedily as possible due to extreme heat.  All my horses and donkeys and their owners were happy to see me even though my face was leaking all over the place.  The relative coolness of Port Elizabeth beckoned!


On a Sunday morning, on being called to a problem horse, Stanley and I headed out only to find that the problem was not one we could fix – the hind leg was broken at the hock.  Stanley’s job was to restrain the horse from moving because the owner was an emotional wreck, until my friend Moss arrived to carry out the euthanasia.  It was just so sad.


One of our horse owners in Humansdorp phoned late on a Sunday evening to say his horse was not eating, and so because we all know that one should not leave a colic, especially in the early stages when it is easier to ‘fix’, the local veterinarian was requested to do duty.  I was advised by the owner the next morning, that everything was Ok and thanked the Unit for its timely response, which of course, we will pass onto the Vet when we see him next!


A family member of one of our benefactors presented us with a problem – a snake in the dashboard of the bakkie she was driving.  We were able to contact Meg Botha, a snake catcher, and she duly moved the snake but not before the owners of the bakkie stripped the vehicle on the roadside.  A boomslang after working hours had us and all the traffic agog.


A township resident phoned at 6.30 in the morning to say something was seriously wrong with his donkey.  When we arrived to collect her, she had the strangest wounds and the best way to explain is that somehow her off hind had become entangled with rope and in the process of trying to get loose, dogs had attacked her and she was just a mess from head to tail.  With Epson Salts and Croc Oil she has made a great recovery although I pity the dog that comes near her now!


And then Alfred came to ask for his horses back.  He has recovered sufficiently to look after them and so they were duly returned to him, but not before the grey, Britman, attacked me!  Ungrateful horse!


Daisy was located by her owner, Moses, and he was yelling for us to come and fetch.  A sharp object had inflicted a wound on her nose.  Unfortunately, the wound was old so the V of skin stuck up like a Rhino horn – not a good thing these days, it could get you shot!  Anyway, Dr James made quick work of cutting off the flap of skin and with generous splashes of Epson Salt Water and Crocodile Oil, she is making a rapid recovery.  She is also bragging to all and sundry about the fact that her picture was on Facebook!


Volunteers Megan, Ryan, Kevin, Chari and her mum spent a Saturday morning grooming horses and donkeys.  We have also been visited by Collegiate and St Dominics Priory scholars doing their social responsibility projects.   Thank you Rachel, Micaela, Caitlin, Tammy, Casey and Courtney.


Two donkeys, one from Kwanobuhle and the other from Malabar were brought in sick but were unable to recover despite veterinary care and succumbed to colic, probably caused by plastic ingestion.


Helmut, Whitey and Simon were treated to a proper hoof trim and their owner Milton was so happy, it was worth every minute, especially as the hooves are starting to look as they should. A donation received by the Unit of Hoof Moisturiser was given to him to apply to the extremely dry hoof walls.   Thank you, Treloar.


A nice surprise was to see a jenny and friend pulling a two wheel cart with the very young foal sitting on the cart with the driver without being restrained at all.  It makes a charming picture.


Many of the people that we deal with are currently having huge problems with ticks – and the weather, I believe, is not helping.  We do our best to solve the problem.


Catch Me and Mary moved on and we wish them long and happy lives.


Fantastic donations of tack have been received, but just as quick as it comes in, it goes out again.  Thank you to the Donors including the Animal Anti Cruelty Charity Shop who received a donation that they passed on to us, it being horse related.


Our first trip of the year to Grahamstown was a quiet affair until they brought along Daisy.  Daisy, although she had been injected for mange, never seemed to make an improvement.  However, with a donated bottle of Equiwash, over a period of 3 months, the owner had continued with the treatment and presented her to me.  She was just covered with hair!   What a picture she was and well done to the owner for perservering with the solution.


A donkey was presented at the same time with an abscess the size I have never seen before.  Having washed the hair to get rid of the gunk and clipped away at the hair with my scissors, we managed to find the hole and flushed all the rubbish out.  On our next trip we shall see what we shall see.


Another carter whose donkey had been doused in motorcar oil was set to washing the animal with Sunlight and water from our supply all the way from PE.  Grahamstown has been experiencing serious water problems for some time, and so to ensure that we have what we need when we need it, we take a jerry can of water with us.


A call about dog in Walmer township that had been involved in an accident was referred to the Animal Welfare Society, and another dog attacked by a pitbull in the Northern areas was referred to the Animal Anti Cruelty League.


And then we have the Tale of Two Horses.  A few months ago, both were seen and were looking well, but suddenly a deluge of phonecalls reporting that things were pear-shaped.  To cut a long story short, the one horse was brought in with 2/3 of his body covered in Mange and the other, unfortunately for him, his wound beyond repair, was euthanased.


Following on about the email about other welfare organisation’s Collection Tins being ‘collected’ by an unauthorized person, I decided to go and collect the few Tins we have out and get the money into the our bank. Thank you to all who put their spare change into our Tins.  In total an amount of R588.28 was banked into the Unit Account.  We will make every effort to set up a new system with regard to the Tins.






Banking Details:

Bank: Standard Bank

Account Name: Racing Association, National Horse Trust

Account Number: 080563473

Branch Code: North End


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