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MARCH 2012


Now that the Unit has slowed down in this past week to a steady canter, we can tell you about our month which has had its own ups and downs!  That is what this Newsletter is about – what we do with your donations and how it affects animals and owners alike!


On returning Springkaan and foal to their owner, the return trip was taken by Mr Ngamlana’s donkey jack who the owner requested be gelded as he was being bad, bad, bad!


A visit from Karien from the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute to ask if they could hang their vector collector for two nights at the Stables, was greeted with approval.  We, the Unit, will do everything WE can to further OP’s research into the African Horse Sickness disease.  She took the time to show us all the teeny troublemakers and explain to all staff what it was all about - interesting! 


The Donkey Sanctuary in the UK surprised us with a request for a picture of one of our horse plough harnesses as they were trying to see what they could do about plough harnessing in Kenya.


A country trip involved getting to have a reunion and hoof trim, with our ‘Hannah from Hankey’ and whose face has completely healed aside from a ‘dent’ under her eye.   Her daughter, Sarafina has grown into a beautiful yearling jenny.  Krummels was relatively easily done, but Flinters was not interested in anybody’s fiddling with his feet!  We shall have to handle future trims for Flinters with other ‘aides’.    The ostrich kept a beady eye on us all!


Seeing we were in the area the Principal’s horse was also trimmed, with difficulty, but done nonetheless with the help of Teacher Shaun and various Learners.


I try to keep the newsletter to the point, but there are times like the next story that simply cannot be ‘cut down to size’.


In June 2011, I was asked to inspect a herd of horses in the Baviaans area, but on arriving on the farm and despite intensive searching with the owner, we were unable to find any horses at all.  Really very weird until it was found that the boundary fence had been cut and the horses removed for poaching of wildlife!  The owner was extremely upset.  


In December 2011, I was requested by my Humansdorp contacts to remove a pony that nobody seemed to own and who was getting into trouble with the local kids and dogs and losing the use of her off side eye in the process, and what’s more, bringing ‘bad’ stuff to their own horses.   In due course during that month, I collected the pony and one other horse and brought them home.  


When it came to writing up the February newsletter with the attachment of Horses Available for Adoption, I slotted in the picture of Girly, the pony brought in in December and that very few people had shown interest in.   I then got a frantic call from the owner who also gets this letter, identifying Girly has his very own Dragon Fly that had disappeared with the herd that had been found and brought home months ago, minus one pony.  It all came to a very satisfactory ending with Dragon Fly being returned to her owner’s farm and that on alighting from the horsebox, felt immediately at home and obviously to her owner’s delight!    The final outcome will be an attempt to teach good environmental practice to the Humansdorp people and which obviously makes me happy!  So Girly’s months of adventure came to an end and we are so pleased for her.  The only problem has been that somebody had indicated that she simply had to adopt Girly but in the end event, she too was happy that the pony was back in her rightful place.


The Monthly Humansdorp visit included a couple of AHS vaccinations, a cut on a heel, replacing a string and bit ‘bridle’ with a proper donated bridle and bit, replacement harnessing, requests for Epson Salts for wounds, deworming and a very thankful owner after his horse had been gelded by the local Veterinarian and with one other request for a horse gelding to be done.  The extreme heat and humidity was made more bearable by wearing a recently received, surprise sunhat that meant the sweat did not get to my eyes – Thank You to the Donor!


On the same weekend we were asked late on a Sunday afternoon to assist with a donkey that had been attacked in Blikkiesdorp, Uitenhage, by a Pit Bull.  With much trepidation we arrived with the horsebox, only to find that the donkey had been very liberally sprayed with purple spray.  We gave it a shot of Pencillin and brought it home, mainly because his near side lip was a potential problem with bruising as well as holes as well as other bite wounds.  We requested SPCA Uitenhage to look into the dog problem in that area.


From time to time we are asked by horse owners for the Unit to inspect their own horses, or to tell us of a problem they are currently experiencing with their charges that we should know about in case a ‘complaint’ is laid against them.   Such a case occurred this month but we are happy to report that everything is under control and, with a little luck and a lot of veterinary intervention, the horse will be healed.  Another case was reported of a heavy tick burden on some horses and quite honestly with the crazy weather we are experiencing in the Eastern Cape, I am not surprised.   But already, with attention being given to the problem, things have started improving.


Two young volunteers whose father is most anxious that his children get involved with charities (where payment for services rendered are not an option) at an early age has meant that donkeys are being brushed (such a practical size!) and dogs from AWS are being walked.   Thank you and well done, Danielle, Teneal and Richard!


We always try to fit in more than one call on long distance call-outs, but there was nothing we could do with the next problem, other than go and find.  A lady and her fiancé were sufficiently distressed to find a donkey roaming loose on the Hankey road, to phone and try to get somebody to help.  In due course, Stanley and Alfred headed off in that direction and eventually managed to find the donkey, caught it and loaded it into the box.   They then did what they are supposed to do which is go to the nearest Police Station to report that an animal had been uplifted.   On entering the Police Station, Stanley was startled to hear a Policeman saying that he had just seen two guys doing Stock Theft up the road!  (I wish I could have seen his face at the time!)   Stanley then introduced himself as the ‘stock thief’ and gave in his notification.    On being admitted to the Unit, we were horrified to see that the donkey’s one fore fetlock had obviously suffered grievous trauma and had in fact healed and fused the entire joint meaning that it was unable to work, leading to slipper foot of the other fore hoof leading up to just being turfed out as unusable.  Altogether a totally unsatisfactory situation and so with expert advice, the right decision was made for the little boy, and now he suffers no more pain.   Thank you to Melanie and Tristan for going the extra mile to get help for him.


Just in case you have ever wondered, zebras can get Slipper foot too!


We also had Transnet’s Wally bouncing off the walls about a donkey IN the Harbour!  As some of us know to get into the Harbour itself is a major mission, so how the dickens the donkey had sneaked past the security was a complete mystery.    Found, loaded with help from Billy, and brought in to safe custody.


And then our ginormous Lynx foaled down.  Sarah had been putting pictures up on The Daily Donkey Facebook page and this had meant that people from Brazil to New Zealand and all places in between who had been waiting with baited breath and a lot of pithy comments relating to size etc, were vastly relieved that the little one, named Crunchie, had finally ‘hit the ground’.  Now in the Big Girls camp with his mama and growing like a weed!


We were given a slot on Algoa Cares and along with Dawn, we tried to give an idea of what the Unit does and more importantly, that money raised in Port Elizabeth is used to reach more people and equines, our main expenses being the Vet, Fuel and Fodder.   This in turn led to a potential donkey adoption and a generous donation from Animal Anti Cruelty League with whom we have a good working relationship.


This month we have adopted out all our horses and four donkeys to their new homes as well as having a number of potential adoptors putting up their hands.  Yet again, a horse that had only just come in surrendered was adopted out virtually straight away without even making onto Facebook or the website!   (Little Boy Blue has already been renamed Bloubos, just to match up with his friend Rooibos!)    


On the Public Holiday we received an emergency call from SPCA Humansdorp about a donkey foal that been attacked by dogs.  One thing led to another and very shortly, Stanley and I took off down the coast only to be met by the pathetic sight of a very depressed 2 month old donkey foal with severely damaged ears and a nasty wound to the hindquarter and an owner beside himself with anger and distress at the animal’s condition.   The foal was brought home in the bakkie and after veterinary assessment, a decision was taken and carried out.  SPCA Humansdorp have been asked to handle the dog issue in that area.


We were visited by Robyn from the Donkey Sanctuary in McGregor, Western Cape, for 5 days and we hope she enjoyed our company!   She was willing and able to assist with anything, including accompanying us to the German Club ‘do’, along with venerable old donkeys Lady and Thembi and joined by Quin, the Fresian, and Tracey.   Many children got the chance to interact with our equines, either just patting or being led as well as adults who just wanted to cuddle them and treat them with our carrot coins, and those did not last long either!


Then another of our Kwanobuhle clients found a way to contact us to say his jenny had a sore tummy.  So, off we went to collect only to find that her foal had a dog bite on her rump and that the owner had been spraying with purple spray.   Both jenny and foal repairing well, the jenny producing copious amounts of dung after a visit to the Vet.


We experienced heavy rains on the past weekend but our channels in the camps worked well, AGAIN!  Bless you, Jan and Chris for the bright ideas!


On the final day of the month, a very wet one, the monthly visit to Humansdorp went along very nicely until the very last ‘customer’ – with three horses resistant to a deworming – when the rain came down in buckets but we were unable to stop our activities until we were finished, getting thoroughly soaked in the process. 


It also was the day of the Unit’s Street Collection and we would like to thank all the Tin Shakers for giving up their free time to do the shaking, as well as to the many folk who topped the Tins up very rapidly, and that had Dawn running to resupply!   Oh so well done Dawn and helpers and donors!



Baby – 35 bales Lucerne

Kirsten’s Crestview Christmas Tree – donation of donkey bits bought by Coreen, Mareliese, Georgina, Gavin, Pat, Catherine, Vee, Claire, Bonita, Nicky, Marianne, Saskia, Kelsey, Hanna, Richard and Andre and to the mommy who donated a pair of half chaps and teeny jodhpurs to the Unit second hand tack shop.

Tina – grassmix and lucerne.

Westering Methodist – excess bread

Brenda – Jacks Fruit and Veg – approximately 100kgs carrots.

Anne - bread

Barbie, Carolyn, Bernie, Nicky, Cindy and the Grassman – plentiful clean grass deliveries.

Walmer Golf Club – oathay

Horse and Hound – Lucerne leavings

Ursula – grass rounds

Comine – bread and carrots

Dorrie and Anne - leavings.

Feed and Seed - grassmix


Volunteers reporting for duty:  Marylies, Vanessa, Haydn, Michael, Megan, Julia, Micaela, Matt.


Finally, one of our Friends was very surprised to find out that her Blood Pressure has decreased quite considerably since she started visiting the donkeys.   I told her so!!!


Banking Details (all donated monies are used by us in the Metro and beyond!):
Racing Association, National Horse Trust Account Number: 080563473
Bank:  Standard Bank    Universal Branch Code:  051001

Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit, Account Number: 080733875

Standard Bank, Universal Branch Code 051001

Landline:  041 366 1594
Cellph: 072 357 2505
Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 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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