December '14

Whew! We have finally got to the New Year – a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!

The Figures for the past year speak for themselves, considering that for most of the year, it was only Stanley and I, with Carla only joining us in July, and also remembering that Stanley spent a good 6 weeks in hospital too:

Total number of equines inspected, injected, treated for wounds, hoofwork: Over 5000 Thoroughbreds, Crossbreeds, Donkeys and Mules across all sections of the community.

New Complaints attended to: in excess of 60 for the year.

Database: stands at 108 files about people and their equines in just 2014, with a grand total of 766 since 2006!
Rechecks done: in excess of 200.

Equines donated or surrendered to the Unit: over 25 Thoroughbreds and Crossbred horses and 9 donkeys of which 16 Thoroughbreds and Crossbreeds and 22 donkeys have been adopted or fostered out to new ‘parents’.

Transkei Missions undertaken by Stanley: 16 trips done thanks to the generous sponsorship of Phumelela Racing. Literally thousands of horses later, Stanley is very pleased with the ‘fruits of his labours’. One lady owner phoned Stanley to say thank you for the difference he has made in her horse’s condition and had Stanley smiling broadly!

Cartie Spot Checks and Public Complaints attended to: 122, alerted by sms, phonecalls, emails all costing time and money and mostly having a positive outcome except for those that we were forced to euthanaze.

I get exhausted all over again when I see these figures!

We started off the month with a visit from Alex Mayers of the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon, UK.

Such a nice young man, working for the Sanctuary to work on their overseas projects and having started off at the top of Africa, wound his way gently down the continent to visit us in PE.

A lot of sharing of information took place and included a visit to Grahamstown to bring in a donkey for gelding at the request of the owner. We introduced him to some of voluntary workers and adopters like Sam and to her ‘herd’. We like to think that he enjoyed himself and that we did not talk him to death!

We were invited to an official PE Riding Club handover of a ginormous cheque raised at the FEI Championships in November that was a very special occasion with much thanks and appreciation to Harry the Horse for his help in raising the funds.

A concerned animal lover phoned on a weekend about two suspected stolen dogs that we referred to the Animal Welfare Society who did all the necessary. And then we got a Thank You phone call too for AWS that has been passed on to them!

One way and another, we took a great deal of stress with the electricity black outs and lack of diesel and petrol at the Garages. Absolute nightmare! If they had electricity, they did not have petrol or diesel, and if they had the fuel, they did not have electricity. Trying to work and ensure that you have fuel for any eventuality because you just never know what the next phonecall is going to bring. And the rest of the traffic doing the same thing while negotiating non working robots.

One of the Kwanobuhle Carties phoned to ask us to collect his sick donkey. Slightly colicky but not too bad. Was treated by the Vet twice before he produced the goodies and he should be going home shortly.

A Walmer Cartie phoned to ask for us to attend to his donkey and some strange wounds were found when we got there. The Cartie was determined that he had seen grey mongoose biting his donkeys nose. I was very sceptical until I saw two teeny teeth marks in the nose of the one donkey. A discussion ensured with Old Friend, Arnold of Wildline, who admitted that he had never heard of anything like it before, but we agreed that perhaps the donkey had got too close to a clutch of babies and the parent was being protective. Curioser and curioser! On the mend now.

We visited Addo one day in response to a Complaint received and did a side trip to recheck on our Milo, Coco and Sisi. We were blown away by the extraordinary change in Sisi! A different animal to the one that was delivered in July – clearly the environment suits her – she prefers inland, not coastal! And the two youngsters are growing like weeds. Well done, Hazel and Hayleigh!

We began the last Grahamstown Donkey Clinic for the year by returning the donkey jack that had sustained some serious wounds from dog bites – to the hind leg and the near fore forearm – and a jenny with a problem hoof that Treloar had been working on. For two months, treatment had been carried out on both and the results meant that the Cartie got his donkeys back. He was shocked and very happy when he was told to come and get them out of the horsebox. The other Carties crowded around and were amazed at the healing that had taken place and were also happy that the donkeys had been returned to their owner! 20 harnesses were replaced, various dewormings done, one snake bite treated and thankfully, there was a cool breeze that enabled us to work without sweat running into our eyes! On the way to the Clinic that morning, we had been very excited to spot, what appeared to be a newly released Cheetah walking along a Game fence. On the way home we collected a preggy jenny from Booysens Park for her ‘lying in’ period. Quite a day all told!

During December, we said a final farewell to Nadia Damseaux of the Elephant Walk and of course, Save a Pet. Nadia will be missed by many, both animals and humans! RIP, Nadia.

A very strange set of circumstances led to 3 Thoroughbreds being surrendered, collected and admitted to the Unit. Not the mangey thin horses we were led to believe either! Now available for Adoption. Of course, it was the day before Christmas!! Followed the same day by a stray Fellabella who has had her hooves sorted out by Ayanda.

A Complaint received on Boxing Day about a ‘stray’ donkey near the airport, meant finding 4 donkeys staked out under the shelter of trees. Clearly the owner did not want them ‘getting into trouble’ in the township over Christmas and had, in terms of the Municipal Bye Laws, made certain that his animals did not stray into traffic! SO well done, Moses! And then he phoned and asked if Daisy-diddle – our stable name for her - could come into foal down. Collected and waiting!

A midnight call about a lost dog with a badly damaged leg was received from a horsey person by the Unit, and as usual, referred to AWS who handled the matter. Thank you so much, Hannes, for ALWAYS being there for the animals! A sad, possibly dumb, donkey foal was surrendered to the Unit in an effort to help the poor mite from Kwanobuhle survive. We were told that her jenny had been stabbed to death.

Unfortunately, animals can’t talk so you don’t know how long there has been no feeding, but we do know what to feed thanks to expert equine breeders – all to no avail. Not the nicest way to end 2014.

The staff were treated to our very much delayed Christmas Lunch on the last day of the year too, just to say a personal thank you for their strength, physical and mental, and fortitude over the past 365 days of the year. Our job is not an easy one, always stuck in the middle, constantly on call and seeing and feeling ghastly stuff sometimes. They deserve it! Good staff is hard to find!

It was a good ending though. With some determined work by Carla and I, the Database of Work Done is completely up to date except for the 31st December 2014.

Well, that’s it for 2014, and my goodness, and what a year it has been for the Unit. In sickness and in health, we have pulled through and are really and truly hoping for a better 2015.


  • TACK: Michelle - blankets.
  • TACK SHOP - AWS/WAGTAILS Charity Shop – boxes of books and magazines.
  • OFFICE: Heather – fridge.
  • FODDER: Leigh - teff.
  • MEDS: VTECH – bucket of Iceman; Tamsin – dewormer nips; Michelle – general meds.
  • SPOILINGS: Jerusalem Ministries – Bananas, Spanspek and Cat Food for Ting Ting and Biscuit.
  • VOLUNTEER – Kelsey – grooming.
  • MONEY DONATIONS: All the way from Australia – Ellie and Mrs Barrett who made special trips to the Unit to give their donations. Thank you, Ladies!


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
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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