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June 2010

5 New Inspections/Complaints - 9 horses
7 Rechecks – 33 horses and 1donkey
31 Township Inspections – 46 donkeys and 1 bull
Euthanased on site – 1 horse
11 Spotchecks – 29 donkeys
4 Country trips – 36 horses 10 donkeys
Hospital cases – 8 donkeys
Fostered – 2 donkeys
Euthanased at Unit – 2 donkeys
Additional Excitements – 1 angry Buffalo & 1 damaged and 1 hungry Grysbuck!

I remember reading many years ago in Equus, an American magazine, that horses traveled better facing ‘backwards’ as the scenery opened out gently to their vision, rather than frontwards with the scenery ‘racing’ towards them.   That is pretty much how I feel, so I am contemplating doing all my driving around backwards, so be warned when you take to the roads this coming month!!

We started June off well enough. 

As some of you are aware, the Girls Camp was infested with many old tree stumps that were a hazard to all and made rotovating the camp difficult.  A few questions to the right source meant that I got a splendid quote to clear the stumps ‘one shot’.  I happened to mention to someone what I had done, and before I knew it, a magnificent cash donation was handed to me to complete the job!   I was blown away by this gesture – Thank you so much.

In due course, the ‘dozer’ arrived and did the job poste haste.  I so wanted to be where the action was but was called away to a Uitenhage horse, only to find when I got to the distressed owner and animal that it was a gigantic bull.  The man also owns horses and begged for my assistance and so with Stefan guarding my back, I very gingerly dealt with the problem, and as instructed by the Vet.  It turned out that the animal had been stolen and the owner had caught the thief and bull and frog marched the man to the Police Station to open a case.  The bull had suffered minor damage, thankfully, and was sorted but not before another bull with very long horns got between us and I found myself looking down at rather a large pair of horns between the bull and my stomach!  Exciting indeed.

Having solved that little problem, we were called off to a donkey in another Uitenhage township that was sick.  We brought the fellow home and over the course of the weekend he was given treatment that resulted in another foot long sausage of plastic being evacuated on the Monday morning.  This little treasure was taken to the vet so that they could see what the stoppage was and they were amazed, and then it was presented, along with the donkey, back to his owner who was speechless when presented with the treasure.  As they say in the Classics, showing sometimes speaks louder than yelling (or something of that nature).

This was followed shortly by a donkey mare with dystocia and after a bit of a battle by the Vet, the foetus was removed, however the afterbirth presented its own problems and that eventually led to, despite the recommended treatments by the vet, her ultimate demise.

And then one night, I had a quiet sedate walk with my arm around the donkeys’ neck through the streets of Walmer all the way back to the township.  It was a beautiful night, but no-one thought it strange to see a woman walking down the streets with a donkey at 9 o’clock at night.

And then, after four years of collecting all sorts of metals, we did a trip to the scrap metal dealer and were able to bank some money and also get rid of those many confiscated bits that Stefan had destroyed with the angle grinder!

It is very difficult, I am sure some of you know, to break old habits.  So when the Sardinia Conservancy Game Guards phoned to say they had found a very young, wounded, Grysbuck on a patrol behind Schoenies, the animal was collected and taken to Kragga Kamma Game Park.  The baby had been mauled by a cat, dog or mongoose and was very weak.  However, with some guidance, the Game Park lady rangers are always willing to learn and so their lives were taken over by this little scrap.   About a week later, they had received another youngster and needed to know what greens to feed it.   So, off we went with our bits of vegetation that we know Grysbuck love, and made our re aquaintance with the first bokkie who by now was doing all the ‘right stuff’.   We were totally engrossed with the dainty beauty of these animals but were suddenly brought back to earth by a number of thuds outside.  It turned out that a ginormous Buffalo bull had taken offence at the Park’s bakkie, and was in the process of demolishing it and its tyres, thud by thud.  We, of course, were now cornered inside the building, but that did not stop our Stanley Luyanda Adam, who, on being handed a vuvuzela, his first, and told to blow it to distract the animal, gave a sterling performance of creating that din and assisted with getting the Buffalo away from the now subdued vehicle so that we could scarper as fast as our bakkie would take us!  At last! A vuvuzela that had a good result!  What an experience!  And both the little ones are growing well too.

Of course, the Soccer World Cup has had its effects on animals as well as people this month.  2 donkeys brought in having been hit from behind by a vehicle meaning a dislodged patella for one  and the other a bruised croup, another with a nasty cut to its loin, another donkey that appeared to have been stoned and had died but the carcass was removed by us from the Uitenhage township and one with what could have been a cow/bull horn wound.

We have also managed to foster some of our donkeys as companions (to horses as well as people!) over the past month.   I know that one new companion is very happy with her donkey especially when she is woken in the morning by Marjanah practicing her breakfast arias.

An ex Racehorse having been rescued by someone who found that all their normal tricks were not working, was inspected and a Plan of Action put in place.  The necessary has been done and we hope when we see him again soon, he will be on the road to recovery.  Another Thoroughbred that had had a go at Cynanchum has made a good recovery and regaining his weight again. 

And then down came the rain!  It was with some trepidation that I came to work after the night before, knowing what I would find – some of our camps under water necessitating a bit of upheaval to make it easier for all.   The staff worked tirelessly to get beds ready in the stables, and in a short time, the boys were dry and warm inside.   Of course, it takes time for water to disappear, but nothing we could not handle together – just a bit of team work.

A call came in from another Welfare Organisation on the coast about a donkey with a stabbed and therefore bleeding eye with the request that we assist.   Stanley and I went and collected the poor donkey from the local Police Station, who had undertaken to find and bring her into their safe custody, which they did without complaint.   The poor donk had been asking for help for days at the village shops with no success until she was caught by the Police and we were summoned.  Of course, after this amount of time, the wound was really horrible.  It turned out that it was not the eye, but that the mare had probably been hit by a vehicle on the cheek,  breaking a piece of bone off the skull and causing a massive abscess that had burst.  The maggots had got a good grip on the open wound which had all of us, including the Vet, gagging.   However, in the space of almost two weeks, the hole you could put your fist into, is healing at a high rate of knots.  And she has not lost the sight in her eye, as we first thought as the maggots were up behind the eye and it was a possibility.   With her face mask on she looks very cute and is getting into the swing of our routine now and just loves being groomed.  Thank you to Jessica, Jana and Coen for a job well done!

There is a common saying among our locals that ‘Each one, Teach one’.  So when Treloar organized a lungeing and hot shoeing demo, we gratefully accepted.  Staff and volunteers duly arrived for a very entertaining hour with Treloar doing her educating in things not normally seen.   And her Mum’s chocolate cake was scrumptious!   Thank you to both of you!

Being school holidays because of the Soccer, we have been inundated with people arriving to help – always very welcome as it allows us to do other stuff and gives us space to complete jobs.   So our profuse thanks to Richard and Laurie, Stefan and Gemini, Matthew, Evan and Steven, Craig and Ruthie – all who have given freely of their time to groom, train horses, fetch and carry, clean camps, etc – your selfless commitment to all our equines, is amazing!

And finally for the month, the Walmer Carter who had his shack burned down and was then beaten up, has been released from Hospital and come to claim his two donkeys and cart.  Yes!

A large donation of tack has been received and is awaiting sorting, but already some of it has been bought.

Having received our order of cotton webbing, Stanley has made many new harnesses and  upgraded and repaired others.   Liezl is doing a good job of sorting out feeding and accommodation requirements and with donated equine textbooks, absorbing information like a sponge.  Alfred is doing his best to keep the camps up to scratch (not easy with the rain!).  We who have been handling horses for years, sometimes forget that it takes some courage to handle donkeys, never mind horses, but this is being accomplished.

And to the scumbag who, out of the normal hours, turfed his/her cat in a sellotaped box with some food in, over the Animal Welfare Society fence.   Your cat escaped his confinement and is nowhere to be found.  Sooner or later, you will get your just desserts!

M

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