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And so, as the downward slide towards the end of the year commences, we start with this late news submission for September.

On the very first day of the month, it was brought to our attention that an Auction of horses had taken place, but although the horses had been bought, they were still standing in shadeless pens.  Some pretty rapid phonecalls to certain people ascertained that the horses were in fact being fed and watered and the very next morning, were removed by their new owner.

Two of our Fostered donkeys, Rasta and Curly were adopted out to do predator control on a beef  farm.  Thank you for finding a suitable home for them, Pauline.

Our beautiful boy, Chesterfield, now known as Chester, took part in his very first Dressage Show.  Unfortunately, I was on a Grahamstown fieldtrip, so was unable to attend this auspicious occasion.   Liezl however, did manage to get there and get some pictures that she sent on to me.   What a beautiful boy he is, with Pauline revealing through her riding talents, that he is most definitely capable of great things.  Chester was surrendered to the Unit and after gelding and learning to be handled, and after a long time, found the ‘right’ adoptor, and is clearly coming into his own.   We will probably never get another quite like him, really raw and green, but now learning as fast as he can with a seasoned rider.   The poster of his first show was added to the Facebook page and has received many favourable comments.

A request for help from a Walmer Carter to collect his dead donkey mare, led to us also picking up her 10 month old foal and bringing him in.  Willie Wonka was born at the Unit and is so named because of a rare genital defect that due to good veterinary advice was solved.

Kolbooi, or Colby as he is now known, is currently being fostered out and is making great headway as far as his hooves are concerned.

Sharon Plumb at AWS received a complaint about two donkeys at the airport.  That was just the start of a wild chase down Heugh Road in the midday traffic, with both the jack(asses)  trying to kill each other!  The motorists were most obliging to our tearing along trying to keep them from running across the road and proceeding to have a full on battle on the verges.   Luckily for me, my backup was the NMMM Cowboys, who did a sterling job of assisting and then proceeded to give the owner a good dressing down!  Meantime, Liezl was walking a jenny who was the cause of the fight home and we were eventually able to pick her up and get back home.

One of our owners in Izinyoka, Isaac, phoned to say a jenny had arrived, had promptly foaled down and somewhere, somehow had hurt her knee.  She was a very difficult customer with an expert aim, although both Isaac and I managed to duck the kicks that came our way.   While there, we checked on Surprise who had a stab wound in his hindquarter and as Isaac had done as instructed, the wound had healed beautifully.

We then received a request for assistance from a son whose father had died and whose mother was not coping with the horse that they had.  We had never met before, so it was with some trepidation that we soon thereafter visited and the horse surrendered to us, revealing that the horse had ‘slipper foot’.   The kindest thing to do for the animal was euthanasia and this was carried out forthwith.

A complaint received about 2 puff adders was transferred to Meg Botha, who I am sure handled the problem with her usual finesse.  Certainly different to our ‘normal’ cow calls!

A Sunday problem in Kwanobuhle for one of our Carters and his horse where some children had caught the horse and then ridden it until it had been hit by a vehicle, leaving the newly purchased animal with a broken hind leg.  There is only one option here and very distressful for all concerned.

A donkey, finding himself a new owner, was found to have a badly infected hock and was referred to us by Kirsten.  Lang Oore was brought in, duly treated under veterinary instruction and returned to his new home and doting ‘parent’.

A complaint received about a neighbour’s donkeys’ hooves meant a visit with Ayanda, some general education and a much needed trim.  A cash donation received for our trouble too.

And then came Georgie!  A phonecall from the SPCA led to us hightailing it out to Kwanobuhle where we found a dead donkey mare that had given birth and then promptly died, leaving the foal with no colostrums or milk.   Our vets were ready and waiting for us when we arrived in the early evening with milk and glucose brought in by Sharon Plumb.  A quick phonecall to the Milkwood Stud meant going to collect a bottle of their Thoroughbred colostrums which when we arrived back at the Clinic, was tubed to the foal followed by a ‘chaser’ of 400 ml of 2% milk.  On putting Georgie into the crush camp (nice and safe), he promptly gave out two lots of mucomium followed by a good drink of bottle fed milk.  Not bad after 10 hours with no feeds at all, although he was very weak.  Catch up feeding commenced and is continuing daily and between Liezl and I we do the ‘night’ feeds.

The very next morning, Daisy, who we were not expecting to produce for a while, had her foal in the camp, surrounded by all the youngsters and old Bles, who started up the eerie welcome bray and joined by all the others.   A seriously goosepimple moment.  

And then one of our owners in Kwanoxolo phoned to say that his jenny had been stolen and he could not cope with the 3 month old Luna, who had been born here at the time of the Lunar Eclipse.   This necessitated a trip to collect Luna and bring her in, where she promptly was ‘adopted’ by Georgie.

We are extremely lucky to have Friends Sarah (the photographer) and Marizanne who immediately put out a Facebook appeal for 2% milk and carrots.  It is difficult for us to imagine that so many people were happy to bring in and donate litres of milk.   When Sarah asked for a freezer this was also promptly donated meaning that we could freeze the milk and prevent wastage.    We say Thank You to Sarah and Marizanne for coming to our rescue and even more so as they are very willing to assist with actual feeding as well, especially over weekends that does give us a bit of a break.   We also need to thank all those donors who were popping in with their milk donations and carrots by the bag!  There was also a well-known drug company who instead of the real thing, donated money to be used for the purchase of milk!

Initially, with all the feeds at close-coupled hours, we were using about 6 litres of milk per day.  This has now risen to 6 litres a day for Georgie and 4 litres a day for Luna at a more spaced out schedule.

And, a huge relief that an Adoptive Parent for the now bonded twosome has been found and so as soon as bucket feeding for Georgie is attained, they will move off into the sunset.  They have become very special to us all and they have visitors galore and behave like real celebrities.

The nice thing about doing the 4.30am feed of Georgie and Luna is listening to the ‘dawn chorus’ with the occasional Coucal and Nightjar chiming in.

A close call down the coast for 14 horses in August was found on recheck to have improved quite considerably, much to the owner’s and my relief.

A complaint received about donkeys in the same area had a satisfactory outcome when a farrier arrived and sorted out not only their hooves but that of our special Hannah from Hankey.  Hannah is looking great especially now that she has a foal at foot called Blikkies!  The farrier commented favourably about how well her cheek was looking having taken a look at her pictures on the website.

A separate visit with Treloar to do one of our horses with a serious hoof problem in Humansdorp, was done with immediate improved results.

A Complaint about 3 donkeys at the Boardwalk casino was sorted out as they loaded like lambs and brought in.  At the time, the region was experiencing gale force winds and I think that the wind just gets in their ears!

A panicked owner who found his horse with a leg wound after the high winds had blown a branch onto the roof of their stall and that had led to a panicked bolt by the horse through and over fences was handled and appears to be healing well.

A handsome donation was received from a visitor from the UK who was brought along to visit us by Kragga Kamma Game Park.  So nice to meet you, Barry.

The beautiful Rooies was surrendered by his owner as they were moving back into town.

And then Thursday the 22 of September dawned at 6.30am.  A donkey had been knocked down outside the airport.  It was very sad as we knew him well, but clearly the lady driving the car directly into the morning sunlight was blinded and her rear view mirror clipped him on the head, deeply lacerating his neck, and killing him on the spot.  While doing traffic control and waiting for backup, I managed with the help of another lady driver (Thank you, Ma’am) to move him into the gutter, and then some blokes from the NMMM assisted in getting him onto the pavement and finally with the help of other carters to get him loaded on the back of the bakkie.   What a way to start the day.

At the request of the owner, Chocolate was brought in to foal down and in due course, Charlie was born safe and sound.

A new horse owner in Kwanoxolo identified himself and asked for help.  Education commenced while Treloar was sorting out the hooves that just needed some remedial trimming.  In due course, dewormer, brushes, hoofpick  will be delivered to him.

Liza and her husband donated 7 bales of Lucerne and seeing they were off to get rid of their own refuse, offered to take our refuse too!   How nice was that?!

Another Friend phoned very concerned about the condition of one of her aged horses so after a visit, simple procedures are being carried out and an eye will be kept on the girly.  It did not help that her other horse had ‘choked’ the previous day so a serious discussion ensued as to the best way to handle both horses and their problems.

A donkey wandering around Lorraine was brought in and once the owner had been identified, he requested that the donkey be gelded which was done the same day and for which the owner is prepared to pay.

A further 7 horses were dewormed at the owner’s request and a donation received for banking.

And then we finished off the month by assisting the Animal Welfare Society retrieve a cow from the 10th Avenue pond.  She had given birth 3 days prior but had not shucked the afterbirth, meaning that she became totally toxic.  When last I looked she was getting stronger.

DONATIONS other than copious amounts of milk and carrots and bread:

Over the Moon Stud - 20 bags fodder leavings
Westering Methodist Women’s Association – bread
Karin – 1 horseblanket and 1 bag bran
Stan - 20 bags dry grass and 15 bales Lucerne, broken bales & dried grass.
Feed N Seed – 4 bags leavings
Goshawk Litho – collection tin labels
Enid – donated tack and 8 oathay bales.
Douglas - oranges.
Tamlyn - donated saddle and horseblanket.
Kirsten - 2 grass rolls
Liza - 7 bales Lucerne

Finally, our Facebook page “East Cape Horse Care Unit’ continues to grow showing that there are many folk out there who want to see what we are doing.  Sarah Thexton, Photographer, who is spending time with us, also takes the most disarming photographs of our charges and because of demand for ‘donkey stuff’, has opened a page called ‘The Daily Donkey’, that is also gaining an ardent following.   Do join us!

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

Landline:  041 366 1594
Cellph: 072 357 2505
Website:  www.echcu.co.za
Facebook: East Cape Horse Care Unit.


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