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February 2012

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After a very hot and sticky February, this last day of the month has brought some relief!  Whew!
 
We started off with a recently retired Thoroughbred Racehorse being donated to the unit in the hope that we could find an Adoptor for him.   The picture was posted onto the Unit Facebook page, was seen by a daughter-in-law who then got her father-in-law to phone and ask a few questions.  Well, two hours later after a rapid trip from the west, the Adoptor took one look at the Horse and made his decision.  A few days later, we were able to deliver the horse and watch him in his beautiful new home of endless grass, sea breezes, a couple of mates and an ecstatic Andre.  A few days later, an excited Andre paid us a visit and told how his first ride had gone off – Well indeed! 
 
A generous donation of oathay and Lucerne was collected from Riana.  Thank you so much!
 
A Complainant phoned to say that there was a donkey cart in Walmer in the rain and the donkeys should not be out in it.  While we reacted as quickly as we could given the traffic, when we arrived at the ‘spot’, we received another phonecall from the same source, giving yet another address which meant turning around and retracing our tyreprints, only to find that this cart too had disappeared!  Probably trying to get out of the rain and home!   While we do our best to react to these problems, sometimes we just can’t move fast enough!
 
“New” donkey cart owners in Humansdorp have ‘found’ us with the regular request for harnessing.  On handing their old harnessing over they are given new harnessing and where necessary proper donkey bits.  They are also given the date of the next Clinic in their area.
 
One of our customers is Koos Jooste, who loves his donkeys and dogs to the extent that he ensures the donkeys are tethered when they go out to graze and that his dogs remain in his yard rather than anybody else’s.  When his shack burned down, he lost all his donkey tack which we replaced when asked.  Now that his shack has been rebuilt, he has made a dog kennel for his dogs out of the offcuts – much needed in the heat – and SPCA Humansdorp is sorting out longer chains for his dogs – Thank you, Jessie!
 
Another caring Humansdorp resident was presented with a set of our plough harnesses for his horses so that he too can till his veggie garden. 
 
Godfrey asked for his horse to be gelded and this was arranged with a local Veterinarian and on the 16th February, the horse was duly presented at the Vet rooms and the deed done!
 
A couple of Complaints, or should I say Concerned people, phoned to report problems.  It always helps to get the right ‘end of the stick’ so we were not surprised to find out that one of the horses had had a serious snake bite to the leg, another had become entangled in a fence and both had been attended to by a Veterinarian. Yet another horse had been ‘rescued’ and was in the process of being rehabilitated, which as we all know, does not happen overnight, but rather over a period of months.
 
The owner of the donkey reported by the SAPS Colonel finally identified himself and as his donkey had recovered, was returned to him.
 
I am attaching a poster of the three Thoroughbred Racehorses recently donated to the Unit for rehoming/adoption and hope that, although the horses have settled in well, they will find their Adoptors.  Enquiries to 072 357 2505.  Beauties all of them and very happy with their donkey visitors who creep under the fences!
 
One of our favourites, Boesman the donkey jack, came in lame.  Once we had trimmed his feet, some poulticing and Iceman on his sore knee, he was as good as new and returned to his duties after a bit of a rest. 
 
After struggling along for some months now and needing an extra pair of hands, Eric has arrived to work as a second groom.  So far, so good, although language is a bit of a problem but nothing that Stanley and Alfred cannot sort out.  But it did mean buying another 2 wheelbarrows!  The old one had clearly passed it’s sell-by date.
 
A new donkey owner in Despatch had a problem with his donkey foal and although Stanley left almost immediately, on bringing mama and foal back to the Unit, the foal expired in the horsebox and mama was returned to owner in due course. 
 
And then, Miriam caught us all out.  One of the six surrendered to us by a township owner having to go to find employment in another province, Miriam waited for Stanley to be out bringing in another donkey for repair, before starting to foal down.  He bounced out the bakkie on his return to assist Shanna with Miriam.  Shanna was just a visitor and got caught up in the drama!  Due to the fact that the foal is a boykie, he was named Shane rather than Shanna.  But well done to both Stanley and Shanna for doing the necessary.  Shane is the cutest little mite, but his dam is very protective of her progeny, so one has to watch one’s back so to speak.  She did take Stanley for a run across the ‘ward’ she was in the next day, and although I was hoping for no injuries to both of them, she let fly with her hind leg and caught him neatly on the thigh as he vaulted the gate, giving him a ‘lammie’ of note!  
 
Our notice was drawn to a pony that appeared to be heading in a ‘slipper foot’ direction, and was handled by Ayanda who trimmed all three ponies and spent some time explaining to the grooms in their own language what was wrong.
 
It’s that time of the year again when Schools give their students Community Service where they are encouraged to go and do volunteer work with Charities.  We have benefitted from this when students come from all over the Metro to ask questions, groom animals, and occasionally they bring gold – yes, gold carrots!    Thank you to Julia, Denise, Casey and Friends from Linkside High, as well as Matt, Rachel and Morrigan for doing their school work at our house.
 
A call for help from a donkey owner on the other side of Humansdorp led to Stanley and Ayanda heading out for a day of trimming donkey and horse hooves.  The donkeys were the least of their problems as the horses were most reluctant to be trimmed.  But they got the job done.
 
Alfred and Eric finding themselves having time on their hands decided to use some donated masonry to neaten up the apron in front of the stables.  Gr8 job, guys!
 
The African Horse Sickness vaccinations that started in November are now completed.  That is, until later this year when we all have to do it all again!
 
10111, on not getting us on the Unit cellphone, phoned AACL’s Patsy, who just happened to be at Animal Welfare when we arrived back from a call, and who informed us that there had been a horsebox accident on the Highway outside Coega.  With the ‘get go’ from 10111, we roared off with the horsebox and a groom and on arriving at the scene, were faced with a horsebox that looked like a broken eggshell, and two horses that had been rounded up once freed from their captivity.  Miraculously the horses had only a few cuts, scrapes and bumps and the driver of the bakkie, although very shaken, with a sore neck.  Stanley and Alfred took the horses over and having found the haynets full of Lucerne, let them eat.  I am not 100% sure that we were there for the horses and driver, I think the multitudinous SAPS and Traffic Department needed to know that somebody was handling the horse issue while they endeavoured to remove the broken horsebox and glass etc, from the road.  The traffic backup on the Highway was seriously serious.  The bakkie that had ploughed into the back of the horsebox, flipping it over and taking the bakkie with it, was also in pieces and surrounded by hundreds of pears!!   A horsebox had already been summoned to the scene to take the horses back home, and with a little bit of jibbing by the horses, they were loaded only once, instead of twice, and taken home.  We are so happy that Elsa and her horses are OK!  Thank You to Colleen for assisting once she had got over her shock at her friend’s calamity.
 
Two horses were taken to meet up with their two donkey friends and it being a Sunday, the roads were quiet and the horses travelled like lambs.  A generous donation for the trucking of the animals has been received.  Thank you!
 
A donkey owner got his daughter to phone to say their horse had a broken leg.  Once we got the language issue out of the way, Stanley went to get the donkey jenny, Springkaan, who had managed to stand on a piece of glass and cut the bulb of her hoof.  She is now sound and will be returned with her foal shortly.
 
A couple popped in and made a donation for some of our bags of manure! 
 
Sam Majela, photographer for The Herald newspaper, popped in and Stanley obliged him by ‘feeding’ a donkey.   From very early the next morning, I was sms’d silly by people commenting very favourably on the picture on the front page!   This in turn led to a radio interview with Bay fm who were intrigued with our equine doings and the forthcoming Persian Carpet evening! 
 
Our Moses asked us to please come and fetch his two jennies, Lady and Thembi, one with a swollen knee and the other with a stab to her butt cheek.  Moses had been doing his best with Lady’s wound and Epson Salts water, but it wasn’t enough.  Three days after treatment with the Unit, the wound healed, as had Thembi’s knee, a well hidden infected wound that Stanley managed to find in amongst her hair.   Both girls sorted!
 
Then a stray horse that needed collection was reported but as the horse was in Van Der Bijl Park, the call was transferred to the Highveld Horse Care Unit!  I did not think we had the time to go and assist!
 
A delightful evening was enjoyed at our Persian Carpet Evening.  Many beautiful carpets were bid on and bought by folk, the cultural meal was splendid, the bellydancer, having done her demonstration, took some of the ladies in the audience to teach them some moves, and Dawn and her twins did a grand job of setting up the whole evening and taking lots of photographs.  Well done, ladies, and Thank You to all participants!
 
Nestle has asked me to thank Matt and Cindy for coming and giving him a ‘makeover’ on Sunday.  He says to tell you that he really enjoyed the cold shampoo and shower especially as it was a really hot day!
 
We have had visits from two potential adopters for three of our donkeys.   Horses and Donkeys available for adoption are on Facebook page East Cape Horse Care Unit and more definitive Picture Albums are on Facebook page The Daily Donkey, or they can be found on the website www.echcu.co.za /galleries/available for adoption, for anyone wishing to be a potential adoptor.  I have attached a poster of the four horses available to this email for ease of reference.
 
The Collection Tins for the Street Collection on 31st March 2012 were collected from the Courier and now all we need is a few extra folk to hold them on the day!  Can YOU help for about two hours on the day? Contact Dawn on 0827743146 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are able to help us out.
 
Finally, on this last wet day of February, we have had a water problem that was reported on the 22 February 2012 to the NMMM Water Department.  Today they chose to come in the rain to try and fix the problem that had been caused by the ‘dozer clearing the vegetation from the road verge on Victoria Drive and that had caused lots of leaks from broken(?) pipes all the way down the road.  Hopefully the ‘dam’ will empty and disappear in due course. 
 
Donations received
Barbi – who when she drives in, the donkeys say hello as Barbi has the best cut lawns in town!
Anne – Lucerne leavings
A Church and a School Hostel – bread, rolls and toasts, some buttered!
Comine – carrots and apples by the bag full
 
We also need to thank, for monetary donations, Peter, Ingrid, Tish, Tersia, Isabella, Rhoda, Bev, Moya, Phillip, Glynn and the local Chapter of the Racing Association.
 
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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