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February 2013 newsletter


I would like to start this newsletter by thanking all those lovely people who have donated a bag of this, a bale of that, a grass roll or two here, and bags of readymix there.  Because of these donations of fodder over the past month, the Unit has not had to spend any of its limited resources to buy feed making a huge difference to the Budget.   We have had such an influx of animals requiring our ministrations that fodder would have been an added extra to plan for.  I was dreading the Vet account, but all was well in the end.   So thank you ALL so very much!

During our activities out in the field, we are lucky that we have local, for outside areas, Vets that we can call upon to do emergency work for us.  So we were extremely grateful to Dr Sarah for attending to a yearling Paint that had been severely wounded on her poll by a (now gelded) mule, who has begun to settle down and not be quite so feisty!   Thank you, Dr Sarah! Yearling all fixed up and very lucky to be alive.

Our first field trip for the year to Humansdorp yielded 15 horses, some dewormings, a number of donkeys seen to and, all in all, a quiet trip.  Except for the horse that had died ‘due to worms’ – and that is because he was not presented at the monthly clinic when dewormings were being done at the same time as vaccinations although timeous notifications were done by Shaun!

We have been limping along with one towing vehicle since mid December, but finally the joyous moment arrived when we had both vehicles in good working nick making fetching and carrying much more flexible.

Aside from two dead donkey carcasses that had to be collected, one colic donkey was euthanased for humane purposes, and one donkey returned after colic to his grateful owner.  A requested gelding done, two lame donkeys sorted, one donkey with a vicious wound to his fore knee now on the mend and a donkey with a wire or rope burn to his hind heel nursed back to health.

It is always nice to receive pictures of our ‘children’ in their new homes, but when we received a video clip of two of our special children having a game in the garden, we just had to load it onto the Facebook page.  Gathering from the many comments worldwide, everybody out there were entranced with their antics.

A stray Thoroughbred in Lovemore Park was admitted, scanned for a microchip, and via a chain of events, the embarrassed owner found who paid the Pound Fee and Transport.   We understand that mistakes happen:  gates left open, fences that get broken, horses breaking away from grooms or riders, but we also do not want to have horror stories where horses hit by vehicles have to be euthanased due to the seriousness of their injuries, let alone the humans involved.   Fence and gate checking is an ongoing ‘thing’ for horse owners and should be regularly done.

The Unit receives many phonecalls from folk who have been the subject of Complaints as well as Adoptive Parents asking for further information regarding deworming, runny eyes, contact details for vets, farriers, teachers, fodder merchants, beach rides, imminent foal birthing signs, euthanasia discussions and contacts and gelding info,  and many other problems that usually do crop up for horse and donkey owners.  We are happy that these folk are comfortable to phone in with these questions, and that we are able to supply answers and if we don’t have the answer, we can always find out from our trusted and knowledgeable sources.

Now, there is a man named Vincent who owns a Lawnmowing Service (082440427) who has been coming to Animal Welfare Society for some years now to voluntarily, at no cost to AWS, cut the grass of the grounds.  The fact that our little patch of turf also gets mowed and weedwhacked is just so appreciated as we do not have the tools to do the job.  Let’s give Vincent a ‘big hand’! 

It’s that time of the year again when SANESA (used to be the Interschools two phase event) takes place and this led to an all out onslaught on our stock of brow bands that were to be recovered for a  school equestrian team. 

Our Kwanobuhle horse owner was very agitated after he had seen on the telly the African Horse Sickness outbreak in the East London Area.  All he wanted to know was had his horses been ‘done’ – er, yes, at the time we battled to inject the untrained mare – ‘twas quite a fight, but we won!

On a more personal note, finally, after 1 year, 1 month and 4 days, I had my day in Court in connection with the Assault and Robbery on me in the Unit office in the middle of the day in January last year.   This Sword of Damocles had been hanging over my head for that length of time, including 3 remands for various reasons not mine, but with the incredible support of the personnell at, and allied folk, at Walmer Police Station, good friends and family and staff, it was finally over.  I can assure everyone that the gate to the stables is locked just to ensure that whoever is inside, is safe or at least given a chance to prevent a similar occurrence again.  It’s NOT to keep you out!  Lol!  The main perpetrator will spend the next 15 years in prison.

To make it all better, Meisie, Pegleg’s jenny, had foaled down overnight with Cookie.  A real kiss it better moment.

A concerned Transkei owner phoned Stanley about strange symptoms on his two horses.  The matter was handed directly over to the State Vet in East London to send a Technician to identify the problem.

It has been ages since any of the Grahamstown donkeys have required Penicillin injections for various wounds, but they made up for it on the first trip of the year.  Luckily, Ayanda was with me for the day and did a great job of helping with identification, translation, cleaning and treatment of wounds.  Well worth his pay for the day.

Our beautiful chestnut, Hashimoto, had his first bite of the show jumping cherry and it was wonderful to see him going forward, ears pricked, not batting an eyelid at the flags and poles. 

The Humansdorp donkey with half his cheek missing healed very well and was returned to this owner.  On the return trip, we uplifted a surrendered donkey – we call him Tarzan – because ‘he could not walk’.  That was because all four hooves were slippered and the farrier was unable to manage it.  Because I found that his fetlocks had not yet collapsed, we brought him home where Stanley, Tom, Alfred and I had great fun for an hour rectifying the hooves to their correct shape!   It was amazing to see the transformation in the hooves and the donkey.  All the young fellas gathered around to hear his story and after walking a few steps and suddenly finding that he could do so, he started trotting around the camp.   A truly delightful ‘lightbulb’ moment!

A quiet Saturday afternoon was shattered by a phone call about a stray pony stallion making moves on the mares on the Lake Farm Road.  Clearly not handled, it took 5 of us 1 ½ hours to catch him and load him, small as he is, into the horsebox and another ½ hour to get him out again and into a stable.  A day later, a complete mission to get him out the stable and into the Pen where he can at least chat to the young boy donkeys.  Although his picture has been uploaded to a number of different Facebook sites as well as being recorded at the two local Police Stations, the owner has yet to be identified! 

Stanley returned from his trip to Transkei where he did plenty of dewormings and vaccinations again, as well as hoof rebalancing and trimming.  The picture attached is of the flip chart he uses when educating owners, explaining this time colic and hooves.  The need is great in this area and the people desperate to do the right thing for their animals and so if you would like to specifically donate money towards the Transkei work, please deposit into the Unit bank account with the reference Transkei/your name.

And then we had to collect Laksman, the mule, from Nobuhle as his two hind soles at the toe had been completely worn away and he was having difficulty walking.  He won’t be going home any time soon.

AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION:  Hashimoto, Island Gold, Perhaps to Dream, Tarzan, Rooibos, KK.  Do pop in and let’s chat about your preference.

A generous donation was received from the convenors of the Stanley Street Carnival for our assistance in arranging Patrick and his cart with donkeys for cart rides at the yearly Carnival.
A morning spent with the Ladies (and Traffic Policeman) of the Sundays River Valley Animal Care Group assessing what will ‘fit’ all resident’s needs, will hopefully give many other horses and donkeys a little bit of help. 

Gary Stone Castle – 20 bales grassmix
Antoinette and Stripes - 8 wool bags and bakkie load readymix.
Tracey Poshpaws - leavings.
Feed and Seed – 50 bags grass and lucerne readymix.
Robertson - cubes and lucerne.
Belinda  – truck load oathay.
 Cindy – lucerne leavings.
Ann – bread at 9th.
Rhoda – carrots and watermelons (and a 2l coke for the humans on a hot day).
Kragga Kamma Game Park – grass rolls.
Tack donations – Tamsin and Sharon.

Well, that about wraps up February 2013, the rain arrived on Thursday morning, and boy, do we need it, and today is Friday!

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 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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