Nine more equines join Rojales horse rescue sanctuary after a lifetime of neglect
Sweat, blood, tears and collaboration have marked a difficult past few weeks at Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, which has opened its doors to a ‘magnificent seven’ horses and ponies, plus another donkey and a horrifically neglected white pony.
The centre in Rojales, along Spain’s Costa Blanca, now cares for close to 120 rescued equines.
The second biggest rescue in the centre’s nine-year history happened on April 17, when Dolores police called co-founders Sue and Rod Weeding to an awful situation: seven equines (four horses and three ponies) whose owners couldn’t feed them anymore were about to be evicted from the land they were renting.
Neighbours had been throwing some food to the skinny equines, but it wasn’t enough. With eviction pending, the desperate owners had considered selling the herd to illegal horsemeat traders.
The owners had also considered putting the animals to sleep. But, says Sue, “it would have cost well over €2,000 to euthanase seven horses in Spain. This family couldn’t afford it. We were these horses only hope”.
The equine tribe – a mother, her daughter and son, an auntie and three minis (two mares and a colt) – were malnourished and dehydrated. The stallion’s hoofs were also in very poor condition.
Just a few days later, a donkey found by Spanish police in the streets of Valencia arrived at the centre.
The thin and injured donkey had first been rescued by the Associació Animalista Tavernes, which saves cats and dogs in northern Spain. But one month after the rescue, the Associacio discovered they had to leave the land they rent. Without the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, gentle Melvin the donkey would have gone to the dog pound, where he would have faced imminent death.
“We are working with other organisations in Spain. There is a huge network of people trying to move forward with animal welfare here,” said Sue.
But the worst was yet to come.
On May 12, Almoradí police brought in an abandoned and skeletal pony, who was covered in parasites and with hooves so horrifically long she could barely walk.
The pony, which Sue and Rod have named Annie, is on now on painkillers and eating well. A specialist farrier last week performed major rehabilitative work, cutting away up to 30cm of growth from each hoof to help Annie walk again without pain.
But this is just the beginning. Annie, who is about 15 years old, most likely has laminitis and retracted tendons, meaning she will likely need surgery.
“Whatever is possible in this day and age, this pony will get, even if it means taking her to Barcelona to see a specialist veterinarian there. But she definitely won’t be in pain. We’ll do everything to give her the best quality of life, which she deserves after all she has survived,” said Sue.
She thanked local police for stepping up to help animals across southern Spain.
“The way forward for animal welfare in Spain is to work with the police. We encourage the public to make a denuncia – an official report – when they witness animal cruelty,” Sue said.
While the nine rescued equines have now found a safe place to call home, the work has just begun for Sue and Rod.
“We rely solely on donations," Sue explained, urging locals to help give the new rescues a second chance in life. Donations are gratefully accepted and can be made online: www.easyhorsecare.net/donate/sponsor-a-horse
The centre, located just outside Rojales at Partido Lo Garriga, 59, opens to the public on the first Sunday of every month between 1pm and 4pm. See www.easyhorsecare.net or @EasyHorseCare on Facebook.
– Press release written by Gabriella Munoz.