Red & Ruby
Rescued: December 27, 2016
This rescue came during one of the most hectic periods we've ever experienced. Extreme wet and wild weather had battered our sanctuary, flooding our fields and ruining our winter hay stocks. Many of our staff were on holidays for Christmas. And just one day earlier, we'd been called out to rescue Dulce Dawn, a little donkey cruelly hobbled and left to stand alone in torrential rainfall without shelter.
Then we received another call from San Javier police, to rescue two ponies from the same area as Dulce Dawn's rescue.
These two were found wandering alone on the road. Police picked them up and placed them temporarily in stables nearby while they tried to locate the owners. But no one came forward and the ponies weren't chipped, so there was no way of finding out who they belonged to.
We already had exactly 100 horses, ponies and donkeys in our care, but police asked us to take these two more as there was simply nowhere else for them to go. Of course, we could not refuse – we have worked so hard to encourage local police to react swiftly to animal welfare concerns.
We named the little stallion Red, as he had a beautiful light red-gold colour. He was about 14 years old when he arrived and in relatively good condition, though our farrier later discovered he was suffering from a deformed frog that would require specialist care.
The mare we named Ruby as she's a darker sherry colour. About 7 years old, Ruby wasn't doing so well. She was a little underweight and looking very poorly but had a big bloated belly. We suspected she might be in foal but ultrasounds proved inconclusive, so it's likely she was full of worms.
Both had horrendous teeth that had likely gone untreated for years, which we quickly sorted out with our equine dentist.
We also castrated Red on January 18, 2017 and were finally able to turn the pair out a week later. This is always so great to see, as it's awful for stallions being shut up in a box in isolation. It's really no life for them, which is why we believe castration is so important, so the animal can enjoy a normal life. Plus, if more people here castrated their animals, there would be far less unwanted equines in Spain.
Ruby and Red lived happily outdoors together until July 2018, when Red fell gravely ill. He was admitted to San Vicente Veterinary Hospital in Alicante suffering intestinal problems. The incredible vet team did every test and investigation on him to try to get to the root of his problems, from x-rays to scans to internal cameras, but couldn't find anything apart from ulcers causing reflux.
As Red continued to deteriorate, the Head Veterinarian decided to operate. Little Red made it through the night, but sadly lost his fight to live the next morning. The team at the hospital were devastated as us – we cannot thank the San Vicente Veterinary Hospital enough for all they did to try to save Red.
As a non-profit foundation staffed almost entirely by volunteers, we rely on your donations to continue our work to save ponies like Red and Ruby, and to cover their ongoing feeding and care costs. Find out how you can help here.