2010 Horses left to starve
This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty we have ever seen.
In an isolated barn on the outskirts of the village of Daya Vieja, two horses were locked away without food or water and left to starve to death.
Luckily, someone saw them and called us for help. We have seen some horrendous sights in the time we have been running the centre, but nothing could have prepared us for this. These two horses were quite literally walking skeletons. It was amazing they were still standing. At the most, they could only have been days away from death.
For two days, we battled to get the authorities to intervene and seize the horses. They would not. Time was running out. We had no choice but to buy the horses from the monster that had locked them in the barn.
Two of our supporters, Kate and Solvi Jansen, paid for the horses, which were immediately taken to the centre to be seen by a vet. It is still unclear whether the horses, named Captain and Hope by us, will survive.
Captain was rushed to Alicante animal hospital in an urgent and last minute bid to save his life. He has a serious infection from an untreated wound to his leg. The infection has spread into the joints and around his emaciated body. He would have been in incredible pain. If he survives, he will remain in the hospital for some time.
Why could nobody seize the horses?
The system totally failed to protect these horses. We went to the Guardia Civil, the mayor of Daya Vieja, the local police and Seprona (the arm of the Guardia charged with countryside matters, including animal welfare) for help. They could not, or would not, do anything. Only the local police officer would even visit the scene to look at the horses. We were unable to contact Seprona at the time as they have so few officers. We have since spoken to them and they are keen to help us in the future.
The mayor of Daya Vieja, whom we visited in desperation on the Sunday as the Guardia officers would only take a written report, refused to look at the photos or walk the short distance from his house to where the horses were incarcerated on his day off. He said it was an 'everyday matter' that could be reported to the local police on Monday.
We find it absolutely unbelievable that despite the sheer horror of this case all the authorities we turned to for help were unable, or unwilling, to do anything to remove these horses from the hell hole where they had been left to die. If we had not bought them, they would have stood there until they dropped, while at most the authorities processed complaints and paperwork.
Not the first time
The owner of the horses has been reported many times for serious animal cruelty. Just before Christmas he left a donkey to die on rough ground in Daya Vieja. It was tethered and abandoned after suffering a hernia giving birth.
We have also received complaints about animals kept at the man's house. At one point, some 25 horses and donkeys, plus dogs, goats and sheep were living in squalid conditions and in a state of near starvation. The mistreatment was reported to the Guardia. There are still animals at the property. We will try again to get a prosecution brought against this man.
First we need to save the horses
Our immediate priority is to save the lives of the two horses. If they can be saved the veterinary costs will be high. As the centre has no official funding, relying totally on donations, we will need help if we are to give Captain and Hope the best chances of survival and recovery.
We believe after all they have been through they deserve the opportunity to live a happy life.
THESE RESCUES AND ONGOING CARE CAN ONLY CONTINUE WITH YOUR SUPPORT