Apart from their shaggy coats and overgrown hooves, the old mare and her two foals which arrived at our premises were covered in burrs and thorns. All three had jagged scars and cuts – some of them infected – that showed how desperately they had tried to escape their barbwire-fenced prison . . . a small barren field on the Cape Flats.
They had only a leaky old tin shed for protection from the baking sun or driving rain, and some scanty grass to keep them alive.
Until the day they miraculously found a gap in the fence and escaped. Someone told us about three ponies loose on the road and our Horse Care Unit sped to the rescue.
At first the ponies showed absolutely no interest in the human hands that stroked them and guided them into the horsebox.
Bitter experience had taught them not to expect anything from humans. Not kindness or empathy. Not relief from discomfort. Not even food.
But all that was about to change, thanks to our dedicated staff and the special support a group of our most loyal supporters – I call them our Best Friends (who are people just like you!) have given us in past years!
Here at the SPCA, the ponies were led into a warm, dry stable . . . fed, watered and dewormed. Then began the painstaking task of removing all the burrs and thorns and applying salve to the wounds.
It took time and patience, but eventually Twinkles and O’Grady (as we named the foals) learned that not all humans are cruel and uncaring. They learned how good it feels to be groomed . . . to get plenty of good food (and sniff out a carrot in Anne’s pocket!) . . . to canter around on clean, trimmed hooves.
Sadly their mom was not as lucky. Years of hunger and neglect had taken their toll and she literally gave up on life once she knew that her two foals were safe.
But when we look at the ‘after’ picture of Twinkles, we feel so proud of our Horse Care Unit staff and their incredible dedication.
We’re also keenly aware of those special members of our Best Friends group, whose contributions make happy stories like this possible.
In the months ahead, we’ll rescue more than 100 starving and suffering horses. Each one will need horse cubes, oats and bales of hay . . . soft warm bedding and horse blankets . . . attention from the farrier or specialist equine dentistry . . . antibiotics and deworming tablets . . . and to geld stallions.
And we depend entirely on caring people like you to help us meet the high cost of providing these.
Our Best Friends are vital partners in our work to save suffering horses in Atlantis and on the Cape Flats. That’s why we hope you’ll make your extra, special membership gift of R600 or more now.
Donations can be made into the bank account below:
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch Code: 051001
Account no: 063 002 167
Account name: Cape of Good Hope SPCA
Ref: Best Friends
In return for your gift of R600 or more, we’ll recognise your exceptional support by sending you an elegant pen. When you use it to jot down items on your shopping list, you’ll be reminded of the supplies you’re helping to provide for another rescued horse or pony at the SPCA.
If you can’t commit to a R600 donation, please send whatever you can towards the cost of saving horses like Twinkles and O’Grady. Together we can restore their faith in human kindness and give them a second chance at the life they deserve.