Because every tail deserves a happy ending…

Dramatic Horse Rescue: Happy Homecoming

Possibly the best part of everything we do at the SPCA is our Happy Homings.

To see the joy on the faces of the new families and the sheer delight of the animals they adopt makes all the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile. 

Many of the animals who come through our doors have been rescued from situations of such diabolical cruelty it is hard to imagine.

Others have endured traumas such as abandonment, bereavement from a deceased and beloved owner, getting lost and finding themselves stray… their hearts beat as ours and they feel emotions just as deeply. 

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At 9 o’clock Valentine’s Day morning on his way to work, a worker saw a horse stuck in the pit of a septic tank. He hurried to notify his boss who immediately phoned and logged a call with our SPCA Control.

Theo and Tracy from our Horse Care Unit were urgently dispatched to assist.

When I arrived I honestly thought the horse was dead.   She had been stuck in the septic tank since the previous night.  Apparently, kids had let her out of her paddock. - Tracy, SPCA Horse Care Unit

A Horse Named Caramel

The local community had been trying to pull her out without any success. They told us her name was Caramel.

When we arrived, Caramel was an exhausted, dehydrated mare in shock. A local farmer who regularly helps us out, came to help with a front-end loader to help when we alerted him to the situation. 

We eventually got her out of the septic pit at 10h00, about an hour after our control received the call.

Inspector Theo was instrumental in Caramel's rescue and for communicating with the community and putting their minds at ease about their equine friend.

We had to carry her into the horse-box as she was too exhausted to walk or even stand.  

We brought her back to the SPCA where we immediately put her on a drip and medicated her while she was still lying in the horse-box. 

Our vet was very worried about pneumonia as the likelihood of her having inhaled some of the contents of the pit in the septic tank was possible.  

A strong-willed mare

After about an hour, we were relieved when Caramel stood up on her own in the horsebox.

Though her body temperature was worryingly still very low, her will to fight for survival and recovery was obvious and we were able to add another drip line to get more fluids into her. 

Once the drips had finished giving her the fluids she needed, we rinsed her off and attended to multiple cuts and abrasions she had sustained while fighting to get out of the septic tank.

We then put her into one of our stables in our Horse Care Unit, and she immediately started to nibble on a handful of oat-hay.

Weak and dehydrated, Caramel had medication and fluids administered by drip lines
Caramel nibbled on some oat hay after she'd received fluids and medication

Clearly a much-loved member of the community and especially by her family, Caramel’s owner stayed with her throughout the entire traumatic ordeal, willing her on to be strong

Later in the afternoon the whole family came to visit her and give her kisses.

As the days went by she just got stronger and stronger, and it was a happy day recently when we bid Caramel a fond “farewell” as she set off back home at last.

We would like to give a special mention and sincere thanks to the outside private equine specialist vets who are always willing to help us. 

Horse's Best Friends Club

Our Best Friends change lives

Join a special circle of loyal supporters, a group we call Best Friends, and help horses who deserve lives free from cruelty and brutal exploitation.

Rehabilitating horses is costly – but by joining Best Friends, you help provide for their needs: bedding, lucerne, oats, horse cubes and special nutrients for emaciated horses, farrier costs, veterinary treatment, halters and other tack, specialist equine dentistry, gelding … the list is long – and that’s why we’re hoping you will become a Best Friend today.

Once-off Subscription

Subscribe to Best Friends for R600.00 once-off
(please type in an amount of R600 or more)

Monthly Subscription

Subscribe to Best Friends for R50.00 per month
Spirit's condition when she was rescued by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA
BEFORE: Spirit's condition when she was rescued by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA
AFTER: Spirit's transformation with the help of our Best Friends​

We hope that Spirit’s story will inspire you to join today through a monthly gift of R50 or donation of R600 or more.

Thank you to all our adopters and if anyone is ready to welcome a new pet into their hearts and homes, please do give us a call on 0217004152 or email at

Send Us Your Pictures!

We look forward to receiving your adorable adoption photos and updates.

Send them to to feature each week!

Caramel has made a full recovery, and been successfully returned to her home!

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Your continued dedication, ongoing support and passion for protecting animals from cruelty is what makes us successful.

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