More than just a stable yard, the SPCA Horse Care Unit established in 1995, is a refuge for neglected and abandoned equines, whose lives are restored by the dedicated, patient efforts of many.
In addition to local stud farms, stables, trainers’ yards and riding schools that are home to hundreds of equines – dozens of horses, ponies and donkeys live in densely populated impoverished communities, often in near-slum like conditions in the greater Cape Town area. Some are kept in poorly ventilated, parasitic and unsafe conditions and fed a poor diet of mainly cow meal.
These horses and ponies are often worked long, exhausting hours, pulling unroadworthy, overloaded carts.
Confiscating to prevent cruelty
Two full-time Inspectors work exclusively on equine and farm animal issues at the CoGH SPCA and every week carry out dozens of inspections at the most unsuitable and desperately inadequate places where horses are kept.
Our first approach is to remedy a problem through education. We try to first convince the owner to improve the care and condition of the equine before we will consider removing it.
If our Inspectors don’t believe an animal is safe, they seek a warrant from a magistrate to seize the animal and take it into safekeeping.
Unwanted, abused, neglected, sick and injured horses, ponies and donkeys are brought back to the specialist unit in Grassy Park where their condition is assessed and where they are nurtured back to health if at all possible under expert veterinary supervision.
The facility includes 17 outdoor and 8 indoor stables for animals requiring intensive or specialised treatment and can at any time accommodate up to 40 equines. The unit, which costs around R80 000 a month to run, has two horse boxes and two vehicles capable of getting to locations situated off the beaten track.
The Aubrey Jacobs Feed Store enables the unit to keep adequate supplies of feed for its horses, ponies and donkeys.
If you would like to contribute to the cost of caring for rescued horses, donkeys and ponies, please click here to make your donation online.