What We Do
The history of Remus and its work now
Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary was formed in 1983 following the plight of the horses on Rainham Marshes, where over 100 horses were left on the bleak marshland, as the water inlets flooded, they became cut off resulting in 13 horses dying in the most awful conditions.
The Rainham Marsh case was followed by the single case of REMUS, a poor horse stolen and starved for three months in a feud between two people, over the paltry sum of £50. REMUS was eventually left tied to a lamp post in the most horrific body condition, and despite all possible help, his suffering was so bad that he eventually had to be put to sleep.
Horse welfare in Essex at this time was dire. There were many traveller encampments in Rainham, Rush Green and Tilbury, to name but a few, all producing huge horse welfare problems. gradually, by bringing pressure to bear on other Agencies, some of the problems were addressed, some of these areas that were once such huge problems are now Country Parks. Over the years improvements in the welfare standards in the County and beyond have happened but it is too little and we are still seeing terrible suffering , in some cases these are no better or worse than some years ago.
From our small beginnings at Stapleford Abbots we have had several homes as we expanded to the increasing numbers of horses needing help. Our home has been at Buttsbury since 1993, our land extends to some 40 acres of wonderful Essex countryside. We have stabling/shelter for all of the animals. The original use of the site was as a post war dairy farm, it was a huge challenge to transform this site from derelict farm to a working, horse rescue Sanctuary.
So what does the Sanctuary do?
REMUS Sanctuary is funded totally by public donations, we are very mindful that many Charities are all asking for money from the same people and that we can all, and as members of the public ourselves, we do appreciate that one can often feel overwhelmed with the amount of worthwhile charity requests that are received..
Our Sanctuary we believe is slightly different as whilst we are an Animal Sanctuary we also extend our work into the wider community and actively work with some of our animals to enhance the lives of sections of the community, taking our ponies out to visit Care homes for the elderly and to schools to show young people how to respect and care for our animal companions. Remus is an acredited organisation offering work placements to young people and also as a Duke of Edinburgh Award training venue. As part of our work in the community we can visit with our power point audio visual presentation, giving talks to many different types of groups. We are also a popular venue giving tours and talks for deaf/blind and disabled groups. As we will hopefully show you while you browse our website we are a very rounded Organisation working, not just for animals, but interacting in a very positive way also with the wider community.
We care for some 200 animals at the Sanctuary, our work is often very much along the same lines as a hospice situation, giving these animals, most of which are survivors of the most horrendous cruelty, at the hands of mankind, the very best of care allowing the younger ones to get over their abuse and develop into happy adults, or for the older ones to spend their twilight years doing as they wish. Nothing is asked of any them. They are fed, watered, cared for and loved. They receive regular veterinary and farrier attention as required, holistic therapies and help and despite many of our horses being very much an older population , with many being between 30 and 52 years old these old horses are in excellent condition, happy, pain free with a good quality of life, for some of them certainly, for the ‘first time’ in their lives. It takes a lot of hard work money and effort to keep old and sick ponies in such good condition, but this is our stated mission.
To care for the animals on site, we have a staff of 10 who work hard to make sure that the animals care is of the highest quality that we can possibly achieve and that they want for nothing. Added to our staff we have a wonderful band of enthusiastic volunteers, young and not so young, they are all essential, and their seemingly tireless efforts doing every type of work imaginable makes such a huge difference to the Sanctuary and its animals.
From October to March we run a WINTER ACTION LINE, where we actively encourage the public to contact us if they have any concerns about any Equines. Very often people will pass an animal for days and weeks thinking ‘ I wonder if that is a problem or am I just over reacting?’ – we say if you have ANY concerns, don’t worry, just let us know and we will happily look into it, if there is not a problem it does not matter, we would rather take a look than miss an animal’s distress. indeed if you are ever concerned about a Horse, Pony or Donkey whatever the time of year, please do contact us about your concerns.
The Sanctuary is gaining much credence as a unit specialising in the care of veteran horses. We advise owners of older horses in all aspects of their care. Certainly as one of the few Sanctuaries who are prepared to keep horses to such a ripe old age, we feel this is a role that we are well placed to carry out, and to this end we launched our Elderly Horse Campaign, holding seminars and workshops for horse owners to make them aware of just how much they can do for their animals to help them to thrive in old age.
The Sanctuary embraces holistic care alongside the superb work of our species specific Vets. We have a solarium to help the older horses, ponies and donkeys and a Laminitic Barn equipped to help the laminitic and Cushingoid ponies – which consists of a special sand flooring, day light bulbs to help boost the immune system and deep cushioned stables.
Obviously all of this work costs a great deal of money and we do have a wonderful volunteer fundraising team who organise stalls, give talks, run quiz nights, summer and Christmas Fairs, often taking two of our little Shetlands out to events – where they love the chance to meet the public. They are not there to be ridden, but to highlight the work of Sanctuary etc. Regular Open Days are held on the first Sunday of the month from May to October – these are very busy days and great fun, and are an important part of our fundraising. We also have a successful Membership and Sponsorship Scheme. It cost in excess of £300,000 to run the Sanctuary per annum – so we are always looking to raise money to continue to provide this care.
Please do continue to browse the website and learn about Remus and our work, our animals and the many other facets of life in a busy Animal Sanctuary, we hope that you enjoy our Website and will like what you see enough to come and visit us, please contact us if you would like to know more about us and our work.