An Appeal from our Founder
It’s been a tough 6 months at Remus. During the winter we dealt with the most appalling welfare cases and, at one point, I particularly remember standing in Dartford with a dead emaciated horse behind me, a mare stuck up to her belly in mud behind me and about 50 horses all in very poor condition all around me. We paid for lorry loads of hay to keep them alive and we saw fields that were effectively burial grounds, scattered in carcasses and bones. We worked tirelessly to help as many horses and ponies as possible.
We rescued Grace from Romford and Holly from Carmarthenshire – both were heavily pregnant, roaming loose on busy public roads for weeks and completely blind. Both of these beautiful horses have now gone on to have their foals. Sadly, Grace was not able to feed her foal, Jess, who was quite poorly in the first week of her life and of course required bottle-feeding every 2 hours. Holly can feed her foal, but she’s also been very poorly. Pippa had her second cataract operation and is now, thankfully, out in the fields enjoying her days. We took in 47 year old Orchid who had suffered the most horrendous cruelty and, when found had given up and was on the floor awaiting death! Already in the 3 months that Orchid has been with us, she has put on 70kgs. We also took in Tony who was rescued by the RSPCA and had the most awful injury to his mouth and nose. You can read all of their stories on our website.
All this has come at a high cost financially – in Hay bills and Vets bills and, at the moment, it has taken us 3 weeks to get in 10 cheques to bank which amounted to £700, yet our outgoings are thousands every week.
We know that everyone is in the same boat financially, but if there is any way, you’re able to make a donation to the Sanctuary at the moment or can organise some fundraising it would be a huge help. We are still working hard to save Holly’s foal and this has meant daily visits from the Vet, sometimes multiple visits a day, and both foals have needed special food – and Jess is on her fifth 10kg tub of milk powder. The older horses all need ongoing veterinary care and our monthly medication bill is in excess of £3,000 to help keep all the old ponies pain free and healthy.
Of course there is also all the red tape that costs us money too – every time we take in a horse it requires veterinary
treatment and care but also a passport and microchip.
Later on this month we have a meeting with Lord DeMauley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), in London to discuss the equine crisis and towards the end of the summer we have a meeting with various other welfare groups. We all agree that we need to be in a stronger position to help deal with next winter’s impending welfare crisis, which just continues to escalate.
The situation is so bad that Travellers are just discarding their horses to take their chance on the roads, indeed some horses have roamed loose on roads and fields for up to three months. Recently two Shetland ponies were killed on the A127.
As the problem was so dire last winter what will happen this winter? All the Travellers’ mares have foaled and all will be heavily in foal again by the winter. This is a huge crisis and one that we have to be able to help with by dealing with both the underlying issues and by monitoring the horses in situ and getting food and water to them. Sometimes it’s just a case of getting lorry loads of hay into fields each week to keep these horses alive – this is not something we have needed to do on this scale before and it has set the Sanctuary back many thousands of pounds last winter. I hope that we can help keep them alive whilst we work in the background to get something done at Parliamentary level to help the overall problem.
We are still finding horses in poor condition and the dry weather has meant little grass growth, so we’ve not yet experienced the usual summertime lull.
We desperately want to keep up this vital help for these innocent and majestic creatures but can only do so with your support.
Please, if you can help in any way we would dearly love to hear from you. Please help us to save these beautiful creatures, keep the Sanctuary afloat and try to get other welfare organisations all working together to try to prevent the horrors that almost certainly await our innocent equine friends.
On behalf of all the animals at Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary…
Sue Burton – Founder
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