Well it was certainly a busy summer, and blighted by rain! The Sanctuary flooded so many times, including the buildings because the drains were just unable to cope with the sheer amount of water. The first week of September certainly dried things up a bit – though it was a little too warm for the animals really. They will be much happier now it has cooled down a little.
We have, of course, been busy dealing with horse welfare, horses and ponies, across the area that needed our help plus the usual issues which involve caring for so many older and sick animals and a lot of nursing work.
Sadly, we lost two out of our four Open Days and one Afternoon Tea due to the bad weather, which plays havoc with our fundraising, especially as we are rattling at an unhealthy speed towards Winter! However, our September Open Day and Dog Show was a great success as was our October Open Day when we also celebrated World Animal Day.
We were delighted to receive a visit from HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh during the summer to mark our 40th birthday. We are very lucky and proud to have her as a Patron. It was lovely that despite her increased workload now, she was able to spare some time out of her busy schedule with us and the Remus animals. Pictured with the Duchess is Dolly, and Heidi and Jakey.
If you’ve not already signed up to our 40th Anniversary Challenge, please do so. Its extremely easy, just create a fundraising page – it’s all automated – and ask your friends and family to donate.
If only a 1000 people met a target of just £40 each, we would raise £40,000 to assist our #BornToDie campaign and celebrate our anniversary! You could make a real difference to our future.
Born To Die
We also used the opportunity of the Duchess’ visit to launch our #BornToDie campaign.
Far too often we see horses born that we know have just been ‘Born to Die’. We spoke to the Police recently about a horse that was roaming loose that we rescued. The response was to report it online as lost property! When we answered the required questions that it wasn’t worth a lot of money, nor was it hazardous in that it wasn’t carrying a gun, nor was there any serial number on it to identify it, the advice was ‘we can’t help so just dispose of it’.
How can this be right? We see instances time and again where these animals are left to suffer or worse because no one wants to get involved.
No horse, pony, donkey or mule should be subjected to the shocking conditions that we see on a regular basis. The Animal Welfare Act and a raft of other legislation and guidelines should ensure that all equines, and other kept animals, are protected.
But the protection of these beautiful animals, animals who have stood with humans for centuries – from farming to war, from friendship to servitude – falls to charities often stretched for resources.
Sanctuaries across the UK collectively know that over 7,000 horses are at risk of neglect – and those are just the ones on our radar.
Too often, members of the public have no information on how to act. And this is, in part, because there is no clear answer. If you see a neglected horse today, who do you call? Local authorities can choose to appoint inspectors, but don’t have to, many signpost to charities, including every local authority website in Essex that we researched.
Different levels of authority, ie, County Councils versus Borough Councils, have different responsibilities. The Police – who must be relied upon to enter property or confiscate animals – will often not investigate, telling us they too signpost the public to the RSPCA, who have no statutory powers, and are also overstretched!
At the start of this year, we asked two Police forces in our area through ‘Freedom of Information’ for data on equine neglect crimes – one told us that they didn’t collect that information and the public are asked to contact the RSPCA if they are aware of crimes against animals, and the other failed to respond.
So, we have animal welfare laws, covering horses and equines, but the enforcement of these laws is down to a patchwork of organisations, with differing levels of authority and responsibility. And what good is a law that isn’t enforced?
This is why we are calling for greater enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act in relation to equine welfare – saving horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. We will bring you more information in due course!
Between us we can, and we will, end this needless ongoing suffering. Please click on the link to make a donation to Remus Horse Sanctuary.