Malnourished horse seized near San Luis salt lake, as another rescued horse passes away
A horse so thin he was labelled a “walking skeleton” has been seized from owners living near the San Luis salt lake in Spain’s Alicante province, in a joint operation between the Torrevieja Council and the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre.
Rescue centre co-founder Rod Weeding was called to the site on December 11 by Torrevieja’s new animal welfare councillor Carmen, who has vowed to act swiftly to save other animals that remain on the site.
“Over the years many people have contacted us about the horses, donkeys and even dogs that are kept there behind the Mercadona in really bad condition,” said rescue centre co-founder Sue Weeding.
“We’ve had complaints about this place ever since we started the rescue centre eight years ago and we are delighted that Carmen is committed to stamping this out.”
In March last year the rescue centre was involved in an attempt to save a starved and extremely dehydrated horse on the same property, but despite trying everything possible with specialist veterinarian care, the horse died.
Sue later appeared before court as a witness for the prosecution against the man who allegedly left his horse to starve to death.
Sue said the horse seized this month had been tethered to a piece of rope beside the salt lakes, which is public land and therefore made the legal seizure much easier.
“He’s a male, about 17 years old and just absolutely skeletal, a walking skeleton, but he has shoes on so they were obviously still riding him. He has problems with the joints of all four legs from being overworked,” Sue said.
The horse is now recovering well at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales.
“This case just shows the commitment to animal welfare by the people who are coming into the police forces and local authorities. Our biggest challenge now is funding and finding the space to keep the horses so that these seizures can continue,” Sue said.
On the same day, an ageing horse rescued from a Callosa de Segura dealers yard passed away peacefully at the rescue centre.
The horse, named Wally, was rescued in March last year along with 13 other horses, which had been chained to walls in a falling-down building.
“Wally was in his 30s and enjoyed his time here with lots of companions. He died in his sleep of natural causes, which is a lovely way for a horse to go,” Sue said.
“So Rod had the shock of that one, and had to move the horse to where the body could be taken away, and then suddenly he’s off rescuing another horse – and then he has to be back by 3pm to start the feeds because it takes a couple of hours with 97 feed bowls and all the different medications.
“It’s Rod who does it all, and he’s in his 60s. That’s the reality of it here. We really do desperately need some sort of financial support to allow us to continue to do it all.”
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre relies entirely on donations to fund its important animal welfare work, including the feeding and care of the centre’s more than 90 horses, ponies and donkeys rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Donations of cash or items for the centre’s network of eight charity shops across the Alicante province are gratefully welcomed. A pick-up service is available to collect large donated items such as furniture and each shop also offers a delivery service for large items purchased in-store.
Anyone interested in making a donation, becoming a long-term sponsor, or volunteering at the rescue centre or in the charity shops can call Sue on 652 021 980.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, located just outside Rojales at Partido Lo Garriga, 59, opens to the public on the first Sunday of every month between 1pm and 4pm. Free horse tours run throughout the afternoon and refreshments are available in the café. For more details and directions, please visit http://www.easyhorsecare.net/index.php/map-and-directions.