Spanish equine sanctuary rescues yet another skeletal pony, confirming disturbing trend
A severely malnourished pony stallion showing signs of physical abuse is now in the care of Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales, Spain.
Rescued from the streets of Algorfa in conjunction with Almoradí police on September 21, the pony known as Fudge is the sixth rescued by the sanctuary in five months, confirming an alarming trend of ponies being abandoned in public places.
“When we started the centre nine years ago, we were rescuing animals that had been locked away and left to starve,” said Easy Horse Care co-founder Sue Weeding. “Now, they’re literally being dumped in the streets.”
The influx of ponies is putting the centre under increasing financial pressure as it looks to provide the medical attention and care each abused equine needs.
“They all come to us needing castration and with a whole host of health problems,” said Sue. “We pride ourselves on caring for them properly. We don’t just give them a bit of food to keep them alive.”
The latest rescue, which has gained international attention, was found in a skeletal state, with a massive infection in one eye and showing signs of what could well be deliberate physical abuse. A visible scar on his neck suggests Fudge suffered a significant blow that left two of his vertebrae broken, causing him to walk with a wobbly gait.
Donations to help cover Fudge’s rehabilitation costs are gratefully received and can be made online: easyhorsecare.net/donate/one-off-donation.
“This old boy is about 20 years old and it's absolutely heartbreaking to think what he’s suffered through,” said Sue. “It will be a time game for this fellow and we'll just take it one step at a time. Whatever the outcome, we will give him anything and everything he needs, and a whole lot of love on top.”
Miniature ponies like Fudge can live well into their thirties, so once he’s had time to grow in strength, Fudge’s infected eye will be surgically removed and he’ll also be castrated. But in the short time since he arrived at the centre, he’s already shown remarkable improvement.
“When we arrived to rescue him, he wouldn’t even lift his head,” explained Sue. “Now he calls out to us and eats all day. I think he believes he’s in paradise now.”
Fudge’s rescue takes the total number of equines at the sanctuary to 108. While Sue and her husband Rod Weeding continually work to re-home their rescues, they worry that without other options, the number of equines in their care will only continue to grow.
“The situation is dire, because if we don’t take them, they’ll stay where they are,” said Sue. “And how can we, as caring people, say no when there’s no one else?”
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 horses, ponies and donkeys rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Donations of cash or items for the centre’s network of six 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.
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 www.easyhorsecare.net.