A summer of struggle
It has been a summer of struggle for the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales. As many of us have been enjoying some time away from the stresses and strains of everyday life, there has been no such break for Sue and Rod Weeding, owners of and founders of the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre. Naturally, and understandably, their lifeline of volunteers have also taken their much needed breaks during this time but this have left Rod and Sue working harder than ever to continue caring for the 121 horses, ponies and donkeys in unbearable temperatures.
They continued to be on call and recently accepted a new resident, a little pony rescued from Callosa del Segura after the Centre was contacted by the authorities to step in and help. “This pony is going to be another special needs pony. Most of our rescues come with medical problems which is why they have been abandoned so of course these come with more of a financial burden than a healthy horse.”
As laws tighten up and the couple work closely with SEPRONA, the governmental body working for the protection and conservation of the environment, Easy Horse Care is not permitted to rehome any of the horses or ponies they receive, even if they are deemed healthy. They are chipped and issued a passport by a government vet to be officially registered and they remain in the care of Sue and Rod.
Moving forward, Rojales Town Hall continues to support them. “They have been amazing” said Sue, “They continue to fight our corner and this year have increased the grant they have given us to 8,000€.”
With this support and collaboration comes extra issues as the couple faces an exciting, yet challenging future: “Our biggest challenge is the government wants to make us into a farm” said Sue. “Whilst this is marvellous because of all the horses, ponies and donkeys here, the work that Rod needs to do to get us the farm licence they want us to have is going to be nearly impossible for him to do. He is 73 years old, he's got to build a lot more installations, a lot more fencing around the back of the Rescue Centre and at the moment as we have almost no volunteers,we are struggling to do everything ourselves.”
The couple, who have dedicated what should have been their ‘retirement’ time to the Rescue Centre are keen to push ahead with the plans despite the lack of volunteers and have already purchased many of the materials needed, thanks to the grant from the Town Hall. “We are delighted we are recognised as part of the police and authorities and we are working closely with them, but we are still not in a position where we get enough money to pay for all these installations we so desperately need to get this farm licence. The only way we can survive is from the support of people.”
It is the public who have generously donated money and items to be sold in the charity shops, crucially run by volunteers and Sue and Rod recognise and appreciate every euro given and every hour of time donated in order to help the animals. In moving forward to hopefully gain their farm status and greater recognition and financial support from the authorities, they hope it will once again be the public who come to their aid as they return from their summer breaks.