Equine Charity Workers Seek Urgent Help to Save Lives of Severely Burnt Horses
Whilst the rest of us were enjoying the Christmas festivities, staff and volunteers at The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT) had to cancel any plans of celebrations as they were alerted to 3 horses who had been seriously injured in a stable fire. The horses were more than 250km away from the charity’s veterinary centre in a remote part of the country where there are no veterinary facilities. Work was immediately undertaken to source a lorry to transport the horses the long distance to the GHDT centre to provide them with the essential treatment they required. There are no purpose-built horse transport vehicles in The Gambia, so this involved walking them into an ordinary lorry which would normally be used to transport goods.
After the long journey the hard work of treatment began, ensuring they had plenty of pain relief first and foremost. The extent of their injuries is severe, with the most seriously injured being a mare with foal at foot. Fortunately, the foal escaped unscathed but due to the severity of burns on the mare’s teats the foal is no longer able to suckle.
Heather Armstrong, Director of the GHDT said
The trauma it would cause to separate the mare and foal would be extreme and cause additional unnecessary stress, so instead the foal has been separated by only a low barrier to allow physical contact to still occur between mare and foal but prevent the foal from attempting to feed. The foal is now being fed by a dedicated member of the GHDT team and has thankfully taken well to this.”
The horses are partially blind from the smoke damage but it is likely that this will resolve in time and their sight will return. The tips of some of their ears may drop off due to the burns.
Care for these horses is round the clock and requires large quantities of medications, bandaging materials and hours and hours of staff time. For a small charity, this is a huge task but one that has been tackled head on with the same determination this amazing charity team show on a daily basis.
Whilst people may ask why the horses were not euthanised, in many countries owners may not give permission for euthanasia. Sometimes because of religious reasons, sometimes because they rely so heavily on their animals for their own income that to consider giving up on them is just unthinkable. Horses are a huge investment for people living in poverty and they rely heavily on their working equines to provide their family income. Because of this and where euthanasia is not a viable option, the GHDT team go above and beyond to do what they can for each individual animal in their care, whilst keeping them as comfortable as possible. They have achieved many small miracles in the past and with your help hopefully these horses will also become little New Year miracles themselves.
How can I help?
To support the cost of the care for these horses and others like them, you can donate in any of the following ways:
– ONLINE – Via https://www.justgiving.com/ghdt or via the ‘Online Donations’ tab on our website
– VIA POST – Simply send an old fashioned cheque to Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust, Brewery Arms Cottage, Stane Street, Ockley, Surrey. RH5 5TH
– PAYPAL email@example.com
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