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SMASHA BLOCK squatter camp – Northam

Smasha Block has been a difficult place to work in – from day one actually.  There are literally hundreds of donkeys that are used to cart water to residents living in shacks.  They have a hard life. We try to make it easier by supplying the kindest bits that we can, replacing dangerous and ill-fitting harnessing, de-worming the donkeys regularly, and educating the owners and drivers in equine welfare.

We have been working there for a couple of years now.  Our assistance has helped, most definitely, but the number of donkeys has steadily increased as the informal area has grown.  More people, more shacks, more water = more donkeys.  We need to have more of a regular presence there.

World Horse Welfare (UK) are assisting us with financing the clinics, which is a tremendous help.  Our partnership is going to benefit so many horses and donkeys in South Africa.

 

Betty is not happy with the condition of the harnessing of these donkeys.  Note the rough terrain on which they walk - many have badly bruised feet, and need to be booked off of work until the bruising heals
Betty is not happy with the condition of the harnessing of these donkeys. Note the rough terrain on which they walk – many have badly bruised feet, and need to be booked off of work until the bruising heals

 

 

These donkeys have been seen regularly by our staff at clinics in Smasha Block.  Their condition is not bad, because we have dewormed them, and given vitamin supplements where necessary, but we are concerned with the unsuitability of the carts - the weight is too heavy, and unevenly distributed.  Samson keeps an eye out for lameness

These donkeys have been seen regularly by our staff at clinics in Smasha Block. Their condition is not bad, because we have dewormed them, and given vitamin supplements where necessary, but we are concerned with the unsuitability of the carts – the weight is too heavy, and unevenly distributed. Samson keeps an eye out for lameness
This is a typical Smasha Block donkey that hasn't had the benefit of our de-worming programme
This is a typical Smasha Block donkey that hasn’t had the benefit of our de-worming programme
This is where and how the donkeys rest in between shifts.  There is little to graze.
This is where and how the donkeys rest in between shifts. There is little to graze.
Juvenile viral papilloma - cleaned, and we will keep an eye on this at our next visit
Juvenile viral papilloma – cleaned, and we will keep an eye on this at our next visit
After morning inspections, donkeys that are booked off are brought to the staff for treatment, and the owner/driver is educated regarding prevention/treatment of wounds
After morning inspections, donkeys that are booked off are brought to the staff for treatment, and the owner/driver is educated regarding prevention/treatment of wounds
No no no.... this bit is home-made and very harsh, and the harnessing is chafing!
No no no…. this bit is home-made and very harsh, and the harnessing is chafing!
STOP! This is unacceptable in many ways.
STOP!
This is unacceptable in many ways.
Bridle and bit exchange
Bridle and bit exchange
this is typical of the type of wound that we see in this area
this is typical of the type of wound that we see in this area
injured leg is cleaned and bandaged, and the donkey is treated for 7 days by our staff
injured leg is cleaned and bandaged, and the donkey is treated for 7 days by our staff
it wasn't us who gave the owner a black eye... honest :) But I can see that Solly, who never loses his temper, is cross with the owner d- that's a bad wound on the donkey
it wasn’t us who gave the owner a black eye… honest 🙂
But I can see that Solly, who never loses his temper, is cross with the owner – that’s a bad wound on the donkey
wound cleaned... owner warned not to work the donkey until we visit next time.....
wound cleaned… owner warned not to work the donkey until we visit next time…..

Solly, Samson and Betty of HHCU spent 7 days there earlier this month.  Our aim is to establish a working relationship with role players in each of the areas that we cover – Community leaders, Government officials, political leaders –  to raise awareness of what we are trying to achieve, and establish an education programme.  This will enable us to work with and be accepted by the community, and so improve the welfare of equines and their owners.

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Caring for equines is a costly operation, as any horse owner knows! It costs us over a thousand ZA Rand a month to keep one horse at the Unit. It is not possible for us to keep horses on a permanent basis - we would love to be a retirement center - but we have to spend our precious funds where they are needed most, and that is to bring in needy cases, rehabilitate, and re- home!
We cannot do this without your donations.

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