Freedom Calls

Just before the stables are renovated, rehabilitated donkeys find a warm home

After five intensive years, during which more than 500 horses and donkeys were saved from suffering and cruel abuse and then rehabilitated, the Society’s stables urgently need immediate renovations. In order to put the renovation plans into action, the stables’ grooms had to find good housing solutions for the rehabilitated animals, and the search for suitable people with experience in caring for these animals was put into high gear.

After abuse and suffering was their daily fate for extended periods of time, the donkeys who finally reached the Society were rehabilitated and cared for by a team of skilled caregivers. Last week, a permanent solution was found for them, and four donkeys set off for their new home – hundreds of acres of green, natural pastures. The donkeys joined the herd of 80 donkeys already living in this northern paradise, some of whom had been brought there in the past by the Society. Not only will the donkeys in their new, safe and protected home not return to the circle of suffering, they are also helping to thin out the weeds growing around the organic fish ponds in a natural way, thus avoiding the need for chemicals.

Upon arrival, the donkeys who were taken off the truck immediately understood that they had reached a safe haven and began to devour the weeds, to gallop in the fields and to smell freedom to its full extent. The four donkeys have acclimatized well and we are sure that they will enjoy good and happy lives.

If you love horses and donkeys and if saving them from abuse and bringing them to rehabilitation is a subject close to your hearts, please give a few minutes of your time to reading about the Society’s Activities on this subject.

Donations, even the smallest, will be welcome. The donations will go towards renovating the stables, and preparing them to take in more horses and donkeys.

Help the Horses and Donkeys

The Society’s stables, where horses and donkeys who have suffered abuse and neglect are rehabilitated, are in need of immediate repair

Dear donors, friends and supporters,

Following five years of intensive activity, during which time we saved, treated and rehabilitated hundreds of horses and donkeys that were living under conditions of criminal neglect and suffering constant, cruel abuse, we are approaching you for urgent assistance and support.

The increased activities undertaken these past years allowed us to take in over 500 animals that were referred to us from all over the country by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Israeli Police and the regional Veterinary Department s. The rehabilitation period required for horses and donkeys is prolonged, complex and involves high costs for quality food and professional, comprehensive medical care. The average cost of keeping and treating one horse, for example, reaches sums of over NIS3,000 each month.

In addition to providing dedicated care for these animals, we have raised this important issue in the public agenda through the media. We have brought the topic to the public’s attention, calling upon them to contact us whenever they come across neglect or abuse of animals. I am pleased to say that the public has responded to our call, awareness of the suffering undergone by horses and donkeys has been raised and these shared efforts have brought about release from suffering for many animals.

Five years of hard work have gone by, the time and heavy use of the various facilities have paid their toll and now the stables and yards need massive and immediate renovations. Since we wish to provide optimal care under the best possible conditions to these unfortunate animals, due to the inferior conditions of the facilities we are now no longer able to absorb more horses and donkeys.

We have architectural plans, drawn up by professionals experienced in this field. Executing these plans will make an enormous difference, and will transform our stables into a safe shelter of the highest standards, custom-made especially for horses and donkeys.

We are well aware that these times are not easy financially for most, but wish to emphasize that every effort, however small, and any attention given to this issue can save another animal from a life of unbearable suffering. My email is open to you all. I will be happy to reply to any mail and to answer any questions you may have:

Thank you for your kind attention,
Hilma Shmoshkovitz
Chairperson (Volunteer)
Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel
For further details regarding donations click here.

Welcome Golda!

After the pregnant mother’s rehabilitation, a sweet foal was born in the Society’s stables

A few months ago an adorable female donkey was brought to the Society in Tel Aviv, and was named Chile. Chile was found abandoned in the Tel Aviv area, pregnant, extremely thin, in bad physical shape with sores and raw skin on her back that had apparently been caused by the fact that she was harnessed to a cart for a long period of time. Chile underwent a prolonged rehabilitation program in the Society’s stables, and all the staff waited eagerly for the impending birth of her foal.

The birth was supposed to take place in about one week from now, just before Rosh HaShana, but the little foal felt that she wanted to come out into the world a little sooner. So, last Friday, a cute little foal came into the world. The Society’s veterinary surgeon, who examined the two, pronounced mother and baby well and now the adorable, grey foal is already walking around and nursing happily.

צילה וגולדה

All that remained now, one week after the foal’s birth, was to find a name for her. An article about the birth was published in the Israel Today newspaper and the readers, along with surfers on our Facebook page, sent in a selection of suggestions from which the name, Golda, was chosen.

Saving the Horses and the Donkeys

Horses and donkeys who have undergone abuse or neglect are treated in the Society’s stables

For many people, the horse represents freedom, and in their imaginations they see noble horses galloping happily in wide, open spaces or being cared for and pampered in professional stables. Unfortunately, such imaginary scenes do not represent the reality, and even in the 21st Century, many horses and donkeys are used as vehicles and suffer criminal neglect and abuse on a daily basis.

The True Picture
Many horses and donkeys are driven to work beyond their capabilities by their owners, and in absolute contradiction to all animal welfare laws: The owners harness the animals to extremely overloaded carts, slave-drive them under terrible conditions for hours on end, without food and water, they beat them mercilessly, rent them out to others, neglect their medical problems which consequently worsen as time goes by, and sometimes they even abandon the animals when they have no strength left to go on.
It is not rare for unsuitable harnessing to be improvised including the use of rusty and harmful metals that cause the unfortunate animals damage from chafing, deep wounds and severe infections. Often they fall victim to intended and cruel abuse at the hands of their owners or strangers. In addition, the carters have difficulty integrating into the city traffic thus endangering not only themselves and their animals, but also drivers, passengers and passers-by.
Donkeys and horses are animals with very high pain tolerance levels,able to function under very tough conditions, even when are suffering from medical problems. They persevere till they reach the critical point, when they collapse. The health conditions of these neglected horses and donkeys is disgraceful, and without professional care they are slowly dying in agony from their wounds, illness, starvation and dehydration.

The Absorption and Rehabilitation Process
Since its foundation in 1927, SPCA Israel has been taking in horses and donkeys suffering from neglect and abuse and taking care of their rehabilitation. These animals usually reach us following reports from passers-by from all over the country, and the Society is one of the only places that takes them in and cares for them. For this reason it is very important not to turn a blind eye to the sight of a neglected horse or donkey, but to report any such instance immediately to the local authorities, the police or the Society.
As mentioned, many horses and donkeys reach us in grave medical condition, suffering from under-nourishment, all kinds of injuries, arthritis, rotting hooves, infections and other health issues requiring long periods of rehabilitation.
When horses and donkeys reach the Society, they undergo medical examination by veterinary specialists in this field. They are then examined by expert hoof trimmers and horse shoe professionals. In accordance with these professionals’ recommendations, treatment is undertaken. This treatment usually includes hoof trimming and shoeing on an ongoing basis, various vaccinations (rabies, tetanus, flu), worming and implanting of microchips. The rehabilitation process, which can last for several months, depends upon the specific diagnosis for each animal, including food additives and vitamins, various types of surgery and physiotherapy.
The high costs involved in treating horses and donkeys can reach tens of thousands of Shekels per month, but despite the financial difficulties, we are proud of the fact that in the last five years, the Society has treated and cared for over 500 animals throughout the country, all of whom were rehabilitated and for whom new homes were located.

Finding a New Home
The period of time that the animals remain in the Society’s stables varies according to their medical condition and depends also upon when a new home can be found for them. Every application to adopt is thoroughly checked, and staff members from the Society go to visit every potential home to ensure with absolute certainty that the future owners have proven experience with rearing horses and donkeys and that the animals will be under veterinary supervision at all times. The horses and donkeys are given to the new owners at no charge, who, in turn, have to guarantee that they will return the animals to the Society if they find that they cannot, for any reason, continue to take care of them. These immense efforts are made to ensure that the horses and donkeys, that were the victims of so much abuse and neglect, will live comfortably, receive appropriate treatment and will not be dragged back into the cycle of suffering from which they have just be saved.
At the same time, the Society is working at minimizing the animals’ suffering at the parliamentary level by promoting laws that protect their welfare and on the legal level by bringing to justice those responsible for the criminal abuse of these animals.

Hoof Trimming and Shoeing 
Hoof neglect and erosion in horses and donkeys reaching the Society are common phenomena requiring long-term, expensive treatment by professionals in this field. Horses and donkeys require on-going care of their hooves. When this care is not given, the consequences are severe pain and difficulties that can cause distortion, lameness, open wounds, infection and so on.
The role of the horse’s iron shoe is to protect the hoof from erosion. During the shoeing process, which is carried out every few weeks, the existing shoe is removed, the hoof is shortened, then trimmed and shod with a suitable shoe. When horses are not treated professionally and the shoeing is done amateurishly, the horses suffer from severe pressure on the hoof that can lead to arthritis, pulled tendons and muscular problems.

Help us to help them
The rehabilitation process for horses and donkeys is protracted, complex and very expensive as it includes costs of high quality food, medical treatment and comprehensive professional care.
Approximately 20 horses and donkeys are cared for in the Society’s stables, with the average monthly cost of the upkeep and care of each animal reaching sums of over NIS 3,000. We do our utmost to provide optimal conditions during the rehabilitation period along with the best care by leading veterinarians, all of which can be accomplished thanks to the contributions made by a number of special people.
In order to meet the challenge of this important goal, we need your help with contributions to cover these ongoing costs, as well as to improve the conditions for the horses and donkeys staying in the Society (purchase of specialized equipment, renovation and expansion of the stables, costly surgery, and so on).

From the streets of hell to the pastures of the Garden of Eden

A herd of 13 donkeys and mares that were saved from severe abuse arrived at our protected shelter

A herd of 13 donkeys and mares that were saved from severe abuse arrived at our protected shelter. They were treated with devotion and with plenty of love and were rehabilitated and waited for a warm home; now they arrived at a real Garden of Eden.

On Kibbutz Geva they heard about the plight of the horses and donkeys that we rescued from the hands of abusers. They decided to welcome a herd of donkeys to their organic fish farm, where they would help to trim down the weeds growing around the fish pools. Hundreds of acres of green natural pasture are the wealth that is available to the first herd that was sent by the SPCA. A life of total freedom, permanent tranquility exactly as in nature, this is the new life that the herd of donkeys gained.

When the donkeys got down out of the animal transport they understood immediately that they found here their tranquility and began to munch on the greenery, to gallop through the fields and to sense their freedom to its fullest. Before they were released into nature they were immunized, the males were castrated and all of them were marked with chips.

The kibbutz is willing to accept a few more donkeys that are situated at the moment in the stables of the SPCA and are waiting to be given their freedom only after they have recovered from their wounds and have been fully rehabilitated.

We thank the members of Kibbutz Geva for adopting the herd of donkeys onto their land and we hope that the fields of additional kibbutz settlements will be used as a shelter and a protection for the wonderful creatures that we rescue from the hardships of life.