Wet Nose Rescues 13 Equines

Owners Claim that they are in perfect condition

Yesterday 29 September 2023, we carried out a warrant granted to us by the Magistrate of Cullinan, by removing 7 horses and 6 donkeys from a property in Seekoeigat.
A complaint was received from numerous people that the owners of these equines were barely giving any care to their horses and donkeys; and that they reside in a horrible area for horses, besides it being an actual scrap yard very little natural grazing was available to them. In addition to this, the animals removed from this property are severely emaciated and malnourished to the point where any of these animals could collapse at any moment. In fact one of them already has between writing this post and the actual rescue, she is okay thanks to the commitment of our Equestrian Centre staff, who came in super early this morning and only went home very late last night.
The morning of the rescue came along with the good news that we would be receiving help from two other horse owners, with their own vehicles and horseboxes. Their help was instrumental in both finding and rescuing the horses, as well as the transportation of these poor animals. They deserve a special thank you from everyone at Wet Nose.
We were all ready to save lives when we arrived, but because we received a false address, we had to pause the rescue and amend our warrant. This was brought on by the absolute refusal of the owners to work with us in any way. They insisted that we will not take their horses, as they had been fed already, they insisted that their horses were healthy and checked by a Vet, and they insisted that Wet Nose only wanted these animals to resell them for profit. If they actually took care of their horses, they would know how much these animals require in upkeep, nevermind to be saved when they have been so mistreated. Wet Nose has doubled its number of equines in the last three weeks. We would prefer not to have so many animals, but there was no chance that we would just leave these animals to suffer because of their expense. (We predict that the rehab on these animals will cost easily in the hundreds of thousands, where we only recover a tiny portion of the costs with adoption fees.)
With the warrant amended, we were finally able to start saving lives. Our first task was to gather up all the donkeys, although they are usually very hardy animals, these donkeys were really struggling to even walk to our horse boxes. Many of the donkeys were very stubborn and scared but with some encouragement, and help to prevent falling they were able to make it to the horse boxes. Because of their dire condition, they were immediately sent to Wet Nose to receive treatment and food.
While this was happening, another team broke off in search of the 7 horses. While amending the warrant, the accused started scattering their horses all over the massive Seekoeigat area. This was all delaying the inevitable and worsening their own situation. We quite easily found the first three horses.
The oldest horse we rescued was badly malnourished and standing in the blazing sun. While we were rescuing this poor old lady, the “owners” kept ranting about how their lawyer was going to “get us” in court, and how all we want to do is sell their horses for profit. We were constantly berated by these animal abusers for nothing other than trying to save the lives of the animals on their property.
The next horse we found is the one currently fighting for her life, she has massive wounds on all the areas where her bones jut out, and she is collapsing from being so underfed. We cannot however just feed her as much as she wants, as this could lead to Colic. Her treatment is ongoing, but we pray she will make a full recovery.
On closer inspection of the next horse, our large animal vet found a long piece of wire lodged in this horse’s hoof. She tried removing it, but because it was so deep and the fact that these horses are very hoof-shy, she didn’t manage at first, however after another try she was able to remove the wire. We were leading him back to the horse boxes, trying to be careful to keep his foot off of rocks and sharp grass tufts, when the owner had the gall to lecture us on where the horse should be walking, questioning defiantly “So horses are only allowed to walk on level ground?”
Even more shocking was how these “owners” reacted to their horses being boxed. Tensions were very high and it was not long before their berating of us turned to violence. Our inspector was assaulted by the lady who owns the property, all in front of members of the SAPS who had accompanied us for just this reason. She was removed from the situation by the SAPS, but suddenly fell over and claimed that she had a bad heart and that they were going to kill her. Thankfully the situation was resolved without further violence, thanks to the quick reaction of the SAPS members who accompanied us.
These three were the only horses of 7 that were still on the property. The search was on as our group broke up into 4 teams, each headed in different directions. The first horse was found in a small forest, on a different property, close to a river that split the land in the area. Luckily the owner of the other property was willing to let us walk the horse through his land, this went reasonably smoothly. The remaining 3 horses could not be found anywhere near the property, so we kept looking further and further. Finally, we found fresh horse tracks that we followed to another point in the river 3km away from the property, in hot pursuit we followed and fanned out across the river to find any trace of the animals. One of our team members miraculously spotted the exact horses we were looking for across the river. We all rushed across trying to cut them off, but it was to no avail, they slipped out of our grasp.
The sighting of these animals however stirred new conviction in all our team members. We managed to pinpoint the property where the horses had been seen, it wasn’t long before the Wet Nose team was knocking on the door of this new property where the horses were being hidden. At first, they too were being difficult, however after it was made crystal clear that they were obstructing justice, their tune changed. We managed to find the last horses in need of urgent rescue, we also came across another 3 horses that were not known to us. Because they were not on the warrant we had to leave them for the time being, however, we will not allow these horses to suffer. We are currently working to save the 3 we left behind as well, they WILL be saved and their “owners” WILL be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Wet Nose currently has 78 horses. Anyone who has owned a horse can attest to the mass amount of funds needed to care for such a large number of horses. We are going to need help to care for these animals, as mentioned previously, the costs involved in rehabilitating these animals will be in the hundreds of thousands. For this reason, we are pleading for any help that our community of animal lovers can offer. We need eragrostis/tef, shavings, bandaging, fly spray, and most of all monetary donations to help us help these poor, mistreated animals. If you can find it in your heart to donate to our cause please use the following details.

Banking Details for Wet Nose:

Account: Wet Nose
Bank: ABSA
Account no: 407 649 9150
Branch: 632005
Ref: 13 Equines


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