Well, here we have the next instalment from the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales!
Last week we castrated one of our 30-odd ponies, and it brought back vivid memories of his shocking rescue eight weeks ago.
In August, we were called out by Seprona to assist in the rescue of three ponies from Crevillente.
What people don’t realise is when you work with police, you’re not allowed to rehome or sell any animals placed into your care – they’ve been seized, and become evidence for unsolved cases.
The reason is that police are increasingly trying to press for prosecution of abusive owners.
Animal welfare is moving forwards rapidly in Spain, and Seprona believe the best message to send is to get people charged, fined and imprisoned.
So of course, despite the financial burden, we said yes.
The police always do their best to keep Rod out of violence. On countless rescues there’ve been ambulances on site, and even armed Policia Nacional, in case of violence.
This time the Seprona agents went down and confronted the owners, who started ranting and raving.
Rod followed the commotion on foot, but soon the agents called him to drive down and collect the ponies one by one.
They were absolutely skeletal.
The last one to come out was a brown-and-white pony with a very strange head collar, with nuts and bolts on top, pressing into the pony’s head.
He also had really developed muscles on one shoulder, scars from cruel beatings and saddle sores on his back.
To our horror, we realised he’d been a carousel pony. This is outlawed in the Valencian Community, but still legal across many parts of Spain. The nuts and bolts secured him to the carousel, where he’d spent his 19-20 years of life walking round and round and round with kids on his back.
I know from experience that ponies will eventually drop down dead from this, especially during the hot summer months.
Somehow, this old boy had survived.
Amazingly enough, he actually had paperwork – a rarity – and his name came up as Atilla!
Little Atilla has been castrated now, and is doing really well putting on weight until he’s ready to be turned out with other ponies at the centre.
I am so grateful for the police to call us and help provide some quality days in the autumn of his life, which I’m sure has been full of hardship.