10 Nov, 2019 @ 18:19
1 min read

Locked in a cupboard in an abandoned warehouse, Manolo was one of the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre’s most traumatised rescues, writes Susan Weeding


EVERY rescued animal has a story to tell, but I do believe Manolo’s to be one the most horrific cases of psychological animal abuse.

In Callosa De Segura there are a division of the Policía Local, called urma, concerned solely in animal welfare and countryside matters.

Last June, a brave soul gave the tip-off there might be a two-year-old mule being held somewhere inside an old factory.

The police decided to investigate and, again, called in the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre.

Rod arrived there in Callosa to find a huge, derelict factory. 

With the police agents, they crept through the factory until they found a very small office right at the back. They broke down the door but still found nothing – until they forced open a small utility cupboard.

And inside was Manolo, in complete darkness and total isolation.

How long he had been kept there in complete darkness we do not know. It was very hard to see even with torches if he had food and water, but it was clear he was in a terrible condition. 

‘HE WAS TERRIFIED BY DAYLIGHT’: Manolo rehabilitated at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre

This young mule had not been castrated and was extremely aggressive despite being malnourished; Rod and the police had to wrestle to get a head collar on him just to bring him out.

He was terrified by the daylight. 

At the rescue centre he remained incredibly aggressive and hard to handle due to his abuse and distrust of humans.

As usual to calm down a mule, we castrated him and led him out in the donkey field. 

To our nail-biting surprise, Manolo rapidly became the head honcho and took Freddie the albino donkey as a friend. 

Rescuing Manolo
‘BEST FRIENDS’: Manolo (left) playing with one of the horses at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales

One or two horses have become his best friends – Louis and Zack – and the company has turned him completely around into a loveable, happy mule that craves attention.

The freedom was frightening at first, but now he does what he wants , goes where he wants, and is not afraid of the daylight anymore.

We’ll never know who owned him or his past history. We’re just thankful that one person decided to make a denuncia so the police knew there was an animal in a dark cupboard in an abandoned warehouse.

Otherwise, who would ever have dreamed there was a mule locked up in there?

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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