OUR MISSION IS TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE THE NUMBER OF ABUSED & ABANDONED ANIMALS ON OUR ISLAND BY USING EDUCATION TO CREATE AWARENESS.
Faial (Azores, Portugal).
Not that long ago horses and donkeys were used to as working animals. During this time, most were cared for very well, as they had value. Today we rarely see equines used in this manor, instead they have become objects, "things", just something to have.
There are approximately 250 equines living in varying conditions on our island.
Many are tethered on a coarse rope and rarely ridden. Some owners leave their horses tied up on the same spot for days without food or water before moving them. There is no connection between animal and owner. When it is time to go out for a ride, the animals are out of shape, afraid and expected to carry their person for the equivalent of a marathon!
Most of the horses on our island live a life of solitude and fear. They are traded for play stations or to settle a bill. One of our rescues was ridden by her owner everyday for 11 years when he went to treat his cattle. When she became lame, she was to be shot, so a neighbour stepped in and offered to give her a home. The same day that very owner was riding another horse.
Horses are herd animals and need companions as much as they need water! They can drink between 20-40 litres / day. Just like humans, different horses crave or need different water amount intakes. A horse deprived of feed, but supplied drinking water, is capable of surviving 20 to 25 days.
Our job is not always easy. Especially when there is nothing we can do to help. After taking the photo of the horse above, the owner (we were trying to locate) found out and hid her even more remotely.
Ninovan was contacted about this donkey (top L) by a tourist visiting another island, Sao Miguel. The Donkey was tied up behind a Hotel for the pleasure of tourists. Luckily one of the tourists did more than just take a picture. She noticed the donkey had no water, looked like it had been tied in the same spot for days, and his hooves were completely deformed from not being trimmed. Luckily we have friends in many places and were able to help. The hotel management called a farrier and promised to take better care of the donkey.
The horse in the middle was found dead. Since chipping is not enforced here, we could not find the owner and there was nothing we could do.
In the third picture, the horse is missing an eye. This sometimes happens when someone tries to put the animal down by a shot to the head without knowing exactly what they are doing. We have a one eyed rescue, Nelson - who lost his eye because the owner hit him. He has been adopted and has a lovely forever home with another rescue, Bella and two other lovely mares…
This pony was treated with a new technology using a multi radiance laser brought to us by Mark Strong. After cleaning the 3" x 8" wound it was treated 3x/day for 8 days until it was closed enough to heal on its own. A miracle and a life saver for this 15 year old pony.