Archive for June, 2008

Join in the campaign now!

Did you know Australia is the world leader in the cruel industry of live exports?

The Handle with Care coalition is an international alliance of 10 leading animal welfare organisations (led by the World Society for the Protection of Animals) which opposes the cruelty and suffering caused to millions of animals around the world by transporting them unnecessarily long distances just to be slaughtered.

The coalition has been calling for the Australian Government to ban live exports, most urgently the live export of sheep to the Middle East, a staggering 35 day journey, and to replace this cruel and unnecessary trade with a trade in chilled and frozen meat from animals that have been humanely transported and slaughtered in Australia.


Write to the Australian Ambassador to France….all you have to do is print this letter, sign and send.

Thank you



Read Full Post »

Working together

A few weeks ago, we received a comment on our rescue page from a welfare organisation in Russia asking for our help in publicising the plight of two horses being taken on a long distance voyage from their homeland to Paris (see below). Disturbed by the information given, we felt we had to act to help the team at Equihelp in Russia. However, as we are the other side of France to where the horses would be entering the country, we had to find a way to work with other more local organisations.

We started with our friends Equine Market Watch in the UK. With EMW, we posted the information on the Horse and Hound forum asking for any help / ideas. We spoke to the WHW / ILPH who were unable to help until the horses reached France, and they spoke to the WSPA. At this point, the Long Riders’ Guild got in touch to say that they thought that they could help, and true to their word they were able to mobilise members in Russia and Germany to locate the horses and remaining rider. They are on their way to check the health of the animals and will report back to us all.

We just want to say a big thank you for the united response (and in particular to The Long Riders’ Guild). Hopefully this sad situation is now on its way to being finally resolved.

Read Full Post »

We love happy endings!

At ERF we get lots of emails from people wanting to rescue an equine themselves but needing advice on how and where to start. After lots of emails being exchanged, ERF member Gina arranged to accompany us on our trip down to the holding yard in dept 24 (to save the donkeys) to see if she could help a horse that otherwise could be going for meat. Unfortunately we saw some lovely horses meet that fate before we could manage to get down there.

After looking around the fields we spotted a Palomino mare, stood minding her own business whilst a fight erupted within the herd she was with. She seemed to have a very quiet, calm nature picking up all 4 feet for us and looked like she could be a good match for Gina. We got her out of the madness in the field and trotted her up and down on the concrete, apart from neglected feet and a bit unkempt she looked in very good condition. We were told that she had been in a club and ridden but for some reason had ended up in this place. After looking her over as thoroughly as we could Gina decided that she definately wanted to buy her and the deal was done. She stood so still whilst we removed the swarm of mouche plats on her before loading her up along with Nanette to travel back to the Charente.  The Palomino with no name was saved!

Well as you can see she has settled into life with her new family very well! It was discovered that her name is in fact ‘Creme’ and the riding club she was in has major financial difficulties. It’s so sad that a life of serving humans could have ended in the worst possible way….for this lucky horse though the ending was a happy one.


Read Full Post »

These photos say it all – we’ve had some pretty difficult times since we have set up ERF and we’ve all spent a lot of money that we really can’t afford, but this weekend has reminded us why we do it. A week ago we took in Titan (who we’ve renamed Wilbur as it just seems to fit) – a bag of bones left in a barn for 7 months with appalling feet. When we touched him, he flinched and turned away going round in a circle as it was too painful to walk forward.

Here he is, 9 days on with his 11 year old friend!

Wilbur and Jenny relaxing

Today he had his first proper wash down with real equine shampoo – he stood for half an hour as we sprayed him with cold water and lathered him up to remove the foul stench of the barn… 

Wilbur has a shower

But more importantly, yesterday he was seen by Jim – our star farrier who has recently retired after over 50 years service in the UK. When Jim first saw Wilbur’s feet he volunteered to help him and true to his word, despite the heat, he came yesterday…


Titan\'s feet

With the temperature topping 30 degrees, both Wilbur and Jim were amazing… 

Wilbur meets Jim





Jim at work


90 mins later  – Wilbur was able to stand upright for the first time in many months. The poor guy had had a major abscess in one of his hooves which must have been very painful, but now he can start to adjust to his new front feet.

Wilbur\'s new feet










Jim will be back soon to carry on the treatment.


Read Full Post »

 Today ERF went high-tech as Nanette’s feet were x-rayed to assess the damage her over-grown hooves have caused. The Donkey Sanctuary have generously agreed to fund Nanette’s treatment given her background, and requested the x-rays so we can agree the farrier work required. Fortunately, our local equine vet has one of the very few portable x-ray machines in France so duly turned up today to take her pictures. Usually he works with expensive thoroughbreds at prestigious stables and studs across Europe, so instead of a pristine treatment room he was amused to be led to our earth floor barn!

 Portable x-ray equipment used for Nanette

Nanette was a star and, after only a small amount of bribery, allowed us to take x-rays of all of her feet which will be e-mailed to the Donkey Sanctuary vets. Our vet pointed out deformation in one of her feet and some compression injury caused by the over-grown hooves, but overall we are hopeful that she will be able to lead a full life.

First, place your donkey's foot on the rubber block


Then place the background sheet behind the leg

After vaccinating and checking Belle and Lena, the vet met Titan who is already much calmer and more trusting. Needless to say, he is not microchipped or vaccinated so we started to put this right. We also discussed pain control as he is struggling to move and lying down for long periods – bute had given him some relief but is not recommended as an on-going treatment for donkeys. Instead we have Quadrisol to manage the pain and prepare him for the imminent visit from the farrier.


The girls with the vet!


Finally, we just want to say a big thank you to our husband and wife vets who are very supportive of our aims. They themselves spend a large amount of time repairing poor farrier work or helping where no farriers or equine dentists have ever visited. They have been a valuable source of information and help.

Read Full Post »

The last few days have brought it home to us the extent of welfare education required here in France. We now have two donkeys with appalling feet and, having spoken to both previous owners, they see nothing wrong with their condition and profess to love their animals. Take a look at this video taken this morning of Titan to see just how much the condition of his feet is hurting him…..



To help us fund his vet and farrier bills, please donate through Paypal. 

Read Full Post »

Meet Titan (well we think that’s his name but until we see his papers we can’t confirm it!).


We picked him up from a farm who didn’t know what to do with him – his companion had suddenly died last year and he had been left in the barn for the past 6 months. Being an entire, they couldn’t find a new home until we came along and brought him home. HIs hooves have never been cared for and he is very thin and frightened, but loving talking to the other donkeys over the wall.

 Titan\'s feet

We’ve had a busy day as we also reunited Nanette with Belle and Lena – we’ve now found out that Nanette is their Mum. They were in a herd of 5 but unfortunately we never saw the other two so can only imagine that they left for the abattoir before we got there. The elderly couple who had previously owned them were shocked to hear where they were heading as they thought the dealer was trying to rehome them. Neither of the owners we met today had any idea that leaving feet to grow like this causes the animal any hardship – this has only served to underline the education that is required here in France.

On a positive note, we are very happy to confirm that the Donkey Sanctuary are going to help us with Nanette. Our vet will be taking x-rays of Nanette next week and forwarding to the Donkey Sanctuary for review. We very much hope that this will lead to a stronger relationship between the two organisations as we need all the help we can get at the moment!

Nanette and Belle

Thank you to all our friends and supporters who have offered help. At the moment, we need all types of head collars and lead ropes and, of course, donations to cover the costs of worming, de-licing, farriers,  vaccinations etc. You can donate in both £ or € via Paypal (full details are on our website) or by sending a cheque drawn on a French bank account to ERF, La Chaux, 86400 Linazay, France.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »