Thieves have again targeted a Spanish non-profit horse sanctuary, stealing an expensive water pump and tools – many of which were donated by kind supporters.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre robberies came as cofounders Sue and Rod Weeding rescued another two ponies, bringing the number of equines in their care to 104.
Sue and Rod first noticed tools disappearing in January, but were shocked when a water pump worth €700, used to pump water from flooded pastures after heavy winter rains, was stolen last month.
The Weedings, who last year launched a major fundraiser to better secure their boundary after a similar spate of robberies, suspect the thieves were familiar with the rescue centre’s layout and specifically targeted the expensive pump.
“They certainly knew it was there. It wasn’t in the yard, it was in a private part of our garden. You feel a bit defenceless, a bit vulnerable, the fact that people just feel like they can come in and take whatever they want,” Sue said.
Electrical and carpentry tools, including an angle grinder and circular saw, have also gone missing – hampering Rod’s efforts to perform critical ongoing maintenance work at the sanctuary, including building the centre’s secure new boundary wall.
As work on the 218-metre boundary wall ramps up, the Weedings have called for extra donations to help complete the project and safeguard their animals. With almost €16,000 already raised, just €4000 more is needed – even small €5 donations help. Donations can be made at: easyhorsecare.net/donate/support-our-fence-fundraiser.
The call came as a beautiful 22-year-old mare named Perlita, which means “little Pearl” in Spanish, was surrendered to the rescue centre on April 22 after her ageing owner became too frail to care for her.
Just two weeks later, on May 5, Easy Horse Care worked with Andrea’s Animal Rescue to save a 7-year-old pony stallion abandoned on a piece of wasteland without food. Named Solo, the pony’s face is injured from wearing a crude string halter. Solo was seized by Cartagena police then transported the hour north to Easy Horse Care by Andrea’s Animal Rescue – a great example of two non-profit rescue centres working together.
Sue said the arrival of two more ponies have reminded the Weedings why they continue to endure obstacles such as the robberies: “It’s the love and the passion of what we’re doing that fuels us.”
The Weedings will now also install CCTV cameras at their rescue centre.
Sue expressed gratitude to Bill Murray and Paul Swift of Be Safe, who kindly offered to install the cameras at cost price. The cameras will be located at strategic points to capture footage identifying thieves well before they can dismantle the cameras.
Sue and Rod also hope to replace their stolen pump and tools and said any donations would be gratefully received.
“Donations are very much appreciated because that allows Rod to continue our building and maintenance projects,” Sue said, adding, “It isn’t about us. It’s about all the horses, ponies and donkeys that we can save and about the changes we can make to animal welfare in Spain.”
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre relies entirely on donations to fund its important animal welfare work, including the feeding and care of the centre’s more than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Anyone interested in making a donation, becoming a long-term sponsor, or volunteering at the rescue centre or in the charity shops can call Sue on 652 021 980.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, located just outside Rojales at Partido Lo Garriga, 59, opens to the public on the first Sunday of every month between 1pm and 4pm. For more details and directions, please visit www.easyhorsecare.net.