Please, fence me in: Donors help horse sanctuary get back on its feet

€13,000 has been raised in three months for a new fence for the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales, Spain.
€13,000 has been raised in three months for a new fence for the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales, Spain.

An equine rescue centre in Spain is battling its way back from mysterious horse injuries, theft, and infrastructure issues, thanks to the generosity of supporters and the tenacity of its founders.

The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales has suffered several setbacks in recent months. It launched the fencing fundraiser in March after a custody battle over a “walking skeleton” rescue horse named Oscar turned sour, leaving centre co-founders Sue and Rod Weeding feeling “under siege” in their own home.

The centre also suffered a string of break-ins and Sue and Rod, who live at the refuge, also began to notice vans driving past slowly at night.

The €13,000 raised in just three months by more than 90 online donors, plus countless others at the centre’s monthly open days and via its charity shops, will go toward the immediate construction of a secure new 378m boundary fence.

Work will begin soon on the new fence at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre.
Work will begin soon on the new fence at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters. This fence upgrade is so important to the safety of our animals who have already suffered so much in their lives, and also to secure our belongings and home,” Sue said.

The final donations came as a peacock named Jasper was stolen from the rescue centre earlier this month (thankfully, he was later returned), and a two-year-old horse named Lily suffered a stable injury in which foul play could not be ruled out.

X-rays have revealed Lily has suffered a fractured vertebrae that may leave her permanently disabled. The injury is believed to have been caused by a severe impact to her neck.

Other items stolen from the rescue centre over recent months included a television, heater, fan, saddles, bridles and tools.

While the thefts were deeply concerning, Sue said she and Rod felt buoyed by the wave of support for the centre’s fence fundraiser.

She thanked everyone who donated to the cause – from those who could spare just €5 to the three kind souls who anonymously donated €1000, £1000 and €5000 each.

“When you start a rescue centre like ours, you do it because you cannot ignore the wrongs you are witnessing. You don’t really have a plan. You are motivated by a passion that drives you forward,” Sue said.

Sue and Oscar, the horse once dubbed a "walking skeleton".
Sue and Oscar, the horse once dubbed a “walking skeleton”.

“The wonderful thing is that so many people have now joined us on this journey, helping and supporting in so many ways that we feel we are no longer on our own.”

The Weedings are now awaiting final council approval before beginning work on a new two-metre high block wall across the road-front boundary of the rescue centre, complete with concrete foundations and topped by metal fencing for extra security.

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 90 horses, ponies and donkeys rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment.

Donations of cash or items for the centre’s network of seven charity shops across the Alicante province are gratefully welcomed. A pick-up service is available to collect large donated items such as furniture and each shop also offers a delivery service for large items purchased in-store.

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. A free horse tour with Rod Weeding begins at 2pm.

The fence fundraiser remains open and extra donations can still be made here.

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