Skeletal mare dies two days after rescue

Despite the centre's best efforts the pregnant mare did not survive

IN a heartbreaking turn of events, a pregnant mare rescued in a terrible condition from the Valencian area last week has died, despite the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre’s best efforts to save her.

Centre co-founders Sue and Rod Weeding were contacted last month by a resident concerned about the horse’s skeletal state, and immediately encouraged the woman to report the matter to the police so the centre could act.

After a coordinated effort between the Valencia and Guardamar branches of Spain’s animal welfare unit, Seprona, Rod was officially given permission to seize the horse and he travelled the 150km journey from the centre’s base in Rojales to Rotglà I Corberà in a bid to save her, as well as a malnourished donkey also found on the property.


“The mare had been left to forage rubbish on a piece of land. She was absolutely skeletal and very weak but she survived the trip, a long three-hour drive,” Sue said.

A veterinary inspection back at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales revealed the mare was also three months’ pregnant and suffering a degenerative condition causing her back pasterns to collapse: “Two days later, she lay down and couldn’t get up, she was just too week. We tried everything we could for her but sadly she passed away with the stress of it all. It’s just heartbreaking,” Sue said. “The mare was called Betty, and that’s not a Spanish name, so we suspect she was given to the Valencian man by some non Spanish people who were moving back home. Unfortunately we’ve come across this quite a lot in the past, these people often just give away their donkeys and horses to anyone who will take them if they want to leave Spain. These are often unscrupulous people.”

The rescue centre’s vet Dorothea has now completed a veterinary report at the request of Seprona officials, who are pushing to prosecute the Spanish owner.

Further negotiations are underway to attempt to rescue a second donkey, which remains on the Valencia property.

The rescue was the first completed using the centre’s new trailer, purchased using donated funds after the old trailer suddenly broke down earlier this year. “The positive side to this is that we can see our work is starting to have an impact across Spain. People are going to the police and the police are acting, even connecting with our local officers to allow us to legally get involved. That’s one hell of an achievement,” Sue said.

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 or visit


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