One of the most upsetting and frustrating aspects of our work at ARCH is the delay which often occurs between our being made aware of an animal in distress and its arrival at the Centre. Over three weeks ago we were told about two mules and a mare in Cordoba province who had been seen by a vet and had been pronounced as being in imminent danger of death. We immediately offered to take them in. But equines cannot be confiscated without the relevant formalities and paperwork, and SEPRONA are very short staffed.
The three finally arrived on Monday after several false starts. The mare, who had been kept in a cold, dark basement for a long time immediately gave us great cause for concern. Our driver said she had almost fallen, and he had had difficulty loading her. She was extremely shaky on her feet, underweight (at least 150kg below normal) and on subsequent examination by our vet was found to have been eating plastic.
A gentle 20-year-old girl who had not even been given a name. We knew it was going to take a miracle and, sadly, despite our best efforts and those of Rocio, our vet, it did not happen. Shortly after she arrived, our morning volunteers found her dead in the paddock, just too weak to survive. There is always the feeling that had we been able to help earlier she might have had a fighting chance.
The two mules are in a better state, considering their advanced ages. The female is 24 and, unbelievably, the male’s papers show that he is 38 (hence his white face)! They are eating well and seem quite content. Time will tell …..