It's been an incredibly difficult few months for our partner sanctuary, the Pegasus Society for the Protection of Horses & Donkeys in Israel. Due to the sheer volume of recent rescues coupled with the spike in food prices, Pegasus is currently in desperate need of financial assistance. In order to take care of their existing rescue animals, they simply cannot take in any more. Of course their commitment to the plight of working animals means that they are still responding to emergencies and treating every animal in need, however Animal Aid Abroad wants to ensure that Pegasus is always in a position to offer shelter to animals in need. Over the next few days , you will see more of Pegasus' wonderful animals who are in desperate need of sponsorship appearing on our website.
If you would like to help, please read the stories below, and consider adoption. We'll be adding many of the animals below for adoption later this week, and would love it if our followers jumped on board to help!
We want to assure you that every Israeli donkey, horse or mule you adopt, every donation you give for this cause, will go directly to Pegasus, and directly to saving and improving the lives of these wonderful animals in need.
Soldiers at a checkpoint close to the Tomb of Samuel the Prophet spotted an abandoned donkey lying on the ground, seemingly unable to get up. The donkey appeared exhausted, hungry and thirsty and had a swollen, bloodied hoof that was almost completely detached from its foot. The injuries indicated that that Samuel had been hit by car. The Pegasus volunteers attempted to lead Samuel to the trailer, but he was in so much pain, he could barely stand. He eventually made it to the trailer, lying down as soon as he was inside. When the vet examined Samuel, he commented that his leg was in really bad shape, and that there was no guarantee that the hoof would ever regrow. Rehabilitation would be a long and time-consuming job. Never one to give up on a challenge, the Pegasus team treated Samuel with antibiotics, changed his bandages daily, gave him medication for the pain and slowly but surely, a new hoof began to grow! The hoof is slightly deformed, however Samuel can walk around quite happily with his friends and will stay on as another permanent resident of the sanctuary. Despite his traumatic life, he is one of the friendliest donkeys at the sanctuary – it’s as if he remembers the dedication of the team that never gave up on him.
Balfour and Deborah's Story
Sadly, the rise in the cost of hay has affected animals throughout Israel, with a marked increase in the number of abandoned horses. When an animal can no longer earn its living, it is of no use to its owner, therefore older or injured animals are simply abandoned to their fate.
The Pegasus team were contacted about two such horses in the Jezreel Valley area in late June. The first horse arrived at the village of Balfouria, asking for help by neighing and attempting to scramble through a fence to join the other horses on a local farm. The farmer, Tom, went to investigate and discovered a thin, aged horse suffering from joint problems in his legs. Unable to bear seeing the animal in pain, he led the horse into his yard where he gave him food and water, however it was evident that the horse was limping and in a great deal of pain. Tom looked after the horse for several days, giving him food, water and shelter until the Pegasus team arrived to collect him. He has been named Balfour, and has turned out to be a lovely, gentle horse.
After picking up Balfour, the team made its way to Dovrat, just 10km away. There, in the beautiful green valley stood the saddest looking horse imaginable. She was all alone in the boiling heat, with no water and with nothing to eat but some dry, prickly weeds. Her bones poked through her tight skin, as her eyes regarded us sadly. Without a second thought, the Pegasus team led the poor horse onto the trailer, her injured leg dragging behind her.
Both Balfour and Deborah are now at the Pegasus sanctuary, where they will live out the rest of their years knowing kindness, and never going hungry again.
Also in June, Pegasus received a call about a donkey, tied up by his legs, one side of his body literally eaten up with infection. Arriving at the scene, the Pegasus team were horrified to see that one side of the poor creature’s body was covered with severe friction wounds. The nature of the wounds indicated that he had been tied up to a car but unable to keep up, he had been dragged along the road behind the car causing the terrible wounds to his body. How could anyone think to harm in an innocent creature this way? The beautiful white donkey has now been moved to the sanctuary so that he can begin the long road to recovery, and will never be mistreated again. He has been named Netiv, after the kibbutz where he was found.
Netiv will shortly be available for adoption, so if you would like to help him on his road to recovery, check our website shortly!
Shai the donkey was found near a Bedouin village in northern Israel by a nature reserve ranger. The donkey was being abused by a group of young boys, who were beating him repeatedly with sticks. Rushing over, the ranger chased the boys away and led the donkey to the shade of a nearby tree. Only then did he notice that the donkey was dragging his back leg. Upon closer inspection, he realised that the donkey had a deformed hoof, which was clearly causing him a great deal of pain.
The ranger wanted to get the donkey away quickly (before the villagers staked their claim to him, and subjected him to a lifetime of further abuse), so he loaded the wounded donkey into the back of his truck and sped off to a neighbouring village, where he kept him overnight at a friend’s property until the Pegasus team arrived.
The donkey has been named Shai in honour of his rescuer, and is currently going through a rehabilitation period at the sanctuary. Time will tell whether Shai can be rehomed with a loving family, or whether hw will stay at the sanctuary as a permanent resident.
Dvir was found wandering near a spring with a long iron chain around his neck and dragging on the ground behind him, and a deep cup on his abdomen. He was spotted by a group of teens who led him back to their village and contacted Pegasus.
Dvir is now rehabilitating at the sanctuary and his wound is being treated daily. This story has a happy ending and was a breath of fresh air as we encounter so many incidents of abuse by children and teenagers, but this time it was the complete opposite as the teenagers showed compassion and kindness towards an animal in need.
Adama was found wandering in the desert at the beginning of May. She was pregnant, starving and searching desperately for water. The kind man who found her gave her water, fresh vegetables and shade and called Pegasus to come for her.
Adama was rehomed about a month later to a lovely petting farm where she gave birth to a beautiful little filly and they are both living happily together.
A new YouTube video shows the journey to recovery of some of the Susita Sanctuary's permanent residents:
Animal Defense Force
The Animal Defense Force works to establish units of voluntary officers in the Israeli Police Force who work towards a common goal of protecting animals from abuse and neglect, and Pegasus has been working with this team since 2007.
Pegasus conducts lectures to every intake of new volunteers, arming students with the tools to detect neglect, abuse and common medical problems or disabilities in horses and donkeys.
We see every volunteering officer as another pair of eyes that can help us with our work to protect these animals.
On 16 July, the team gave a very successful presentation to graduates of a new course run by the Tel Aviv Police Department. The students showed genuine interest and concern, and we look forward to seeing them in uniform soon, working towards animal rights and welfare!