Today is Veterans Day or Remembrance Day. There are few good things to come out of war but this post, which I am reposting here, tells of one huge plus for working equines.
When World War 1 ended there were thousands of horses that had survived and were not returned to their homelands of England, Canada or Australia. In 1930 Dorothy Brooke arrived in Cairo, Egypt. She was horrified to find hundreds of emaciated and down trodden horses that had been sold into a life of hard labor at the end of the war. She wrote a letter to the Morning Post ( now the Daily Telegraph) in London. She pleaded with readers to have compassion on these poor war horses.
“These old horses were, many of them, born and bred in the green fields of England – how many years since they have seen a field, heard a stream of water, or a kind word in English?”
Her appeal was successful and she received £20,000 in today’s money. She spent the next five years purchasing these warhorses and most were humanely put down and allowed to end their lives in peace. In 1934 she founded the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital in Cairo to provide free veterinary care for all the working horses and donkeys.
The Brooke Hospital for Animals was born.
Today the Brooke helps over 1.8 million working horses, donkeys, and mules in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Brook has vets, animal welfare experts, advocacy and development specialists. They provide veterinary care and also education to owners on how to best care for their horses and donkeys with well fitting harness, good forage, nourishment, hoof care and much more. It is a marvelous organization and I encourage you to follow this link and find out more about their work.
Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin is an Ambassador for the Brooke and visited India in 2015.At the clinic she gave in Ontario she talked about how heartbreaking it was to see the working animals in India but in the areas where the Brooke has been working the difference was remarkable.
The Brooke is the silver lining for working horses and donkeys and they have Dorothy Brooke and the war horses to thank for it.
Today on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2022, we remember all those who served and I hope my blog posts this past week will give you more information and understanding of how horses have also served .