This year equine charity Brooke marks its 90th anniversary. The organisation works to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules around the world.

From humble beginnings as a hospital for ex-warhorses in the 1930s, the charity now reaches over four million working animals and more than one million people.

Brooke’s story began with a British woman named Dorothy Brooke living in Egypt, who found hundreds of emaciated ex-warhorses wandering the streets having been abandoned after World War One. Dorothy vowed to do whatever it took to ease the suffering of these animals, writing a letter to The Morning Post (now The Daily Telegraph) exposing their plight.

Dorothy Brooke in the yard of the SPCA with some of the war horses she rescued in the 1930s. Cairo, Egypt. Credit: Brooke

The British public were so moved, Dorothy received £20,000 in today’s money to establish the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital in Cairo in 1934. Over the next three years, Dorothy purchased five thousand ex-warhorses to care for.

Today, Dorothy’s legacy continues, as Brooke works in 13 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, protecting working animals who are the backbone of communities in the developing world. It reaches 10,000 communities and 5,000 animal health service providers.

For more information about Brooke’s history, click here

The Brooke archive: Cairo, Egypt

Lead image of Old Bill, one of the first war horses rescued by Dorothy Brooke in 1931. Credit: Brooke

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