A sanctuary in Israel has shared the tragic tale of a horse trapped in a desperate state and their efforts to save him, in a bid to build support for their work helping other stricken equines.

Lucy’s UK Donkey Sanctuary, which was founded by Brighton-born Lucy Fensom in 2015, is located next to the Palestinian West Bank border, just over 60 miles away from Gaza. It is currently home to 51 donkeys and two horses.

The charity recently responded to a call to help a horse who was stick in a flooded ditch of ‘putrid’ water in a nearby Arab village.

“When we arrived at the scene, we checked him as much as the circumstances would allow, for any signs of injury or fractures and though it was clear he was terribly thin, weak and tired, we could find nothing else obvious,” said a spokesperson for the charity. “Though it was a very warm, sunny day, there had been recent substantial rainfall which had caused the ditch to fill. There were general suspicions that somebody […] may have just dumped the horse in the ditch once he had collapsed and could no longer work. Whether that is true we have no way of knowing.

“Thanks to the amazing group of kind men who had turned up to help, Arab and Jewish men together, we managed to, as gently as possible, pull and lift the poor soul from the water, up the bank and into the trailer to drive him back to our sanctuary where our vet checked and treated him.”

The vet believed the horse was suffering from advanced hypothermia and must have been trapped in the ditch for at least 24 hours. He was also extremely malnourished, weak and exhausted. His body temperature was 34 Celsius, so his normal bodily functions and metabolism had begun to shut down.

“The vet attempted to treat him with warmth therapy and warm IV fluids, as well as NSAIDs and antibiotics but very sadly, despite giving us hope when he would sit up to eat a small amount, the little horse did not make it,” they continued. “The only thing we could do was take comfort in the fact that he passed away having experienced care and love probably for the first time in his life, and that he didn’t die alone, drowning in that terrible ditch.

“We know this may sound harsh, but the fact is that even though we lost that little horse, we still needed to pay a veterinary bill of nearly £415 for the attempt to save him. As with every rescue and indeed with every single thing we do, we were only able to go to the aid of this horse thanks to the amazing support of kind and generous people making desperately needed donations. Thank you.”

To help the charity continue it’s lifesaving work and provide a home for equines in desperate need, you can adopt any of the sanctuary donkeys for a year for £20 or donate funds.

To find out more, visit lucysdonkeyfoundation.org.uk

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