Horse rescue team looking for land or foster carers
An animal rescue operation near Enfield has issued an appeal for anyone with land to rent – or who is willing to foster a horse or donkey – to get in contact.
“We are literally inundated with messages about neglected and dumped horses,” says Orla Donohoe of MyLovelyHorse rescue.
So inundated are they that the hectic round of rescues in which they have been engaged means the three farms they have are at the limit:
“Literally we are at full capacity, so we really need more space,” says Orla.
“So we are looking for someone to rent us a piece of land that has some sort of water source, whether it be a stream or a river, or whether it be attached on to a house so we can bring out buckets of water.
“It would need a couple of stables or a sheltered area.
“Or we are looking for people to foster. It’s just someone who will mind the horses for us and we will pay for the hay and feed and all that; and we will pay for the vet’s bills and for a farrier.
“So all they’re doing is minding the horse. It just means we can spread them out and they’re not all on the farm, because we just don’t have the space and we just don’t want to say ‘no’ because there are so many in need.”
Many of the horses they rescue come from housing estates and small gardens in Dublin – and, increasingly, Kilkenny. Some are horses left in fields without food: “Only a few weeks ago we had a case where a man who is renting land arrived one day to find a horse there, and he had no idea where it came from,” says Orla.
“Unfortunately there are people out there who don’t have a lot of regard for horses. There are plenty of people who just dump a horse in a field and don’t want to feed it.
“I’m going out to horses and nobody knows who owns them or where they belong to – and somebody has to take them in.”
Oddly, the charity also rescues a lot of pigs.
“Even though our main base is equine in that we take in horses and donkeys, we also rescue pigs, goats, cats and dogs – so we kind of do everything,” say Orla.
The pigs tend to have been bought as pets and then outgrown their owners’ expectations.
MyLovelyHorseRescue has been running for 10 years, and yes, Orla confirms, the name was inspired by the Fr Ted Eurovision entry.
“There are four co-founders and really they just wanted to help horses… and here we are 10 years later.”
The four are sisters Martina and Deborah Kenny, and Eoin Cullen, all based in Kildare, and in Cork, Cathy Davy.
The charity now has around 50 volunteers, and rescued animals are at present taken either to the charity’s farm near Enfield or to one of its two farms in Cork.