#CoronaChronicles 2021: Week Seven

Did you know, that even when we are not in the middle of a coronavirus lockdown, there is an element of Redwings’ work that must always remain behind closed doors?

Many of the neglected horses and donkeys we offer care to are the subjects of ongoing legal proceedings which means we can’t talk about them publicly.

To do so could jeopardise the outcome of forthcoming court hearings and prevent their owners facing justice – it could even result in the horses being returned to them.

For this reason, there are dozens of residents at the Sanctuary that we currently are not able to tell you about (some have been with us for years), but please be assured that they are receiving all the specialist care they need thanks to your kind donations.

This week, 18 months after the rescue took place, the owner of a horse sanctuary in Wales pleaded guilty and was sentenced for causing suffering to the animals in her care, meaning for the first time we can reveal our role in the case. 

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Horses photographed at Whispering Willows. Photo credit: RSPCA

In 2019, Redwings was one of many equine welfare charities that offered emergency care and safe new homes to more than 130 horses discovered at Whispering Willows sanctuary in North Wales. Our Head of Welfare & Behaviour, Nic de Brauwere, offered his assistance at the site and we took in 23 horses.

Nic is also the chairman of the National Equine Welfare Council who coordinated the coalition of charities who sprang into action to help.

Very sadly, four have since been put to sleep when it became clear their health issues were too great to overcome. However, the remainder now live happily at our Norfolk sanctuary sites and have been named after NHS hospitals in honour of our frontline health care workers during the pandemic, including Alexandra, Gwent, Radcliffe and Good Hope.

Now the court case has concluded, we look forward to bringing you their stories soon.

In the meantime, let us update you on Zac who many of you have been asking us about. Zac was an extremely thin Thoroughbred cross who came to the Sanctuary in January having been left without basic care. We’re delighted to say that he is doing well and is slowly regaining weight. Here he is photographed this week - he's a little camera shy!

Due to the current lockdown, he remains at our specialist quarantine centre for now but we hope to introduce him to a herd in the Sanctuary as soon as we can.

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Zac pictured at his rescue in January (left) and now at the Sanctuary (right).

It’s your support that means we’re able to offer help to horses in need like Zac and those from Whispering Willows. As more people feel the effects of the coronavirus lockdowns, we feel our services are going to be more in demand than ever.

In 2021 so far, the number of requests we have received to take in horses, either because of suspected abandonment or from those who are now struggling to provide the necessary care for their horses, has almost doubled compared to the total at this point last year.

And it’s not just the amount of requests that are rising – the total number of horses these requests concern has also soared by almost 150%.

If you can, please consider a donation to Redwings so we can be there to provide the essential advice people need and offer further help where we can. You can donate by calling 01508 481000 or click here to find out more

Now, we know everyone is probably more than happy to have seen the back of snow, but we couldn’t help but end this week’s blog with some more stunning images sent in from across the Sanctuary.

We hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend #RedwingsAngels