Your donations have helped improve the lives and eased the load of working donkeys in rural South African townships, giving these gentle creatures the relief they desperately needed.
In the poor township of Bela-Bela, in South Africa, using donkeys to earn a living is a way of life. Donkeys are used to transport heavy loads of goods, which enables their owners to earn money. Conditions are incredibly harsh for these animals, who often work long days, suffer injuries and endure great discomfort.
One of the worst sources of these injuries and discomfort is the incorrect harnesses used to tether carts to the donkeys. Owners use any cheap materials they can find, like wire, chains or rope, to secure the carts to these poor animals. These harsh materials cut into the donkeys’ flesh and cause terrible injuries to their mouths, chests and bodies, which never have a chance to heal. These contraptions may also cause the animals to walk unevenly and develop painful injuries to their feet.
Recently, the Network for Animals (NFA) team traveled to the region for a very special and important mission: to deliver good-quality, comfortable harnesses to the donkey owners, and to educate them about how to properly care for and treat their animals.
Together with our partners, the Have a Heart Equine Sanctuary (HAHES) and Matabeleland Animal Rescue & Equine Sanctuary (MARES), we spent several days in Bela-Bela, treating donkeys and educating their owners. We taught them how to harness the donkeys properly, and to rest any animals that develop injuries. We made sure to confiscate the old, incorrect harnesses and gave the owners the beautifully-crafted ones created by the MARES team. Owners did not have to pay for these harnesses, but they have been given strict instructions: if our animal cruelty inspector sees them using the wrong harnesses again or overloading, overworking or abusing their donkeys, the animals will be confiscated.
It's thanks to your generous donations that we were able to create this essential outreach program to educate owners and deliver vital pieces of equipment. It’s also thanks to you that we can keep our cruelty inspectors on the ground, constantly monitoring the township for any cases of abuse or maltreatment.
These inspectors are a lifeline to the many donkeys that have been confiscated, rehabilitated and rehomed.
Thank you for being a friend to the animals! The donkeys of Bela-Bela are so appreciative of your support. Please keep donating generously so we can continue to look out for their welfare.