A bandaged horse being treated after a car accident

When Sami the horse was struck by a speeding car in Morocco, her owner was heartbroken and thought she would have to be put down. Read how SPANA vets intervened and eased the suffering of both the animal and owner.

As Sami stepped out in to an intersection after a long day pulling her cart, she didn’t notice a car hurtling towards her until it was too late. The horse reared in the oncoming beams of the headlights, trying to veer to the right to avoid impact. But the vehicle struck the horse’s chest and right shoulder, throwing her to the ground with a sickening thud.

A bandaged horse being treated after a car accidentSami’s owner Said, who was driving the cart, was shocked; he shakily climbed out of the overturned cart, almost too scared to survey the damage. Not only was Said very attached to his animal, but without her, he had no means of feeding his three children back at home. The initial relief he experienced at seeing that Sami had survived was immediately replaced by horror. In the dimming lights of the car, Said could make out deep wounds running down Sami’s chest and legs. Blood and broken windshield glass covered the ground around the dazed animal. While the driver of the car was unhurt, the bonnet of the car had been completely crushed upon impact. A number of witnesses to the accident remarked to each other how incredible it was that the horse and driver had survived at all.

Although Said managed to get Sami to her feet, he knew that every second was critical as the horse was losing so much blood. Thanks to a Good Samaritan with a truck, Sami got a lift to the SPANA clinic alongside Said, who kept her calm during the journey. Said called ahead to warn the SPANA team of the accident, and they were there to meet him at the doors to the centre. Despite his panic, Said was deeply grateful for the calm and capable intervention of the vets – without them, his horse would surely have died from her painful injuries.

Struggling to walk, the horse hobbled to the treatment area where the SPANA team removed the glass and debris from her wounds before gently disinfecting the area. They staunched the flow of blood and sutured the cuts before giving her a tetanus injection. Given the awkward location of the injuries, the team realised that normally wrapped bandages wouldn’t adhere to the suture sites properly. Instead, they got creative, using twine to pin the bandages together so that it wouldn’t slip from the animal’s shoulder.

Sami was still in shock and needed time to rest and calm down. Our vets administered strong painkillers to ease her suffering, before leading her to a cool, quiet stall for the night. Said was teary-eyed as he thanked the vets. He knew that if they hadn’t been there to intervene, Sami’s open wounds would have become badly infected, affecting nerves and muscles before possibly killing her.

Sami became a fast favourite of the stable staff at the centre. Every day she was led out of her stall for a bandage change, and after 10 days of observation and care, she was finally ready to have her stiches removed. When Said came to collect his horse, he was given road safety training and encouraged to wear a reflective vest when working at night. The team also recommended attaching reflectors or even CDs to the back of his cart to catch the light of oncoming vehicles and improve visibility.

A bandaged horse being treated after a car accident

Car accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence across Morocco with thousands of animals injured or killed each year. SPANA vets are working hard to reduce the incidence of these easily avoidable injuries, speaking to owners at every mobile clinic and market to explain how simple measures like reflectors can mean the difference between life and death for their working animals.

Thanks to SPANA’s timely intervention, Sami is expected to make a full recovery with time and proper care.

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37 comments on “Sami’s car collision catastrophe

  1. Mary Mitchell on

    Wonderful; story! I especially like your educative work which is vitally important. I lived and workd or several years in Nigeria and saw how animals suffered due to the ignorance and bad traditional practices of the owners even though the humans had no idea of the correct way to help, they cared so much for their animals. Keep up the good work!


    • SPANA on

      Thank you, we couldn’t agree more. Our educational work is extremely important and makes a positive difference in the communities where we work.

  2. Hilary Hickman on

    A wonderful story of hope and healing, and every good wish to Sami and her devoted owner. Many many years ago SPANA was the very first charity that I first begun donating to on a monthly basis and it has been very special to me ever since. The incredible dedication, and work that you do on behalf of all the working donkeys, horses- and others – fills me with amazement and I can’t thank you enough for everything you do to relieve their suffering and hardship. God bless you all.

    • SPANA on

      Thank you. We couldn’t achieve our mission of a world where working animals lead a better life, without the loyal support of people like you.

  3. Patricia Ross on

    Heart warming to read how our support is helping horses round the world and educating their owners to help keep them safe. Brilliant work!


    I have been donating to SPANA now on a direct monthly debit for 8 years and am always AMAZED at the brilliant work they continuously do…so WELL DONE to all Spana vets and helpers you have saved many animals and helped their owners!!!

  5. Heather Wiltshire on

    is it not possible that reflectors could be takrn from scrapped uk cars and sent to Morocco. I amsure uk scrap dealers could be persuaded to save them if they knew. Surely the expense isworth paying if animals are saved fromi jury and vets bills then other animals could be helped

    • Kristin on

      That’s brilliant! Perhaps some enterprising person in Morocco could start a trend? You’d think it’s a “no brainer”, but I wonder how many Moroccans would ever think of putting reflectors on their carts? Ive been to Morocco a few times, and was surprised at the number of work animals utilized. Even the garbage collector in Tangier, a “major city” was a horse and cart! Talk about Green Economy, they live it.

  6. Philip Wade on

    So very happy you were there and able to help Sami, I dread to think what her outcome would have been with out your expert care.This is why I support your wonderful organisation.

  7. Val Thomas on

    I am proud to be a supporter of SPANA and am so grateful for the work you do to help working animals and the people who depend on them. All best wishes to Sami and all working animals everywhere.

  8. Diana Ferguson on

    That is what you do so well —–help the animals AND their families which is why I support you with donations.

    Wonderful you are there to help unfortunate animals like Sami & educate their owners on better care.

  9. Lyn Haleigh on

    This bought tears to my eyes, but it is so uplifting as it has a happy ending for Sami and her owner. Without SPANA, I would hate to think of the outcome. SPANA is highly recognised around the world – keep on doing the amazing work; it is so vital and touches the heart.

    Lyn Haleigh


  10. Linda Stapley on

    Brilliant success. It is heartening to read this. So sad, that car accidents are on the up everywhere 🙁

  11. Valerie Herbert on

    What a great chance Sami was given to survive, thanks to your amazing staff. Spana do such a wonderful job for animals and their owners.

  12. Sue Holmes on

    A story with – thankfully – a very happy ending! A win-win for Sami and Said. There will be thousands more animals who will benefit from SPANA like Sami has done. Thank you for being there for them 🙂


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