Amir and his horse Zouhara

We’re able to provide free veterinary care to animals like Zouhara thanks to the kind support of our donors and fundraisers who host events such as our World Tea Party.  

In the rural town of Chemaia in central Morocco, Zouhara (the arabic word for flower) pulls a cart along dusty roads, transporting people to and from the market at the edge of town.

Zouhara the horse with her owner

Zouhara faithfully supports her owner; 28 year old Amir, his wife and two young children whose livelihoods are intrinsically linked to Zouhara’s welfare.

One spring morning, Zouhara managed to get out of her enclosure. In a panic, the horse tripped over a curb and fell into a metal cart on the road, wounding her chest as she fell.

Amir, on hearing the commotion, rushed outside to calm Zouhara down and was shocked to see a 10 cm cut across the animal’s chest. He knew she needed help immediately and brought her  to the SPANA clinic. Upon examining the would, SPANA vet Dr Youness recognised that the mare would need stitches. To calm the mare, Dr Youness administered a sedative and local anaesthesia so he could efficiently clean and suture the wound.

Luckily for Zouhara, the wound was on her chest where there is ample, elastic skin – perfect for stitching with good alignment of the skin for rapid healing.  

Dr Youness also gave Zouhara some antibiotics to prevent infection and asked Amir to bring Zouhara in the following day for a check up. 

Amir was deeply grateful for SPANA’s time and care and said of SPANA:  ‘It’s invaluable to my family. If SPANA wasn’t here we wouldn’t have been able to afford the cost of a private vet and Zouhara would suffer.”

For many working animal owners, the cost of private vet care is prohibitively expensive and means that many horses, donkeys, mules, camels and elephants wouldn’t receive the life saving care that they need. In towns like Chemaia, hundreds of low income families very survival rests on the welfare of their hardworking working animals. Thanks to SPANA’s treatments, working animals can live a life free of pain and suffering.

You can help us reach more animals in need by hosting a World Tea Party this summer. Try a British Tea Party, Ethiopian Coffee Morning or one of our other fabulous themed events.

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12 comments on “A stitch in time for Zouhara’s chest-wound

  1. K Morgan on

    I found this site through “Martha Stewart’s” knit for charity pages. There are few who *don’t* love animals, so it’s no surprise I’m interested in SPANA’s work. I do not know what other readers imagine, and I mean no offense by assuming they may believe animals aren’t treated with the care we give our pets in the West, but speaking from anecodatal experience I will tell you that the Moroccan people I met love and cherish their working animals as if they are children. At one of the farms I stayed, a child ran in the room excitedly to alert the family that a new goat kid is being born- who can miss that? I too ran out to watch the birth take place and as soon as the kid was born, the mother goat licked her owners face just like an excited dog before she licked and sniffed her own baby! The owner/farmer laughed good-naturedly and told the goat “Safi, safi” (enough, enough already). Another dear friend and sheep farmer I know stayed up all night, every night for two weeks massaging a ewe’s impacted teats, bottle feeding her antibiotics mixed with yoghurt then the farmer had to be up and working his farm in the morning on top of taking care of the ewe. He also had to bottle feed her lamb every few hours while she healed.

    I’m aware not every person on God’s green earth is kind and gives best care to those with no voice, but I wanted to share my stories of how poor people in the Northern part of Morocco treated their animals. They felt great empathy with the animals and were distressed if they felt the animals were in any pain or discomfort. Many, if not most of these people are impoverished, and even though they go to great lengths to help their animals, they really need help with veterinary care. I am SO glad I found this organization, I had no idea of it’s existence and had often wished to myself such a thing existed- now I know one does. I’ve downloaded the patterns, and will read the packet later. Thank you for your work!!

  2. Lyn Haleigh on

    Thank God that Zouhara, Ragu & Nobel got the treatment they badly needed and the little donkey was pulled out of the hole to safety. Without SPANA to help them, these animals would suffer badly – and their owners too. It’s so heart warming to know that there is help for these poor creatures that are unable to help themselves and to know that donations to this charity really do make the difference!

  3. Margaret on

    Supporting SPANA is important to me. Most people have some choices, our animals have none so any help,we can give must be good. Thank you for all the work you do, it makes the world a little better.

  4. Pamela Tomey on

    I am so pleased that Zouhara got the help she needed,and that she is being cared for and looked after. It broke my heart to see these beautiful horses,used in this way with no food to eat,pulling heavy loads.Well done to Spana, showing such care and kindness.

  5. Viv Hendry on

    SPANA’s work is most definitely a must for these hard working animals. SPANA not only helps the animals but also their families too, a win win situation all round. Supporting SPANA is worth every single penny! THANK YOU!! xx

  6. Mrs Maggie Hayter on

    You are the most thoughtful and kind organisation that any owner could wish for to instruct them and take care of their sick and injured animals who have to work so hard every day. Thank you all so much.

  7. Sheena Stewart on

    I was lucky enough to visit the SPANA hospital in Chemaia on a SPANA supporters holiday in 2015. I was very impressed and humbled by the professionalism and care given by the staff at all levels, to the animals in need of their care. All the SPANA hospitals I visited in Morocco are like a beacon of light and hope for very hard working animals and their owners. The education program is also very impressive.
    I am proud that in a small way I am able to support SPANA’s work. It is a very impressive charity.

  8. Benjamin on

    I’m very happy that I could help families with low income I love animals. And when I see those poor creatures suffering it. Breaks my heart to see please could you tell about the update on saving donkey from the skin trade I really hope are all the countries working to together this time. And stopping all poachers in this world I hope when they get caught they throw the book. At them I love to hear all the great work you do it shows that is more good than evildoers thank you

  9. Sandra Sharp on

    I am so pleased to see all the animals being nursed back to heath .
    I used to live in Morocco seeing so many Animals needing treatment.
    I dicided to support Spana and l will continue to do so you do an amazing job .

  10. Wendy Morris on

    Been following the work of SPANA for years. They do a wonderful job. I would not like to think how these animals coped and suffered before the help of these dedicated people.
    Thank You.


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