Zara the 11-year-old horse provides all the transport for her owner Abdel, his wife, and their three children. This enables them to get food from their local markets, visit family members, attend school and even provides their only access to medical care. On this occasion, however, it was Zara who desperately needed treatment.

Unfortunately, whilst Zara was transporting Abdel’s children to their local school, she slipped and wounded both of her knees. Thanks to local SPANA education and community training programmes, Abdel knew all about the charity’s work and immediately loaded his horse on to the back of a cart to bring her to the SPANA Chemaia centre, Morocco, for treatment.

On arrival, and after a thorough examination, SPANA’s Dr Youness realised that the wounds could not be sutured straight away because of the swelling around her joints. As a result, Youness first placed Zara on a course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and painkillers. Afterwards they cleaned all her wounds with salt water and trained Abdel how to do the same so that healing could begin.

Two weeks later, the swelling had reduced. Abdel brought Zara back to the Chemaia centre for a follow-up and to check if the wounds needed stitches. Thankfully, because of the training that he’d received in how to properly care for his horse’s injuries they had healed well and didn’t need any further treatment.

Now, fully recovered, Zara can live and work alongside her family once again, providing an important service, and being treated with respect and compassion.

If it wasn’t for SPANA, Zara would have had no access to proper veterinary treatment, and without your support we simply could not continue to provide this to the hundreds of thousands of animals we reach all across the world.

SPANA’s work is also vital for teaching owners about the right way to care for animals, avoiding traditional practises that so often cause animals more harm than good.

Her owner, Adbul, says,

I’m very satisfied, because I had no idea about the things that you taught me. I’m happy about what I learned, as some other animal owners had advised me to put engine oil and soap on my horse’s wounds. I can now explain to them that this is wrong as it will hurt their animal.

This just goes to show that whilst SPANA’s veterinary work is vital for the short-term well-being of animals, education and community training provides a basis for a much brighter future. SPANA staff around the world work tirelessly to develop the skills of veterinary professionals and animal owners so that they can all play their part in improving welfare standards. Ongoing education of vets, children and owners alike means that we can build a network of information that supports the welfare of working animals for years to come.

Thank you for making all this possible.

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