Written and photographed by Veronica van Greunen, Shelter Manager, Wetnose Animal Rescue Centre
As a rescue organisation, we receive a wide variety of calls about animals being abandoned, abused, or neglected.
On the 25th of June 2019, we received a call from a member of the public about a horse found next to the road, but it was busy dying – a definite first for us.
Nothing could have prepared us for what we subsequently found on arrival… he was literally a bag of bones in a horse’s skin.
Horrified, shocked, and emotional are just a few of the feelings that we dealt with in a matter of a few seconds, because lying in the middle of a dirt road, hidden by long grass, and left to die, we found Zulu.
What was once a beautiful, proud and majestic animal was now a sad, emaciated and severely neglected animal attempting to fight for his life. That’s when we realised that money doesn’t buy class.
According to local residents, they saw a well-dressed couple with two small children in an expensive white Toyota Fortuner towing a trailer with two horses. One of them was lying down, and that’s when they pulled off into a small farm road and dragged Zulu off the trailer and drove off, leaving him to die on the road. When people stopped to ask what was wrong and if they could help, the people just said that they were fine and didn’t need assistance.
We didn’t know if Zulu would make the night – our veterinarian gave him intravenous fluids and we ensured that he had a comfy bed for the night.
Zulu became a social media sensation, and everyone wanted to know how he was doing and if we’d managed to find the people who dumped him.
A reward of R25,000 was offered for any positive information leading to prosecution against the perpetrators, but, sadly, no one stepped forward at all.
Zulu had his teeth seen to by a dentist, and a farrier came out to start with his hooves. He slowly began to gain weight, and his wounds healed nicely.
Zulu made new friends and even started with a nice gait once he saw a pretty little mare that came in.
This amazing horse survived despite all odds, and he’s truly lived up to his name; but none of this would have been possible if we didn’t have all the support from all of our loyal supporters and every person who prayed with us during this difficult time!
You can follow Zulu’s story on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WetNoseARC/