After The Disaster – The Animals

The devastation following the Gota Fria, (the worst storms in many years on the Costa Blanca), has affected so many in so many ways. The loss of life has been heartbreaking and it will take a long time for many people to try and recover some semblance of normality. 

Animal Rescue Centres and individuals across the region have been severely affected with the loss of life of many animals. Currently the number of corpses recovered is nearly 1,500 and the destruction of premises and infrastructures is unheard of. Although some feel very lucky to have been saved from the floods, it is the future that is causing concern now. For one rescue, Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, the shortage of forage is now their biggest concern.

EHCRC was on high alert throughout the period with the Town Hall keeping them informed on the state of the river and impending disaster as they knew leaving 120 horses, ponies and donkeys was not an option for Rod and Sue Weeding. Miraculously the banks of the River Segura didn’t burst in the vicinity of the Rescue Centre, although they did have to face the torrential rain with flooding of the fields and stable yard, but as always, hail, rain or shine, day or night Rod and Sue were there dealing with whatever was being thrown at them with the biggest job initially being to pump out the water 24/7. They were so grateful to all of you who so kindly donated towards those pumps which they were able to purchase following your donations previously with the last floods.

The even greater challenge now is how everyone is going to feed their equines this winter because quite simply there is going to be a real shortage of forage in Spain. The Weedings said, “We have lost about €3,000 worth of our forage in this flood and we have been told that currently 78% of alfalfa in Spain is being exported to the Middle East and China. There is no way we and the ordinary person can compete with the price the producers are getting from these countries.”

Sue, in her tenacious way, decided to take on the challenge of sharing their desperate situation and looking for solidarity from far and wide. Firstly many people graciously donated to their request for financial assistance and then came the offers of ‘hands on’ help and then incredible people like Rune from Norway started his quest to find supplies of actual forage. He trekked to Austria and Germany where many kind farmers donated hay, which is as we speak on its way to a central collection point in Germany awaiting pick up to be delivered to the door of Easy Horse Care. Incredibly, Rune has secured two more loads for next month and the month after. It is estimated that each load will last about two and a half weeks.

The next step has been to secure transportation for the hay from Germany to Spain.  However the best price quoted has been €3,300. Thankfully the Deutscher Golf Club Costa Blanca has stepped in and with additional resources from other donators they have collected enough for the first load of hay to be delivered this week.

Sue Weeding said, “We are so grateful to all our supporters, volunteers, donators and particularly those who have really gone out of their way to help us at this incredibly difficult time. This is going to be a long hard winter for us and so many until the crops are ready for harvest again, which won’t be until well into next year.”

EHCRC still needs help to survive this particularly bad period, but they also need your ongoing support. They expect, because of this feed crisis, that many calls will start coming in from the authorities about even more abandoned equines than usual, so please check out the ECHR website for all the different ways you can help, including donating financially or even your unwanted good quality furniture for them to sell in their charity shops.