Rescuing horses is hard work. It’s emotionally, physically and financially draining. A lot of legal red tape also needs to be worked through, and relationships with authorities need to be created and maintained for us to be able to do our work.

Over the last nine years, we have developed what we consider to be a really good working relationship with local authorities. This relationship is crucial as fast action from authorities is vital when it comes to us rescuing starving and neglected animals.

Sadly, in other areas of Spain though, this isn’t always the case. We’re devastated to report that police inaction recently prevented the rescue of two severely neglected horses in Valencia.

After a month of delays by local authorities, including police and Seprona, the two neglected horses plus a dog with visible head wounds disappeared from the Valencia property in late April, presumably moved by the owner to prevent their rescue.

The animals’ whereabouts and welfare is now unknown.

In situations like these, we are reminded that not rescuing horses is even harder work. It’s frustrating and draining and it can be hard to see the positives when you know that animals are suffering because of red tape and delays.

Not rescuing animals also shows us that there is so much more work to be done.

Right now we are calling on the Spanish government to fund centres like our own. We need that funding because Spanish authorities have nowhere to house equines when they are seized. Yet the current animal welfare system requires a rescue centre to agree to take any abused equine before it can be legally seized. The twisted irony of these laws is what causes delays and gives neglectful owners time to escape persecution and flee with their animals.

We need to make sure that people hear about these two beautiful horses in Valencia, and that their suffering doesn’t go unnoticed.

Because together, we can request action from the government and appeal to the police to act on denuncia reports as quickly as possible. Together we can change animal welfare in Spain. Please help us spread the word and demand change by sharing our Facebook post about this case.

One pony we did manage to save this month

Meet gorgeous little Perlita, a 22-year-old mare who was surrendered to us by her Spanish family on April 22. As you probably know, we almost never accept horses like this, as we find many people simply try to dump their unwanted animals on us and we do not have the resources to cope. But Perlita’s case is very different.

She was owned by a Spanish man who’d loved and cared for Perlita her entire life (she was literally born inside this man’s house), but who is now very old and frail and can no longer care for her. With nowhere else for Perlita to go, we agreed to take her.

A veterinary examination has now revealed that Perlita likely had laminitis in the past, so we will do our best through corrective farrier work to make her more comfortable.