Calan Horse Sanctuary - Update

$85,713 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 916 people in 23 months
Horses Do Go To Heaven!  In the past five years, Calan Horse Sanctuary has had nearly 152 requests to take in a horse. Whilst we are able to care for the 20 who currently live here, 5 have passed away since the sanctuary opened and the number of requests continues to rise and sadly, we can't take them all as resources are limited.    20  equine residents, 2 alpaca's several sheep, 2 cats and 1 dog call this place 'home'.
The costs continue to rise for feed, vet, dental and general care like rugging, upkeep of the stables.    Your donations help us help the horses who have nowhere else to go- they're either at risk of being shot or shipped off to the knackery through no fault of their own. Did you know the estimates are that 700 horses per week are slaughtered in Australia?  Most of the horses in our care would be considered high risk - mainly seniors over 20, have medical issues and require some sort of rehabilitation.  When they land here, however, they are never sold on, never ridden,  and they are given lots of attention and heaps of TLC.
We thank you for your generosity and support. If you're in the area, stop by for a visit. We'd love to share the story of each and every horse.
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“The first duty of love is to listen” – Paul Tillich

…And listen we did when a kind woman and her daughter appealed to Alan to take in a former racehorse, whom we’ll call ‘Vinnie.’ Vinnie was losing weight rapidly and had an injury so bad while he was at an agistment property that it required extensive vet care. The injury occurred when Vinnie was placed in a paddock with five, gelded, heavy horses who attacked him. The vet bills were more than this lovely family could handle and knowing he deserved a life where he would be treated with kindness, love and an abundance of care, they contacted Calan Horse Sanctuary and were able to surrender him to us.

According to the rescuers, when he came off the track he was “emaciated, full of ulcers and lame, couldn’t believe he was raced a couple of days prior in that condition. He didn’t know how to be a horse, didn’t know what to do in a paddock, had no idea how to interact with our other horses for some time- the day he figured out he could move was beautiful to see. “ they said.

Vinnie started growing taller and filling out under their care and six months later he was 16hh and in a 6 foot rug. He was quiet, could be led, although became lame after seeing the farrier so he was no longer ridden. Personal circumstances of this family meant this lovely horse with a warm heart had little options.

As is often the case, Calan Horse Sanctuary gets more offers to take in a horse than we have room or time for. Alan is the main and often only person on the property to feed meals, rug, trim hooves, administer care and upkeep the property as well as all of the animals. Taking on another horse in need is significant for one man caring for dozens of horses and other animals with a range of needs.

However, one look at Vinnie was so compelling that even with other horses to care for Alan made the decision that this fella came into our awareness for a reason. We listened and heard him.

Vinnie has been with us just over one week and as you can see for yourselves will require ongoing veterinary care and upkeep. We never know what will be required of each horse as they are all treated individually according to what is going on physically, mentally and in their beautiful and often broken and tender heart.

We are making a special financial appeal for Vinnie in this update. It is also time to let our supporters know we have launched our new website which features each and every horse- with Vinnie to be added shortly. It also lists ways to donate if you are not able to offer finances although financial support, veterinary services and if you can physically help out are our top 3 needs.

On behalf of Vinnie,

Thank you for helping us help him. We are grateful you’re out there.
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To all of our good friends, we want to let you know that old Beriah aka Lightning Jack, has passed away. This is not a financial appeal and rather a tribute to our good mate and the beautiful life our supporters helped to give him.

Around 10.30 AM on 25/5/2019 a horse with a giant heart and soul was put to sleep. He was found down very early that morning and all indications by the marks on the ground he had been suffering for a long time.

It was a repeat of what I saw with dear Topaz and Merc, on both of these sad occasions it was kidney failure and they just could not get up. Myself and helper Vince tried very hard to help him to stand but his rear end would not respond, also we were concerned about his organs being damaged by the continue weight by lying on hard ground. Merc totally lost an eye during his terrible time of not being able to get up, he just rubbed the eye right out of the socket and twice I had to open Beriah's eye socket and swap with a sponge because it was filling up with sand.

Again with Merc also his mouth was caked with sand and I opened up Beriah's mouth and there was sand in it, not as full as Merc but it would not have been long before it would have been. With the fear they experience plus the terrible discomforts they are experiencing makes it all so horrible.

I was forced to make the terrible decision of having to put this dear horse to sleep with my own hands because of his suffering. What was so painful for me is that by just moving just one finger about 10 ml I brought to an end around 30 years of life and that of a horse that was near perfect. He NEVER laid his ears back in anger, he never ever gave a slight indication of a kick, he was so polite and cooperative and I freely use the word PERFECT.

When he arrived here he was very thin, he had a visible bone running parallel with his spine and his ribs were protruding etc. His teeth were extremely long and he would be continually seen sucking his tongue and be dribbling. This was corrected by some very skilful equine dentistry. The indication was for a great length of time fly's had been affecting his eyes and I had to regularly bathe his eyes with water and tea leaves etc.

He seemed to be dragging his hind leg as he walked and I had to carefully trim his hooves to give him some relief. (The last two years this trusting fella used to let me trim his hooves with power tools and I will say it was a pleasure to me to work with him.)

It was interesting to note when he arrived the two top Alpha horses gave him special treatment. In the past Rebel and Irish would be quite strict on all new arrivals into the sanctuary in showing them what is expected of them to join the herd, but with Beriah they in fact were quite soft and very gentle with him. Beriah being such a sensible horse found his intro into the herd uncomplicated. Because there was some evidence that he was loosing his eye sight, we gave his companion Omar a small bell to wear just in case Beriah needed a sound to be able to safety move around. A few days after Beriah died it was evident that Omar missed his companion Beriah.

I personally found it very painful to have to bring the life of such a lovely horse to an end. Every time I am called upon to do this I tear up. The day after doing this was a very long sad day indeed. I had to keep reminding myself that the sanctuary gave him three years and two months of daily care and love that he would not of had.

I miss him dreadfully and cannot believe he is gone; sometimes I feel I am not strong enough for this type of life and need others to help carry the grieving.

Rest in Peace our dear friend. May you run free across the Rainbow Bridge.

Alan Gent
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We need help asap. The photo is of the ground at Calan Horse Sanctuary and Alan just recently picked up a bunch of hay and feed that is barely getting by in tending to all of the horses here. We face this fact every year in Western Australia with no rain there is no grass and we have a bunch of special needs horses who require constant feeding and care to keep weight on them. Alan also took in one more horse and is trying his best to manage the situation however as you can see he has no control over nature. We need to buy feed and your donations can do that. If you want to volunteer or see the situation for yourself, please contact Alan via message to arrange a time.

Thanks again for being part of the solution and for helping us help the horses.
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The FACTS about the horses at Calan Horse Sanctuary and the work we do to help them.

As long as animals/horses are seen as disposable, items to be used for human pleasure until the pleasure or utility wears off and they’re dumped, replaced by a new model, new purpose or because we just don’t have the money, time or willingness to care for them, places like Calan Horse Sanctuary will continue to exist.

Whilst most people are aware that Mr Alan Gent, 80 years-old, is the primary and often sole caretaker of the now 24 horses, 2 alpacas, 4 sheep, 2 cats and 1 dog who have found refuge here, few people are aware of what daily life here entails for both Mr Gent and the mob.

As slaughter is an unacceptable option in our minds and hearts, we’ve offered home to mainly elderly equines who come with a host of emotional and physical problems that no one else wanted to deal with for one reason or another. We are also the ones now in the position of having to make the call to euthanize them when something goes horribly awry like colic or organ failure, etc. It has meant Mr Gent is on permanent watch 24/7 and often arises in the middle of the night to make sure an old horse isn’t down in the far paddock and struggling.

When a vet isn’t available or nearby, Mr Gent has on more than a few occasions, had to resort to putting the horse down himself with his rifle. This is the same man who every day since the horses arrive, tenderly soaks their infected eye with herbal tea bags, trims their hooves himself, waits for the equine vet or dentist and puts rugs on the poor-doers and oldies, negotiates affordable hay and hauls in water during the hot, Western Australia Summer and drought.

Just to scratch the surface, this is a snapshot of what some of the horses are struggling with at the moment:

Beriah (aka Lightening Jack 31 years old):
• Eyes are very weak and Alan still about every third day bathe his eyes with tea leaves soaked in water.
• His hind left leg has been damaged and this shows some times
• His general condition seems to be a week-by-week situation.

Brodie (our little white elder pony 32 years old)
• His teeth are "well past the used by date," dentist stressed nearly totally unusable. Every day this has to be considered.
• Even with 2 hard meals every day he is still VERY thin and looks as though he has been neglected etc. But he is still a very chirpy happy little fella although his time on earth will come to pass sooner rather than later.

Big Ben ( 22 years old)
• Hunters Hump giving him much discomfort and Alan is sure some days very painful.
• Now drags his right hind leg quite bad as walks. Have to watch his welfare very closely day by day.

Mae Lee (a one-eyed, 33 years old mare)
• Teeth the same as Brodie's and only having one eye makes her life difficult

Tex (15 years old)
• Has a damaged and infected wither, which even today is spewing out much coloured liquid. Alan is treating as per vet advice.

Honner (15 years old)
• As he only has one eye is always a cause a concern for him and Alan. He was sold as a sound riding horse and the new owner lost an eye as a result, which is how he ended up at CHS.

Gideon (17 years old)
• Has very susceptible hooves and right this very minute is battling what Alan thinks is an abscess. Alan has been bathing Giddy’s left front hoof twice a day in cool water and Epson Salts and feels if he is still lame in a few more days he will have to contact the vet.

Omar (19 years old) our beautiful new resident who had the green ooze pouring out of his nostrils upon arrival at CHS)
• Even though his nasal problem has improved, when he coughs chewed up grass is ejected through his nostrils. Alan is convinced poor Omar has had damage to his front and rear legs and as he walks it looks to be walking on hot ground.

Due to years of Alan’s dedicated work and commitment to the horses no body wanted and due to the age of these beautiful ancient equines, we need your help more than ever. We’re needing your monetary donations as well as time commitment for those who can make it out to the sanctuary on a regular basis to muck stalls, offer farrier work or veterinary care, check and fix fencing until we can establish a more sustainable situation. We are determined that the animals/horses in our care are able to live out their lives peacefully, healthy and free from harm or suffering.

Please donate now and/or contact Alan Gent or Mae Lee Sun through our website or this page.

On behalf of all of us, thank you again for you loving support.

Alan Gent and Mae Lee Sun
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Raised by 916 people in 23 months
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