The Scottish SPCA has launched a £40,000 fundraiser to replace horse shelters destroyed by Storm Arwen.
Staff at the charity’s Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Aberdeenshire were “devasted” to discover three shelters had been wrecked in the bad weather at the end of November.
The charity now hopes to replace the three shelters and build five more to improve the outdoor grazing areas.
Louise Griese, the centre’s manager, said: “We were devastated to come into work on the Saturday morning after Storm Arwen and discover that the horse shelters had been totally levelled.
“Thankfully, there were no horses in the shelters at the time and no people or animals were hurt, which is the most important thing.
“Shelters allow the horses to graze outside while still offering protection from the elements.
“Many of the horses in our care come from backgrounds of abuse and neglect so having time outside to exhibit natural behaviours like grazing is an important part of their rehabilitation.”
One such horse that has benefitted from the centre’s care and rehabilitation is Eigg, a 26-year-old cob.
Eigg arrived in March last year as part of large group of horses that were seized on welfare grounds.
She was found to have lice through her coat, worms, her feet needed trimmed, and her teeth were overgrown and in need of dental work.
Blood samples taken also came back positive for equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) – a hormonal disorder similar to type two diabetes in humans.
Ms Griese said: “Eigg’s EMS is easily managed and she doesn’t need any medication for it.
“She has to remain on a strict diet, especially in the summer months when the grass is rich.
“The staff at the centre fully clipped her body and it took several special medicated baths to kill the lice.
“We worked closely with our vets to help Eigg with her teeth. She has had several dentals over her time with us to help with her eating.
“Finally, in August 2021, once court proceedings had concluded, Eigg and her friends were signed over into our care and could begin the search for their forever homes.
“Eigg is still in our care waiting for the perfect retirement home but until then she knows she’s happy and safe here.
“We’d be so grateful for anything people could spare towards these shelters and we know the horses in our care will be too.”
To donate to the appeal, click here.