Simo needed 8 kgs of bran a day. When he came to us, you could see his ribs.
When you truly love all animals as we do, you can’t stand to see even one in pain. As an animal lover yourself, you know in your heart they can feel physical pain. Emotional pain. And suffer like any of us. But nothing is more visceral than the pain of chronic hunger.
That’s what Simo was facing, and it was brutal. At more than 30 yearsold –ancient for a mule –Simo had given everything he had to his family. But due to persistent poverty, Simo’s golden years were turning out to be anything but. He was surviving on one-quarter of the food he needs daily.
For a mule toiling in the unforgiving terrain of Fez, Morocco, our supporters help can be a lifesaver. The sad fact is that without our supporters, and without American Fondouk, countless animals would suffer.
It’s not that Simo’s owner is cruel –far from it. Like so many in this harsh land, he and his family live a life of sustenance. So he could only afford to feed Simo one-quarter of the bran he needs daily.
Just imagine it! You’re trying to work as hard as ever when you should be retired –and you’re only getting 25 percent of the calories you need to survive. Something would have to give.
And something did. His owner finally decided to make the journey to American Fondouk.
When Simo was presented to us, he was nothing but skin and bones. Mules are smart and powerful animals –the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. They’re bred to work hard, and they have harder hooves than horses. Their skin is also less resistant to sun and rain.
But as tough and loyal as Simo was, he couldn’t continue this way. Thanks to our supporters, we were able to step in with a multi-tiered approach to Simo’s wellness.
First, we carried out a dental exam, and corrected Simo’s teeth. At his advanced age, his teeth were beginning to wear away. He actually had only a few teeth left. Then we weighed him, gave him some antiparasitic medicine, and administered some vitamins.
Best of all, we put Simo on a diet of high energy concentrated horse feed!
To make sure Simo’s progress continued, we provided his owner with a 40 kg sack of this feed —and arranged for him to bring Simo back for a full checkup twice a month.
It was sad to see that in his weakened condition, Simo couldn’t even carry the 40 kg sack of feed. So we put both Simo and his owner in our ambulance to return them home.
As you know, healing animals like Simo has an even greater impact here in Fez. When we care for the mules, horses, and donkeys who come to us, we are also caring for the families who depend upon them for their very lives. And the need is growing.
Our supporters help us provide free veterinary care to all those who line up at our doors each morning. But just as important, you help us provide the education for owners that ends needless suffering and improves the lives of working animals. It is a great gift that truly impacts generations.
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