Relief Comes to Abandoned Horses in Pakistan

The first wave of outside assistance has reached Karachi Race Course in Pakistan. On July 1, the Associated Press reported 250 abandoned horses were at the racetrack and had not moved since it closed in March. Many of them were not being cared for at all. On July 9 a veterinarian from a branch of Brooke Hospital arrived at the racetrack to supply aid.

Brooke is based in England, but has a branch in Pakistan. Working with the British-based International League for the Protection of Horses, the rescue effort was initiated with Brooke's chief veterinary officer Dr. Anwar ul-Haq taking £5,000 (about $8,200) with him to purchase food and medical supplies.

Ul-Haq found 380 horses on the grounds, according to a release from the ILPH. The AP report said some had been left to starve, while trainers or grooms were taking care of some others. Ul-Haq reported 70 horses have already died and 60 others are severely malnourished.

Intravenous rehydration has been necessary in some cases, and careful feeding has been the rule, since under-nourished horses are more prone to colic. Ul-Haq said some horses have already suffered colic after eating unsuitable things to satisfy their hunger.

"Those belonging to the more well-off owners are fortunate," he said. "The 60 to 70 animals belonging to poorer men are suffering more. The termination of racing has left the men completely destitute."

The ILPH provided £5,000 (about $7,000) for the efforts. The Brooke Hospital for Animals volunteered the manpower.

In the United States, representatives of California Equine Retirement Foundation (CERF), the Exceller Fund, and ReRun, have been collecting money to send to the ILPH to assist in their efforts. The president of a Winchester, Ky., feed store, Sphar Feed and Seed, has offered between five and 10 tons of feed toward the effort. Logistics are currently being worked out for shipping the supplies.

Shon Wylie of ReRun, said as of July 12, about $2,000 had been raised in the United States. By donating to the existing groups, which are non-profit entities, the gift is considered tax deductible. For more information visit or call ReRun at (859) 289-7786.