On the 24th and 25th of April 2019 our Equine Programme Team -consisted of our veterinarian Michael Gaganis and farrier Aris Vlachakis- travelled to the island of Santorini to care for the retired working equines at the SAWA shelter. Overall they treated a total of 26 animals none of which would have otherwise access to professional veterinary and farriery services. 

Meet Snowflake.  The lovely people at the SAWA shelter in Santorini made her a wreath of spring flowers to wear.  All over Greece it’s a traditional way to celebrate May Day.  But Snowflake (and sneaky Marika who’s doing her best to get a free snack in the corner of the shot) aren’t always in the mood for flowers.  These lucky few are able to live out their sunset days in peace, surrounded by people who treat them with kindness and make no further demands.  Nevertheless, their lives are still hard due to price their bodies are paying for the many years of work they have been asked to do.  Most were used to carry tourists up the steep hill from the sea to the picturesque, clifftop villages of Fira and Oia.  Many of the SAWA animals now suffer from stiff joints, and their teeth always need attention too.  During our visits, Michalis and Aris do everything they can to make their lives that little bit more comfortable…  correcting imbalances in hooves and rasping overgrown teeth to provide immediate relief.  We are proud to support the work of SAWA’s dedicated team and we share their sadness  when they lose an old friend – they had to face the loss of five of their older residents over the Winter.  Bitter conditions take their toll on the elderly.  We can’t help wondering whether Snowflake’s spring wreath also served to mark a final resting place… once she was through looking festive that day..?

Please, could you help to make sure we can continue to visit SAWA by making a donation today?

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