Last week the Eagle’s Nest animal shelter in the province of Entre Rios, Argentina got the ultimate raw deal when the city of Parana attempted to install a new sewage drain that went awry. The sewage that should have safely passed through the area and into a treatment plant began pouring out on the beautiful pasture that has been home to hundreds of rescued dogs, cats and horses.
To add insult to injury, it took days before the city finally stopped the flow, leaving the shelter grounds submerged and dangerously polluted.
“We have 72 dogs that need constant medical care and they are with us for life,” explains Earle Bingley, President of the group Canadian Voice for Animals Foundation, which oversees the shelter. ”We also have 9 horses rescued from slavery and they too will live out their lives with us.”
I Couldn’t Turn Them Away
Under normal circumstances, the running of this strikingly beautiful sanctuary is difficult, with the most of the animals’ costs of care coming from the salary of Myrta “Coqui” Montiel, a local college professor who runs the operation. Yet with the now overwhelming task of the clean up and additional short term safety precautions for the animals, the 10 year anniversary of the shelter has been less than celebratory.
Each of the horses had to have all shoes removed and disinfected before they could be turned out to a nearby pasture, which is far from ideal as it it near the road and the horses are at risk of being stolen. Some of the larger dogs are guarding the horses for now and all needed to be thoroughly bathed and have limited space for outdoor activity for the short term.
On the day the crisis struck, an email came through to me at the Harmony Fund asking for help. As it was a Saturday evening, Earle held out little hope for a reply. After all, there are so many needs for animals across the world and the Harmony Fund is deluged with requests for help. But as I was busily preparing for the launch of our World’s Biggest Baby Shower for Animals, I knew instantly that I would help.
The Harmony Fund sent funds to start the clean up which, according to the agronomical engineer, will involve siphoning out the waste, applying several loads of sand and mixing it with horse manure to make the ground fertile again. While at this moment we’re told that the city is refusing to pay for the cleanup, we do have hopes that they will eventually have a change of heart (or a legal mandate to do so) and meanwhile we would be grateful for any donations to help.
Return to Paradise: Watch the Horses Gallop Free
The grass will grow green here at the Eagle’s Nest again and the animals will have their piece of paradise once more. It’s simply a matter of time. Meanwhile, please enjoy the very special video clip (below) which depicts the horses galloping on the shelter grounds prior to the disaster. You’ll never find a happier bunch of horses and you’ll find yourself wishing you were running alongside them. Please drop in on our baby shower if you care to help.