"I am Jack, I have been on a metal chain for years, without company, exercise or shelter. I may not be underweight or physically injured, but I live in hell"
"My owner is a traveller who rarely ever visits me. Kind people in the community (over) feed me and worry about me. Someone released me once - it ended badly for me. I stand next to a dual carriage way in the mud. I have not walked in years. I feel very very sad and lonely."
Save Jack the Gypsy Horse is a Twitter account started to try and get a rescue place for a gypsy pony that had been tethered in the same location for 8 years. Jack had an absentee owner and was being fed and watered by locals.
A number of equine agencies and local rescues working together managed to secure Jack a place in rescue but were unable to seize him on welfare grounds as his physical condition was not deemed serious enough.
However the intervention of the landowner was the final straw for Jack's owner who, when faced with having to find somewhere else to keep him, finally agreed to sell him.
Of course the whole rescue is ultimately going to cost a great deal of money so Jack has a GoFundMe if anyone would like to help. Here's what it says:
"My name is Jack. My previous owner chained me up on a metal chain 8 years ago. I had no shelter, no company, and no exercise. All I did was stand there, on my chain, wondering every day when this nightmare would end. I was very lucky in that a wonderful couple took it upon themselves to feed and water me every day (as you can see, I am not exactly underweight, and that is because many people wanted to do me a kindness. They fed me all sorts of things. One gentleman thought I should have a whole loaf of fresh bread, four apples and six carrots every day. What can I say - I couldn't resist, and can you blame me? Now I am told that I am apparently 'morbidly obese'! ). This story is about my rescue.
For several years, kind people tried to convince the RSPCA and the British Horse Society to help me. This had no effect. I got a few visits, but nothing happened, and people were told that the organisations had no way of intervening. I became very sad, and very grumpy. There were a couple of occasions when I managed to free myself, but I always took a beating for it and was chained up even more securely afterwards. My 'owner' was unwilling to sign me over or sell me. He was offered money on various occasions. There didn't seem to be any hope for me. The seasons came, and the seasons went. So did the storms. Life was a misery for me.
About two weeks ago, I told the people who were upset about my situation to open one of those twitter accounts on my behalf. That is when things started to change. Quickly, many of you lovely people started to follow my story, and among them were several that had fantastic suggestions and a lot of knowledge about how one could try to help me. Within just a week or so, 'Team Jack' (including a small local rescue organisation) was working feverishly on a solution that involved the owner of the land I was chained up on (a very large company, based in a big city far away, who were absolutely brilliant - I cannot thank them enough).
The breakthrough happened: given the pressures, my 'owner' eventually agreed to sell me to the couple that had been looking after me. Unfortunately, they are not in a position to keep me and keep looking after me. But with the help of our fantastic local rescue organisation, they managed to find me a wonderful new home.
My friends, as of today (Saturday, 07 March 2020), I will live in a small and highly experienced horse sanctuary run by amazing people, in a different part of the country. They say I will be 'rehabilitated' (excuse me???) and slowly introduced to other horses. I haven't met any in many years. I will have a happy forever home, free from chains, and with lots of friends and love. I will never be sold. I must confess I don't know how old I am, but I dare say I still have quite a few years of 'real life' ahead.
I cannot wait. I don't know what such life will feel like, because it's too long since I have had it, if ever I did. But I will give it my very best shot.
What I would like to ask of you today is to consider making a small donation to help the sanctuary I will go to with my treatment and upkeep, and to support our fantastic local rescue organisation, without whose help it is not very likely we would have ever got to where we are now. I am not very well, physically or mentally, I am told (hmph!), and I will need specialist care. Apparently, my hooves are in a right state. I am not surprised - they haven't been looked at in years! My transport and veterinary costs also already stacking up. I needed various assessments and a mild tranquilliser. I will also need a comprehensive worming and vaccination programme, quite probably treatment for laminitis, and possibly x-rays. Well folks, what can I say - it sure ain't my fault, and I deserve every penny! (-:
I have been told that due to my complex background situation, it is important for the two charities I mentioned above to remain anonymous for now. It's for my and their protection. However, I promise that I will write with details and more information again on twitter in due course - once things have settled down a bit. This approach has been agreed with the two charities, who will be extremely grateful for any support. Without them, I would not have a life. I will be eternally grateful to them, and to all of you who cared. You have made all the difference.
All the best to all my friends. Please excuse me while I 'rehabilitate', but watch this space (on twitter) - I will be in touch!
Jack the Gypsy Horse
(with a new life)"
If you would like to make a donation toward Jack's rehabilitation please click here