Pegasus, run by Zvika Tamuz, rescues Israel's abused and abandoned equines and educates owners on proper care.
Before WSPA stepped in with financial support, Zvika was working alone and says he found it hard to make ends meet.
"When I first started, I found myself looking after 10 rescued horses referred to me by animal welfare organizations. I found it a real financial strain – I was looking after them on my own land and paying for their care and food out of my own pocket. Then I heard WSPA was coming to visit Israel and I approached them for help."
Since that time Zvika's ability to do rescues has dramatically improved. Now, he has a small team that works by his side. Their work is well-respected by Israeli authorities, who will call if they see an animal in need, and the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture now covers transportation costs, veterinary fees and 20 days upkeep on all cases they refer to Pegasus.
Zvika is now a familiar figure at the border crossings between Israel and Palestine where he works with owners and police to check that animals are getting the care they need.
"I am known at the crossings now and I have seen a real improvement in the way that the animals are being treated. Wounds from harnesses and improper nosebands are not so common and the animals are not so skinny. Word has spread quickly and people want to be seen to be looking after their animals properly," he explains.
Making Miracles Happen
Your support of Pegasus' work has made an amazing difference to hundreds of horses and donkeys in Israel. We'd thought you'd like to know how some of those we told you about are doing now…
Rhat was grazing on waste ground when children put a nylon plastic bag on his back, poured kerosene on top of it, and then set him alight causing horrific burns. When a local journalist heard of the animal's suffering he asked Zvika to help.
"Eleven months after we rescued him, Rhat is doing well," says Zvika. "Only two tiny pink spots of skin – one on each flank – are the signs of what happened. We're looking for a good home for him, but because he is a bit of an escape artist he can't go to just anyone – we need to find him somewhere secure where he will be safe with his new owner and will not be at risk of falling into the wrong hands again."
Badly burned: Rhat's horrific injuries were caused when children set fire to him.
New life: Thanks to the special care given to him by Pegasus, Rhat's wounds have healed – he has only small pink scars left.
Helping Hala Mish
Hala Mish was lying at the side of the road with a nasty leg wound and her frightened foal close by when a local vet passing by called Pegasus in to help. Twelve months later Hala Mish has made a good recovery and Zvika is now trying to find homes for them. Sadly it's unlikely they can be rehomed together.
"The little foal is healthy and could be re-housed to a good working home when old enough, but Hala Mish will need a special home and understanding owner. Although she can walk properly and even gallop around the paddock, she won't be able to work or be ridden for the rest of her life," explains Zvika.
Good recovery: Hala Mish needs a special home with an understanding owner.
So many of you were touched by the story of Samuel, a young donkey found huddling in a Jerusalem graveyard with a severely injured leg and hoof. His injuries were so terrible that Zvika and Shimi were unsure if he would recover.
But Shimi devoted himself to Samuel's survival. He treated the little donkey with antibiotics, changed his bandages every day, gave him pain relief and followed the vet's instructions to the letter. Thanks to his efforts, Samuel is now a happy and permanent part of the Pegasus family.
"Zvika says it isn't right to rehome him," says Shimi. "If he ever fell into the wrong hands, somebody might try to ride him or put him to work which would be too much for his leg. So it's best to keep him safely here."
Standing well: Thanks to Shimi's care, Samuel is recovered and has a permanent home at Pegasus.
Eighteen months ago Rose, an elderly female donkey, was found starving and wounded in the desert. Her face and ears had been badly ripped apart by a pack of dogs. Your support was vital in getting her the veterinary care and attention that she needed. Thanks to you, her physical injuries are now healed, but she is terrified of dogs and so Zvika is working hard to find her a secure and dog-free home.
Torn apart: When Rose was rescued by Pegasus she was in a terrible state.
New life: Rose is now healed and Zvika hoping to find her a new home.
Thanks to Your Generosity
Pegasus is in a better position to carry out its work than ever before.
Pegasus has rescued an incredible 236 horses, 388 donkeys, 9 mules
Zvika has found kind homes for 150 donkeys on date plantations and trout farms where they are being used to keep unwanted grass and weeds at bay instead of noisy mowers.
Pegasus is now the authority that investigates complaints about private riding establishments. This is because of the pressure it put on the Israeli government to introduce new regulations that have caused a big fall in the number of confiscations, cruelty and abuse cases.
Zvika is now backed by the Israeli government to work at the crossings between Palestine and Israel. His advice on equine care has resulted in fewer animals being confiscated under Israeli law because they are in better condition than ever before.