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Help Donkeys by Buying Unusual Gifts

Updated on June 3, 2014

Unusual Presents for Any Time of Year

If you ask people to choose just one word to describe what Christmas is all about, you'll probably get one of the following:-

children, family, love, giving, gifts, friends, parties

and you don't have to be a Christian to relate to any of those words ~~~~~~~ you just have to be a human being!

These words apply all year round and to any celebration too.

The one I choose is love because without it -- nothing works and the world is not a nice place.

The Bible says that God loved the Human Race so much that he sent his son to help us and I think that Christmas, the celebration of that son's birth, is an ideal time for all of us, Christian or not, to spread around some love of our own.

The old English word for love is charity.

In England Christmastime is still known as The Season of Good Will.

Boxing Day is so-called because on that day, the Charity Boxes in the Churches were opened and the contents given to the poor.

My favourite Charity is SPANA -- The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad.

SPANA have a gift programme called "Happy Hooves" and when you have read the rest of my Lens I hope you will order some of their special unique gifts for your loved ones.

     (The photos are mine and SPANA's.)


Their Latest Campaign - An extract copied from their website


"The photo above gives you a sense of the unbearable suffering caused by EZL. The horse's legs and chest are covered in weeping nodules, and the girl in the background is shielding her face from the smell of pus-filled lesions. His only respite came from the rush of air from passing cars, which momentarily blew the flies off his wounds. Sadly, the horse's EZL was too advanced to be treated - our only option was to humanely put an end to his torment.

.Education is absolutely crucial. If he had been brought to us earlier, we might have been able to save the horse you can see in this photo above. Severe EZL leaves horses unable to work and so, because they can't bring in any money for their families, owners are often forced to abandon them.

SPANA is producing 5,000 leaflets, to give to the local villages as well as distributing them with our mobile clinic. You can see the leaflet in the action plan pack that you can download now.

We want to save horses lives, they do not need to die needlessly. With our plan and your support, we can."

For the rest of the info. and TO HELP BY MAKING A DONATION, please click here

All currencies are welcomed.

Why Do I Like SPANA?

It's a double-edged sword.

My money goes twice as far!

SPANA looks after the welfare of animals -- donkeys, horses, camels -- without whom their owners, some of the poorest people on the planet, could not make a living.

In simple terms, the animals benefit and their owners are able to retain their dignity and independence by continuing to stand on their own two feet instead of having to accept handouts.

Someone (I've forgotten who) said, "Give a man a fish and he'll feed his family today. Teach him how to fish and he'll feed his family for ever."

By looking after the welfare of these working animals, we aren't teaching people "how to" fish --- what we are doing, is ensuring that they have the equipment needed "to" fish.

How Does SPANA Do This?

~~~~~~~~ Animal Health.

Founded in 1923 by two English ladies, Kate Hosali and her daughter Nina, who were horrified by what they saw as they travelled through North Africa, SPANA now has Clinics in major centres and mobile clinics which visit Souks and outlying areas to treat sick and injured animals.

On a simple level the animals have colic or need worming, a good feed and rehydrating.

Injuries can be accidental but many are down to owner ignorance:-

~~overgrown hooves because they don't know how to pare them down or because they've made shoes out of rubber tyres thinking to cushion their donkey's feet..

~~sores due to bits made from rusty metal, harnesses made from whatever materials they could find, no padding under saddles etc

~~their attempts to treat sores in ways you and I would never think of in a thousand years!

(You can visit the web site for illustration.

The photo is of Kate Hosali with the famous "Donuts" which are still made today by supporters. These simple cloth rings are placed under saddles etc and prevent sores.

SPANA provides harnesses which fit the animals properly, with reins so that there is no need to use a stick to "persuade" the donkey to turn right or left.

When no humane head collars are available, nosebands, often made by Supporters, are put around chains and other harsh materials owners have used. (You can find out how to make them on their website)

I found SPANA when I saw an advert asking for donations to provide proper bits.

~~~~~~~~~~ Education

SPANA teaches local people to be farriers, Vets, First Aiders, teachers who go to the villages to teach owners how to care for animals properly, as well as people to run the Clinics and the Education Centres where children and adults come to learn all kinds of things.

Educating owners in animal care.


MY Donkey

The donkey with me in the introduction is MY donkey, Sally. Her owners hobbled her every night with barbed wire and she was one of the animals "put up for adoption".

She was nursed back to health, her owners educated, and she went back to work.

In the photo she is 20 years old and living in retirement in the Jordan Valley.

My friend,Mary lives in Jordan, and she and Chris Larter (SPANA) took me to see Sally in 2007 when I was there on holiday.

Here we are at Sea Level. You can see the Jordan Valley is much lower. About 1100 feet lower and very hot. About 40 degrees C. (It was August).

Sally is housed in that particular Clinic because she has spent most of her life down there and to bring her to where it's cooler would not be good for her.

Sally and Me


Two young donkeys at the Education Centre in Amman.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chris Larter and I are in the photo too!!!!

This Centre is in the capital city of Jordan.

There are classrooms, stables, and a garden which has "rooms" of plants from each of the landscapes and climates of Jordan, which range from desert to mountains.

Besides learning how to care for the donkeys and other animals, the children are learning about the natural world at large and the critical importance of protecting and appreciating the environment.

The Centre recently won a prestigious Green Apple Award from the Green Organisation, an independent non-profit group supported by the Environment Agency (a UK Government body) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.




How does "Happy Hooves" work?

Although SPANA has special gift "packages" at Christmas which you can buy as a gift for someone (they receive a card showing what you have bought in their name, eg. sterile dressings, medicines, "donuts"etc.) gifts are available all year round because the animals need help all year round.

You can treat yourself to actual gifts as well as paying for treatments for the animals

at this link here


(Happy Hooves gifts can be purchased from anywhere in the world.)

You can help SPANA's work.

Make a donation at

Happy Hooves ~~ Lighten the Load.


In the hustle and bustle of the Marrakech souks, animals like Mubarak carry their owners’ goods to market on carts. The strain is tremendous but Mubarak has no option but to carry on working in poorly made equipment, which can cause huge back and flank sores. You can buy a padded harness for a working animal like Mubarak so he can work free from pain.

Happy Hooves ~~ Ease the Ache..


In Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, over 70,000 donkeys and horses pull carts of water around to keep the city hydrated. Each cart can carry two forty-gallon drums of water, which is the equivalent of 181.5 two-litre bottles of soft drinks. Such heavy loads can cause big problems for animals like Harith, who was bought into us with a huge swelling on his withers from his gruelling workload. Painkillers are essential in easing the pain of animals like Harith, who come to us in dire need. Buy a course of painkillers to help ease the suffering of more working animals like Harith

and....if you enjoyed reading the above, please consider helping SPANA in their work.


Please leave me a note of your thoughts.

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    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      I had no idea donkeys were treated so horribly in this area. Thank goodness for this group and others like it so they can teach people how to properly care for the animals.

    • profile image

      jgelien 7 years ago

      What heart-breaking stories. I am so happy to hear about SPANA and the wonderful work they are doing. Thank you for this lens.

    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 7 years ago

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      I'll be posting the new gifts as soon as SPANA sends me details and I hope that you will find something there to give to one of your loved ones.


    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What a lovely lens and wonderful work these people are doing for the donkeys.

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      I learned a lot from Happy Hooves Gifts - never knew about this before. Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens! I am also a rocket mom. Blessed this lens!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 8 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Wonderful lens. I had never heard of SPANA before. I'll favorite this lens and be back on the next gift giving occasion.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 8 years ago

      Everything that can make these charming animals happier has to be good. Love the lens!

    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 8 years ago

      @delia-delia: Thanks Delia,

      I know SPANA will be happy to have your support.


    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 8 years ago

      what a lovely lens...5* I'm an animal artist and do most of my art for the sake of helping them...God gave us these animals for a purpose, sometimes it's just to looking into SPANDA

    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 8 years ago

      @indigoj: Thank you.


    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 8 years ago from UK

      A wonderful way to bring people's attention this very important work. Great work that is clearly appreciated by SPANA themselves - well done to you!

    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 8 years ago

      @Swagger1: Thank you for that.


    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 8 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Aaron,

      Glad you like it.

      When I learn how to twitter etc I'll visit.


    • profile image

      Swagger1 8 years ago

      A unique and creative idea for a charity. The quote about the fish is an old Chinese proverb. Nice, detailed, and informative lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi June,

      I work for SPANA in our head office in London, thank you so much for your support here on Squidoo!! It's very much appreciated.

      We are on Facebook and Twitter now if you wanted to pop over and become a fan and have a chat!



    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens and a charity worth supporting.

      Thank you for sharing.


    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 8 years ago from Pueblo West

      This is a wonderful charity. May God Bless this work you are doing Mary. Thank-you for sharing this.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      I'm on my way to SPANA's site now; thanks. As human beings, we expect a level of respect and caring; it's no different for animals. They need to be comfortable in life, too.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What a wonderful lens and a very wonderful charity! Thank you for this information.

    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 8 years ago

      Thank you for your encouragement.

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 8 years ago from Cheshire UK

      This is a really excellent lensin a very important area. Blessed by a Squid Angel and I look forward to seeing many more great lenses from you :-)

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      This is a very unique gift site. I like the donkeys.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What wonderful ideas for animal lovers!