Happy Hooves NPC
Happy Hooves was originally founded by Neville and Annerie Graham as a privately funded horse sanctuary in 2009. Working closely with Hartebeespoort Animal Welfare Society at the time, and in accordence with the Animal Protection Act 71 or 1962, Happy Hooves quickly became synonymous with "a last hope" for many abused, neglected, abandoned and unwanted equines.
By 2014, having saved the lives of more than 100 animals and with around 48 equines in the personal and private care, they opted to register Happy Hooves as a formal non-profit company. Eighteen months later, the property leased for operational purposes were sold. This ultimately set the course for the couples return to Knysna, their home town. Happy Hooves now trades as Garden Route Horse Welfare and continues, under the guidence of the founders and a small management committee to serve local horses, ponies and donkeys from all walks of life.
The organisation receives no municipal or government funding and is therefore 100% reliant on donations and goodwill from the public. Daily operations are led on a volunteer basis by a small group of dedicated individuals with vast experience in all things equine, who make it their primary concern to offer relief to horses, ponies and donkeys at risk. Field officers function in accordence with the Animal Protection Act 71 or 1962 and all related regulations. Mrs Annerie Graham is an appointed Inspector for GRHW and has been granted magisterial authorisation to act as such in the jurisdiction of the Knysna Magistrate Court.
Apart form ongoing assistance offerred to local animals and their owners, GRHW, in recent years and in the absence of a horse care unit in the Klein Karoo, also reached out to victims of drought. The organisation launched a DROUGHT RELIEF OUTREACH in the small town of Beaufort West soon after learning about the plight of these animals and their owners. The initiative was maintained for 6 months between January and July 2016 and saw well over 1000 bales of fodder delivered to the region. During this time, the field officers assisted with critical aid for the communities; delivering water and feed, replacing ill fitted tack, de-worming, offering basic medical treatment and removing surrendered animals to a place of safety.
While the day to day challanges previously faced could best be described as uncomfortable, the recent and tragic Knysna Fires highlighted the core needs of GRHW in a terrifying manner. Reliant on volunteers and with no dedicated vehicle readily available, the team assisted without hesitation with the evacuation of animals using their private vehicles. In all the chaos and terror, with high wind causing new fires to break out all over, GRHW also assisted fire fighters with hauling water and beating fires.
With practically all the grazing distroyed in and around Knysna, and considering the fact that the natural recovery of the land will take quite some time, GRHW as the only registered animal welfare organisation in Knysna dealing with livestock (horses, cattle and sheep) have had the added responsibility to assist these animals and their owners in need. Assistance offerred to the victims included feed distribution, erecting fences and shelters, medical care and veterinary assistance. The team also actively took part in the search for the missing ponies belonging to the Rademeyer family. Sadly it was during one of these searches that 3 of our members discovered the horrific remains of at least one of the two missing ponies. To date, only one of the the five ponies have returned, two more remain missing.
With limited funding, the outreach team continue to monitor the wellbeing of over one hundred horses, ponies and donkeys in and around Knysna whilst caring for 16 sheltered animals including a 38 year old donkey named Genevieve. To follow the work of this dedicated animal care team, please visit our Facebook page.