CLAW Team in Johannesburg Rescues Pregnant Vera

A pregnant donkey named Vera is rescued in Johannesburg.

Cora Bailey and Moses are on their way back from a mobile when they spot a cart pulled by a donkey. It is the same cart which they spotted earlier, completely overloaded and clearly heavily taxing on the small form trying to pull the cart and its contents.

Cora’s heart drops and immediately stops the mobile van. The donkey’s name is Vera and she is clearly pregnant. She has harness sores all over her little grey body and is unable to stand without stumbling. The rusted skeleton of a car resting on top of the cart has been loaded with junk and when Cora starts asking questions, the youngsters start getting aggressive with her. Cora does not relent and plays for time by telling them that the police are on their way. Vera stumbles badly and her harness sores are evident as she tries in vain to make herself more comfortable despite the heavy load hitched up behind her.

A gang of boys arrive, unhitches Vera and they disappear with the cart, threatening to come back for her.

De Villiers, one of CLAW’s long-time Animal Welfare Assistants, arrives and Cora jumps on the phone to the police and the local SPCA to request a horsebox. Vera, not knowing her fate, stands silently waiting to one side. If I could read her thoughts I guess her mind would be in that place where I can only imagine all animals go to when they are confronted by cruelty and in a position where there is no way out. The resilience of moving forward or going through the motions despite pain and suffering.

So as Vera stands quietly, Moses lays a gentle hand on her back and comforts her, reassuring her that she no longer has to endure the constant pain and burning of the harness rubbing against her back and sides or the aching of her legs whilst pulling load upon load under the hot sun.

The police arrive and after directing the SPCA in to the area, Vera is taken to the Roodepoort SPCA. For the first time in a very long while, she will be sleeping in a comfortable stable tonight.

PS. Cora reports that Vera is doing very well, with most of the harness sores having healed, and will be visiting the SPCA today to discuss arrangements for Vera’s permanent home. The SPCA are keen to keep Vera as a mascot for the clinic but Cora feels that it is only fair to Vera, after all the suffering she has been through, to place her with a loving family who are able to cater for her needs.


For more information about the International Fund for Animal Welfare efforts to help animals in crisis around the world visit,

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