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The Brooke Hospital for Animals is providing vital veterinary treatment for the thousands of animals brought into Pakistan by their Afghan refugee owners. The mobile team is based at the Pajaggi equine trading camp on the outskirts of Peshawar. Operational at the camp since March 2001, the team has been in even greater demand with the recent influx of refugees and their animals.

Regularly treating more than 150 horses every day, the vets see a wide range of serious conditions resulting from lack of food during the long, arduous journey over the pass from Afghanistan. Many animals arrive at the camp malnourished, lame, dehydrated and exhausted. Nearly all have raw, infected wounds on their backs where the pack, containing all the family's possessions, has rubbed the skin away.

Whilst predominately an equine welfare charity, the Brooke Hospital mobile team at Pajaggi is giving veterinary treatment to any animal in need. Some owners have brought with them their herds of goats, whilst others have camels. Any animal in need is assured of care and attention.

The aid and assistance provided by the Brooke Hospital has already had a momentous impact. Lal Muhammed says: “It took me six days to reach Peshawar from my hometown. By the time I arrived my animals were near to death. I was told of a free service being provided for sick and injured animals so took my horses. Without the Brooke I am certain that my horses would have died, which would leave my family with nothing.”

Fleeing families now number in millions. For every horse that receives veterinary treatment from the Brooke Hospital an Afghan family's survival will be assisted. The Brooke's six mobile teams and three clinics in Peshawar are continuing to provide this essential service, yet this comes at a cost. A very generous donation of $10,000 from WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) has assisted the Brooke in funding the work, but further donations are needed to ensure it can continue. Each mobile team costs £14,000 to set up and around £2,000 per month to run. The area urgently needs more help, but resources are desperately stretched.

The Brooke Hospital for Animals provides a free veterinary service to improve the welfare of working equine animals overseas. Brooke vets are trained in offering appropriate veterinary treatment and preventative healthcare. This reduces lameness, disease and suffering common to many working horses, donkeys and mules. By collaborating with the local people, to help them improve their own husbandry skills and their animals health through advice, support and education the Brooke transforms the lives of working animals and the conditions in which they live.

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