Saving the defenceless
WITH hay in her hair and dust on her worn-out boots, Carolyn Bischof is changing the face of animal welfare one neglected pony at a time.
The blood, sweat and tears behind Portarlington's Winged Horse Equine Welfare, the mother-of-four dedicates her life to saving the unwanted.
Hundreds of horses — and a menagerie of hens, roosters, goats and ducks — who would otherwise have been euthanised because of their health and welfare challenges have found a home at the rural property.
Some arrived riddled with tumours, others were critically malnourished, had feet issues or eye injuries, or arrived pregnant.
Mrs Bischof’s giving comes at an enormous emotional and monetary cost, her family purchasing a 32ha farm at Portarlington to turn into a not-for-profit horse rescue retreat.
A welfare advocate for more than 40 years, Mrs Bischof said the neglect she had seen kept her awake at night.
Last year the sanctuary took in six miniature horses she described as being the worst she had ever seen.
Each and every one though is given a fighting chance at life. Some are so sick she’s cradled them in her lounge room to get them through the night.
Greater Geelong’s rural surroundings often hide unimaginable suffering and torment and the region tops the state for reports to the RSPCA of horse welfare issues.
Mrs Bischof said the biggest challenge in animal welfare was getting owners to see the animals as living creatures and not possessions.
She urged anybody with farm animals they could no longer care for to reach out for help. DO you know someone who deserves a Pride of Australia nomination? Pride of Australia Medal celebrates and recognises everyday Australians doing outstanding things. This year marks the 13th year of News Corp’s Pride of Australia campaign. Nominations close at midnight on November 19. Winners are announced in January. Visit prideofaustralia.com.au
Carolyn Bischof and Jude the miniature horse.