Brooke Hospital for Animals

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Brooke Hospital For Animals[1]
Motto Healthy working animals for the world's poorest communities[1]
Formation 1934, in Cairo[1][2][3]
Legal status Charity[1][2][3]
Purpose Education, training, medical, animals[2]
Headquarters The Brooke 5th Floor, Friars Bridge Court, 41-45 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NZ[1][3]
Region served Egypt, Jordan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nepal[1][2][3][4]
Founder Dorothy Brooke[1][3]
Budget £11,088,938[2]
Staff 48[2]
Volunteers 800[1]

The Brooke Hospital for Animals is a United Kingdom-based international equine charity, which focuses on the welfare and care of donkeys, horses and mules. With more than 800 staff working in the field, the Brooke is the largest equine charity in the world.[4][5]


In 1930, while on a trip to Cairo, Egypt, Mrs Dorothy Brooke encountered thousands of ex-cavalry horses being used as beasts of burden. She was shocked to see that these horses which had served the British army so faithfully during World War I were now living a life of gruelling hardship on the streets of Cairo. On her return to England she wrote a letter to The Morning Post newspaper (now known as the Daily Telegraph), exposing their plight and appealing for funds to help her save them. The public response was overwhelming, and they donated the equivalent today of £20,000 to help. In 1933, Mrs. Brooke set up a committee to help fund the purchase of 5,000 animals, most of which due to their health were humanely destroyed.[5][6]

In 1934, she established the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital to provide a free veterinary clinic for all the working horses and donkeys of Cairo. The original hospital which Mrs. Brooke established in Bayram ElTonsi Street, now known locally as “The Street of the English Lady,” is still open and operating.[4][5][6]


Today, the Brooke has over 800 field workers based in 11 countries in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East: Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, India, Kenya, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Nepal, Senegal, Ethiopia and Nicaragua. Last year, they reached 1.4 million working animals. In most locations of operation, where most earn less than a US Dollar a day, equines form the backbone of the developing economy with one equine often supporting a family of six.[7]

The Brooke provides veterinary treatment to working equines through their fixed-base and mobile veterinary clinics. Their work also has a strong emphasis on capacity building, and training animal owners on how to care for their own animals. In the long-term, this prevents dependency on the Brooke, and also improves the economy for local service providers. The Brooke aims to be a sustainable organisation, with the hope that upon entering a community, they will in the future be able to exit, confident that animal owners will continue to take good care of their animals, and know where to seek veterinary care if it is needed. As well as training animal owners, Brooke staff train local healers, farriers, government vets (who often have had no training on treating equines) saddlers, feed sellers and harness and cart makers.

The Five Freedoms are used in the field as a definition of what every working animal should have. They are (1) Freedom from hunger and thirst (2) Freedom from discomfort (physical and thermal) (3) Freedom from pain, injury and disease (4) Freedom to express normal behaviour (5) Freedom from fear and distress.[8] These Five Freedoms are used as part of the Brooke's Minimum Standards of Animal Welfare. The Brooke's work is underpinned by unique and proven methods developed with the University of Bristol Veterinary School.[7]

The Brooke's goal is to measurably improve the welfare of at least two million working horses, donkeys and mules in most need in the developing world by 2016.[7]


The Brooke's Veterinary and Animal Welfare Team have published a number of articles which are open to the public on their website.

The most recent veterinary resource is "The Working Equid Veterinary Manual". This book is the result of the Brooke's 80 years experience in the field with working equines. It is a compilation of real-life case studies accompanied with images, to help vets overseas to diagnose and treat the problems they see in the field. This manual is one of a kind, as there are practically no other research-based publications which examine the problems that working equids face in developing countries. It is an invaluable source for both vets working in deprived areas, and those who are not.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Mainpage, Brooke Hospital for Animals, retrieved February 18, 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e f The Brooke Hospital for Animals, Charity Commission, retrieved February 18, 2011
  3. ^ a b c d e "Equine aid agency's war effort". BBC News. 2001-12-28. 
  4. ^ a b c TRH visit the Brooke Hospital for Animals in Cairo, 22 March 2006, The Prince of Wales, retrieved February 18, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "The Brooke Hospital, Luxor". The Brooke Hospital for Animals. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  6. ^ a b Brooke Hospital for Animals, It's Wishcraft, retrieved February 18, 2011
  7. ^ a b c "About Us". The Brooke Hospital for Animals. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  8. ^ The Brooke

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