Brooke Hospital for Animals

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Motto Action for working horses and donkeys[1]
Formation 1934, in Cairo[1][2][3]
Legal status Charity[1][2][3]
Purpose Education, training, medical, animals[2]
Headquarters 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]
Dorothy Brooke[1][3]

Brooke is a United Kingdom-based international equine charity, which focuses on the welfare and care of donkeys, horses and mules. With more than 900 people working helping to deliver services, Brooke is the largest equine charity in the world.[4][5]

Formerly known as Brooke Hospital for Animals, the charity rebranded in May 2016 to Brooke – Action for working horses and donkeys.

The charity's President since 2006 is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.[6] Other supporters include dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin OBE who became Global Ambassador in 2015[7] and deceased horse racing commentator Sir Peter O'Sullevan who is Patron.[8]


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.[5][9]

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][9]

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][9]


Today, Brooke has over 800 field workers based in 12 countries in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East: Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, India, Kenya, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Nepal, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Mexico. Last year, they reached 1.8 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.[10]

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 Brooke, and also improves the economy for local service providers.

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.[11] These Five Freedoms are used as part of Brooke's Minimum Standards of Animal Welfare. Brooke's work is underpinned by unique and proven methods developed with the University of Bristol Veterinary School.[10]

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.[12]


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 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Mainpage, Brooke, retrieved 18 February 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e f The Brooke Hospital for Animals, Charity Commission, retrieved 18 February 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 18 February 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d "The Brooke Hospital, Luxor". The Brooke Hospital for Animals. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^,-brooke-patron
  9. ^ a b c Brooke Hospital for Animals, It's Wishcraft, retrieved 18 February 2011
  10. ^ a b "About Us". The Brooke Hospital for Animals. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  11. ^ Brooke
  12. ^ "About Us". Brooke Action for working horses and donkeys. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 

External links[edit]