Horse rescue centre Spain

The CYD Santa Maria Association and Refuge, is the biggest horse rescue centre Spain has been fighting for over ten years to create and to establish a legal and ethical model that will enable us to defend the  rights of animals and improve their quality of life.
Both are non-profit making entities, they do not receive any grant from the administration and they are independent from other associations and organisations , both public and private.
The CYD Santa Maria Refuge is responsible for looking after suffering animals. It is an animal refuge “it is  unique in its kind”. This is possible thanks to the help that we receive from volunteers and sponsors. All rescued animals are given freedom and we do not have any cages or sections. Horses coexist with other animals, such as dogs, cats, goats, ferrets, poultry etc. Our wish is to not only deal with the physical rehabilitation of the animals but also to regain their trust in and love of humans.

Amongst our achievements to date we have been awarded the V Gold by the Official College of Veterinary of Málaga.  This is the highest award granted by this institution by professionals in the sector.

We are also especially proud to have been required by the State Council to collaborate on the preparation of a Law which no longer considers horses as income but recognises them as pets.

Our major success is that every day we feel the gratitude of our animals, the affection of anonymous people and the respect and support of professionals that congratulate us on our work.

Our thanks to all of you.

Secuencia-Lluvia3,-actualmente-en-la-webDear friends, patrons, volunteers and lovers of animals. For years I have been asking the same question and this Association and Refuge were created largely to try to answer it, if indeed it is answerable.

What exactly does “animal lovers” means? What is the difference between loving an animal or a human being? Are there different types of love? Are there, in the same way, different types of suffering, humiliation or pain? 

 I do not wish to enter into crude comparisons and so instead, I limit myself to the sensations themselves: who or what decides who should suffer to a greater or lesser extent and why?

 Scientifically, almost on a par with the discovery that the Earth is round (I think), we are all conscious of blood vessels, nerve endings, etc.  For this reason, and not that in another life had we been pigs, dogs, cows or horses, we would remember vividly, how can we assume that “my abandonment” is worse than yours, that “my wound” hurts more than yours? or that “my love” is greater than yours?

Just by giving them a name, why do you think that behaviour such as compassion, gratitude, tenderness, joy in living, dignity, courage in life and even in the face of death are only human?

For anyone who doubts these words, I want to confess, that all of them I learned to feel only in the past few years. In the animals we have helped I have had the best teachers (many of them are no longer physically with me).  I could only possibly surpass the animals that I have had the honour of knowing and accompanying on their way and sometimes at their end, by feeling the RESPECT that each and every one of them deserves and inspires in me.

 I could tell you many, many stories that never appear on this website. I could tell you that I have seen an animal dying in sorrow and attacking in frustration, be reborn with a caress and survive with a tear. I could tell you so many things, but I don’t know how!

It would be so easy, if I knew by licking your hand and speaking with my eyes, I could express my gratitude for your support and love.

It would be so easy, if I could put my head on your chest and despite my wounds, could express to you my total confidence in all you are doing for me.

It would be so easy, if I could take a step toward you, despite having been beaten by a whip, to touch you with my snout and express to you that your help means so much.

It would be so easy, if you could understand me without words.

At this Association and refuge we will try and continue demonstrating with actions, what the words alone do not show and we hope and pray to God each day, to accompany us on our way. That, at the end of the day, is not just the actions of “animal lovers”… but, simply having love and respect for any living being, regardless of species or breed.

Concordia Márquez

President of the  Association CYD SANTA MARIA

The works of the association is based on two pillars:

Education is an essential tool for prevention of cruelty and neglect. Throughout the year we carry out activities aimed at young people.  These activities have been developed to make future generations aware of the need to respect every living being.   We also give educational lectures and conferences regarding animal protection laws and animal welfare, both for the general public and professionals in the sector. We do all of this free of charge and with the help of voluntary workers including veterinarians, law enforcement agents, etc.

 One of the mottos of the Association is: “One day it will sound strange to have to make official complaints.”  Everyday there are many people with a conscience who feel the need to make an official complaint about mistreatment and neglect. To report such matters is responsible behavior.   It is reprehensible to look the other way when a living being is suffering.