Meet Februrary's Horse of the Month


Shasho's Resilient Spirit

In the vibrant urban areas of Ethiopia, hardworking cart horses like Shasho are integral to daily life, aiding their owners in transporting people and goods. Shasho's day begins early and ends late, filled with dedication and effort. Despite the challenging conditions, including intense heat and less-than-ideal equipment, Shasho's perseverance is noteworthy.

When Mersha, Shasho's owner, first brought him home, their connection was immediate. Although Shasho was in poor health initially, the bond between them was strong and evident. Mersha, understanding the importance of his role in Shasho's life, was attentive to his needs, ensuring he had rest and proper nourishment, recognizing Shasho not just as a working animal, but as a valued member of his family.

However, challenges arose when Shasho sustained an injury due to a rock. The lack of accessible veterinary care in the area compounded the situation, significantly affecting Shasho's ability to work and, consequently, the family's income. Faced with limited resources and knowledge on how to care for Shasho, Mersha made the difficult decision to abandon him, driven by desperation.

The turning point came when Mersha's wife, deeply attached to Shasho, insisted on bringing him back into their care. By this time, Shasho was severely malnourished, and his wound had worsened. This is where the intervention of Brooke USA became crucial. Their support in providing education on animal care, nutrition, emergency veterinary assistance, and feed not only promised a better life for Shasho but also equipped the community with vital skills to ensure better care for their animals in the future.

Thanks to these efforts, there is optimism for Shasho's full recovery. His story highlights the resilience of both animals and humans and the positive impact that education and community support can have on improving the lives of working animals and their owners.

Brooke USA Foundation:

Shasho, the Februrary Horse of the Month

The mission of Brooke USA is to significantly improve the health, welfare, and productivity of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them for survival worldwide. We are committed to sustainable economic development by reducing poverty, increasing food security, ensuring access to water, providing a means to education, and raising basic standards of living through improved equine health and welfare. To learn more about Brooke USA, please visit or email

Brooke USA strives to alleviate the suffering and vulnerability of developing communities by funding and implementing programs that improve the quality of life and health of working equines and thereby positively impacting their economic sustainability, protecting the planet, ensuring gender equality, and guaranteeing life on land resilience. We want to see healthy, happy people and equines that work in partnership to achieve sustainable local economies.

Meet Dorothy Brooke, Founder of the Brooke Family of Charitable Organizations

In 1926, equine activist Dorothy Brooke traveled from her home in England to Cairo, Egypt with her husband. While there, she met war horses that served in World War I who had been abandoned when the war had ended. These war horses were living in less-than-ideal conditions and in poor health. Dorothy felt a calling to search for the old war horses, whom “she hated to remember yet could not forget.” By 1930, after hearing rumors of the emaciated equines – these war horses – left in Egypt, Dorothy made it her mission to track down the abandoned horses. Her Mission continues on today through the Brooke USA Foundation.