Horse blankets were stolen from the Coastal Horse Care Unit in Cato Ridge, leaving horses at risk from the cold. Generous sponsors have now come to the rescue. Picture: Supplied

Durban - Dozens of orphan foals and horses were at risk of getting cold as temperatures plummeted across the province, after several horse blankets mysteriously went missing from the Coastal Horse Care Unit, yesterday.

However, after a plea went out on social media, Durbanites came out in their numbers donating blankets to the unit that aims to protect horses from abuse.

Gillian Olmesdahl, chairperson of the unit, based in Cato Ridge, said when temperatures dropped yesterday, they sent a notice to staff at the unit to kit the 50 horses with blankets.

“When staff went to the stable area where the blankets are kept, they found nothing. It was very disturbing, we think it may have been stolen but we don’t know who would do that as we are an NGO, and every item is needed for our work,” said Olmesdahl. Only a few “scrappy” ones were left behind.

“It was getting colder, so we put out an appeal, and all of a sudden we got so many calls and people coming up the driveway donating horse blankets,” she said.

Horse blankets are expensive, and specially designed to fasten at the neck and around the stomach. “We were very worried about our orphan foals, as they needed the extra warmth,” she said.

Now, the unit is short of around 20 blankets, as they need spare blankets for their outreach programmes.

“We were really overwhelmed with the support and thank everyone who came out to assist,” she said.

Olmesdahl can be contacted on 073 550 3061.