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Animal Rahat Update: Changing Practices for Horse Cart Drivers

Dear Friend,

I hope this letter finds you well. I wanted to update you on the latest Animal Rahat news. This month, the Animal Rahat team provided much-needed medical care to a large variety of animals—from birds to bullocks. Today, I am writing with a special focus on its work with ponies who are used to pull tongas.

A "tonga" is a two-wheeled, horse-drawn passenger cart—a horse taxi, if you will—that you can find all across India. Tongas are pulled by ponies who are forced to work all day long on hard pavement and rutted dirt roads under the scorching heat of the sun or through driving monsoon rains. The carts are generally made to support only the weight of the driver and two or three other passengers, but it is common to see them overloaded with as many people crammed in as possible.

This month, the Animal Rahat team brought relief to a pony named Rama, who was suffering from painful wounds on his neck and legs. Rama's owner, Mr. Kharat, had allowed his tonga to deteriorate into such a state of disrepair that it was off balance, unsteady, and extremely hard for Rama to pull—to the point that his harness was cutting into his flesh! You can read his full story and see photos here. (

That's just one small example of the immense difference that Animal Rahat makes every day in the lives of suffering animals—and an illustration of how the program is changing the very nature of how owners of working animals see their responsibilities to these vulnerable animals.

Thank you for joining this cause and helping the hundreds of animals whose suffering was relieved through the work of Animal Rahat this month! They depend on your support so very much, and we hope you will show your commitment to these animals by becoming an Animal Rahat sponsor today (

Kind regards,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

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