Kossie Brumbies Arrive at Ballyoncree

July 15, 2011

Kossie Brumby Mares on arrival at Ballyoncree

Kossie Brumby Mares on arrival at Ballyoncree

Suddenly, late last Wednesday night, we got the call from NSW Parks and Wildlife that our brumbies had walked into the traps. 15 of them, including three pregnant mares. They wanted to deliver them on Saturday, and I had to leave on Sunday with Tamsin for her writing course in Sydney. It felt like really bad timing. High winds had blown trees down across fences, the yards needed re securing and we had no meadow hay – yet.

I couldn’t sense the stallion I had been communing with down in North Kossi, and my sense of the herd that was trapped was that they were waiting for my decision. They had gone inward.   It was very curious. They didn’t feel like the family who had asked to come to me. And that put me in a huge dilemma. If they weren’t mine, then what about the promise I made to the stallion who had contacted me? If I took these horses, I wouldn’t be able to support the ones who had contacted me as well. And as a shaman, it is vital to me that I keep my promises.

It turned out they just didn’t want to pressure me. Or maybe it was another shamanic initiation of the animal kind. I nearly waited for the next lot. But I didn’t because on one level I knew these were the ones I was supposed to take. One of the ways I can tell is because I cry when I have made the wrong decision.  Or when something is wrong.  Or when there is impending death.   That is my heart intelligence speaking. I cried and so I quickly said “yes” to the horses, and we hired some help to get the place ready on Friday.  Kim Hollingsworth, who had been liaising with Parks and Wildlife for the rehoming of these brumbies, turned up with grass hay an hour before the horses arrived , and all deadlines were met.

In animal rescue, like many other areas of life, it usually happens that it isn’t the best timing, but you jump and step up, because you have to.  Some of this family would have ended up dead if I hadn’t jumped and as soon as I found that out – no question. They all breathed a collective sigh of relief and I felt I had passed some kind of test. Phew.

Learning to listen to your heart intelligence is something everyone needs to do now. If you are called in any way to help any animal, that is your heart intelligence. So don’t listen to your head or anyone else around you. Listen to your heart and enjoy a meaningful relationship with an Other, that will enrich your world beyond compare. Or perhaps, like my call to help the Jeparit ponies, it will lead to a new direction in your life.

And so the truck full of horses arrived.

The stallion, a beautiful intelligent big blue boy, came out of the truck first, backwards. Our ancient wooden ramp collapsed under his weight. And he didn’t bat an eyelid. He knew he was coming here. He wandered calmly unhurt around the yard while Andrew and I held a positive space to counter the concerned talk of them “breaking their legs” as they came out of the truck directly into the yards.   The stallion nickered, and out the others all came – one colt and lots of mares and foals – 13 of them.  One after the other.  All safe. They got out of the truck as if they were born to it. It was an incredible moment.

And so it was with relief and great happiness we celebrated their arrival in their new forever home. There was 14, not 15. And I found myself mourning the phantom horse, as we had mentally and emotionally stretched to take 15, instead of a family herd of about seven, which is what I had been expecting.

The stallion came to me in my dreamtime and told me his name was Merlin. He knows where he is and I am sure we will have a good journey together. He is gorgeous.

All of the horses are settling in quickly. They are so incredibly gentle and sweet. They told me they were used to silence and we were very noisy. They are now used to the dogs. They are so relaxed that they lie down. They are gorgeous and intelligent and we are so in love with them and I am grateful that 14 (probably 17 with foals) are safe from any kind of human abuse and cruelty and will run safe and free at Ballyoncree.

I would like to publicly applaud Parks and Wildlife and also Kim Hollingsworth for their work in rehoming the brumbies , instead of culling them.  This is the sort of world we want.  One of compassion and kindness to all species.

So for me it has been a bittersweet two weeks. The safe arrival of horses to a safe house, and the horrible murder of others who were not safe. The world will become a better place for animals, when we take the compassionate action needed to make it so.  And keep focusing on the dream we want, as if it is already.

The world is now a place of Deep Peace for ALL Species. It is so.

 . . . . . .

Text and Photos © Billie Dean, 2011   (Permission to reuse photo applies.  Contact the photographer on www.billiedean.com)

Update on the Jeparit Ponies

Update: As of 11:40 am local time, only three horses remain alive. But please still act.

Update: We understand that some of the horses were chased until they were exhausted and shot at. There were unprofessional youths involved in the shootings. The ponies died in fear.

The Jeparit ponies came into my Divine Love Healing Circle last night and their souls were released shamanically. Their own anger transmuted and they were truly free. Later, while communing with Grandfather Tree, a little one came and walked beside me in spirit. We did the midnight rounds of our ponies and brumbies together. She said to say, “Thank you to all those with heart.”

When humans love, it makes a difference.

. . . . .

July 15, 2011

I write this update on the Jeparit ponies with a heavy heart and a call for urgent action.

Tao, one of the Jeparit ponies who have been killed

Tao, one of the Jeparit ponies who have been killed

This is a picture of Tao, a soft, gentle man with more courage and dignity than any human I have ever met. He told me he wanted his family saved. He told me he knew he would “go down with the ship”. I offered to buy him and have him here for life.   I did my best to save his life and have sent his photo to the ABC , the Minister for Agriculture and also the DPI.   He was murdered in the last two days of DPI  shooting. I will spare you the pictures of his dead body, and that of the pregnant mare shot in the head. Of the mare and foal standing bleakly and frightened. There was nothing wrong with these ponies. They were innocent victims and I don’t understand how any vet could authorise a mass murder like this. But the Victorian DPI vets did.

What is particularly sad is that these ponies could have had homes. People wanted them. Pony Rescue saved 80 of them. I haven’t given up on some more lives saved today. I light a candle for those murdered so cruelly and will be doing ceremony for them tonight.

Further Pony Rescue had bought and had vet certificates for more ponies which the DPI killed anyway.  When they tried to get the horses,  Pony Rescue were ushered away.   The DPI even brought police in.  A frightening TV cop show type of situation.  And one that I’m not sure is legal.  And indeed an animal lawyer has been contacted.  But too late for the ponies who could have had a second chance at life.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks liasing with Pony Rescue and Friends in Victoria (link goes to their Facebook profile where photos are — see the album), trying to help save the lives of the Jeparit ponies.  I want to thank you so much for your efforts from around the world, showing what a fantastic animal-caring community you are. Your contributions helped Pony Rescue enormously and ponies were able to be rescued, fed, wormed and cared for.

In the last week, I have been patronised, yelled at and hung up on by those in charge of the Jeparit pony massacre. I have never met such a wall of resistance, where you are passed from person to person, no one answers their phones or emails and you feel like a voice in the wilderness, begging for compassion in a world which has turned its back on such noble notions.

Sadly, despite an enormous effort writing emails, making calls to the Department of Primary Industry, to the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, to all kinds of press (here’s a story someone else managed to get placed) and other animal welfare agencies, these ponies have been subjected to the worst kind of abuse, being shot in paddocks and yards in front of each other.

This is what the DPI consider to be “humane” to “alleviate the suffering” of the ponies, who Pony Rescue was rehoming. They refused to work with Pony Rescue, who as you can imagine, were very emotionally involved in the lives of these ponies, wanting the best outcome for them. I still don’t understand why the DPI had to muscle their way in, guns blazing, when a kinder more gentle option was clearly available. This draconian mindset completely baffles me.

It has been a very very painful time, trying to save them, and getting nowhere.

To be an animal sensitive in this kind of environment takes a lot of strength, and hats off to my student Carolyn Bischoff, the Pony Rescue girls Tania  Decker and Jodi Hutson , and  all theother on the ground supporters, because it is always a challenge to watch animals be killed just because some authority says they have to. The girls have been run off their feet and Tania is currently in hospital with MS.   It didnt stop her working around the clock.  They have done their best and we are all feeling that horrible feeling when our best is not good enough. Eighty horses is a fantastic effort. With more time and support, they could have got them all.

I had to tell Tamsin that Tao had been killed. After we had opened our hearts to letting him in – him and any other who would have found sanctuary here. It wasn’t easy. Sadly she learned long ago that people in authority are often wrong. And I teach her, as I teach my students, that we have to know what the right thing to do is by our hearts. Walk our own path, with our own code of ethics. It wasn’t so long ago that our society once believed that women did not have souls. And today it still doesn’t believe that animals do. Animals are still under “dominion” and are enslaved and subject to atrocities.

One of the many letters I wrote to the DPI challenged them on their choice of “humane” action. What kind of world are we creating when the solution is only found in violence?

Why couldn’t they work with Pony Rescue? They could see the girls had done a mammoth job with these innocent little ponies.  The girls could have been supported , not hindered.  Could that have been so hard???

The lucky ponies, by the way, who have gone to new homes are quickly regaining their strength and settling in, enjoying the love and care they are receiving. So DPI excuses of “they are too wild to be rehabilitated” are just ridiculous. And too thin is also a poor excuse. Hands up how many of us have rehabilitated  thin horses. I don’t understand this mindset. I do know that I want to change it.

If you would like to protest this situation, and help try to save the rest of the ponies, please contact Peter Walsh, Victoria’s Minister for Agriculture and Food Security (link goes to his contact page, where you can find email addresses and phone numbers).

Or you can speak to the Department of Primary Industry in Victoria (link goes to their contact page). The Departmental Secretary is Richard Bolt, and the woman in charge of the decision appears to be Deb Morrison (those are both email links).

Or to the press. Please ring all the press you can today.  Go to the Pony Rescue page on facebook above and send them photos.  Make them feel.  The public has to know that these horses had the potential for a second chance.   They woudl have had homes.  they had people who cared.  Make a noise for the ponies who suffered under our so called animal welfare. And maybe we can still save the remainder and let them have love in their life.

I rang the RSPCA by the way.  I was told  this situation was completely under the DPI jurisdiction and the RSPCA could do nothing.  Where is the law that protects animals?

If this sort of behaviour angers you and frustrates you and makes you feel helpless. Then channel it into action. Please call and email any press you can and protest against the murder of these frightened ponies who coud have been given a second chance at life in loving homes.   Question their action.

When I spoke to Simon Price of the Department of Agriculture (03 99385954)  I was assured that this would be done humanely.  That to allay community fears, the RSPCA vets would be on side and absolutely ponies who could be re-homed, would be,   I begged him to talk to his people and make sure they did that.

They didnt.

Thank you for your compassionate action.

Billie Dean


A Turtle on the Road to Humanity


It’s turtle season, so please watch out for turtles on the road.  Andrew and I saw one upside down on the road the other evening driving home.  We turned around to get him, as I knew he was alive despite the going home traffic, and I was walking towards him when a car ran him over.  You might think they might consider why I was walking on the side of the road.  But no.  I was wondering about the human species at that point as I picked up the poor little guy who was in pain with a broken shell, but still alive.  I did some work on him, and administered Death Rites to give him spirit flight, as Andrew sped toward Braidwood, and we searched for turtle wildlife carers.

Barbara Bateman was there, always ready to take on the injured and homeless, and we really will miss her when she leaves the district soon.  She restored my faith in human nature.  The little bloke wanted to live, or at least, die naturally.  He was back from spirit flight by then.  Barbara knew of a Canberra woman who knew how to take care of turtles with broken shells.  She rang her as soon as we left.  Lots of gratitude to these wonderful carers.

Sadly, the little bloke didn’t make it.  And I feel the loss keenly.  I  focus on sending blessings to the guy who ran him over — because that appeared an unnecessary waste of life.  As I am always surrounded by beautiful people who really care and go the extra mile for animals, it is always such a shock to cross paths with someone who doesn’t.  I call them young souls, bless them, and put my pain to the fire.  That way I am free of judgement, sadness and anger leaving a dense residue in my body.  I’m not sending any negative ripples into the universe or darts to him. This is one pathway to peace, because as I constantly reminded my students last week, all thoughts are things.  My feelings of grace are genuine.  So bless you driver!  May you have Love in your heart and hands!

I know in this life there are no accidents. and that that turtle experienced a lot of human love in his final hours — and Love truly is what every soul needs.  So perhaps the whole scenario had a higher reason.  Perhaps the driver needed Divine Love and blessings.  Perhaps the turtle needed to experience human love and compassionate action.  Perhaps, perhaps……the important thing here is to make every act an act of compassion — to all parties, and to keep walking the High Road of Love and Peace.

This originally appeared in the November 11, 2010 edition of my Animal Whispers newsletter.

Photo by Jonathan Zander (Digon3). Source.

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