On her private property in Greenbank, horse-lover Melinda Bust puts her own time and money towards rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming horses that have been abused, neglected, or at risk of being sold for dog meat.
Many of the horses come from non-ideal or threatening situations suffering from injuries, infections, and psychological damage.
“Some have come to me through word-of-mouth and been surrendered, been in some kind of threat, or needed assistance,” she said.
Some of the horses were purchased by Melinda herself at horse markets, where they were potentially at risk of being purchased for dog meat
“These animals can’t speak for themselves,” she said.
“They rely heavily on us to do right by them, yet so many are being failed.
“I have seen their fear of the unknown, the brokenness, and many a times their faith lost in humankind in their eyes, and it is not okay.”
Melinda rode horses when she was younger, and her passion grew into a desire to help them.
In 2018 Melinda came across a horse with “dangerous” behaviour that suggested a history of severe abuse.
She was going to be sent to the doggers, and Melinda decided to take her in.
“She’s still here – she will never leave,” Melinda said.
“One horse became another one, and it kicked off from there.”
The most common problems Melinda came across in horses included malnourishment, infections, wounds, and dental problems.
Over the years Melinda has rescued almost 20 horses, three poddy calves, one kitten, two dogs, including an ex-greyhound racer, goats, sheep, and approximately 300 commercial hens.
She currently has nine rescue horses on the property.
“I run self-funded – I’m not a registered charity,” she said.
“If I’m not at home working, I’m out working to pay for the horse rescue side of things.”
Melinda funded everything out of her own pocket and occasional Go Fund Me fundraisers, including food, surgical procedures, vet bills, worming, gelding, transportation and medical supplies.
She created a Facebook page in April 2020 to advertise a Containers for Change service to help cover the many expenses.
Melinda said she would love if any businesses, including restaurants or cafes, could get on board with donating empty bottles and cans so she could help more animals in need.
“The collection of the cans and bottles was a way for people to get involved and be a part of something without having to ask for their money,’” she said.
“My hope down the track would also be to get some professionals on board that may offer their services at a discounted rate, or possibly become a sponsor of sorts for some horses in care.”
People in Logan West and surrounding areas can contact Melinda for pick-ups through her “Can and Bottle Collection Service” page, or donate at any Containers for Change centre using scheme identification number C10252411.