Brooke at a glance

Brooke is an international charity that protects and improves the lives of horses, donkeys and mules which give people in the developing world the opportunity to work their way out of poverty.

why good animal welfare is important

We believe that animal suffering is preventable and that good animal welfare protects human livelihoods. For 600 million people in some of the poorest places in the world, 100 million of these animals are the backbone of communities and their best means of making a living. Without healthy working horses, donkeys and mules, they wouldn’t be able to put food on their tables, send their children to school or build better futures for themselves and their families.

Horses and donkeys collecting rubbish in a New Delhi slum, India

Horses and donkeys collecting rubbish in a New Delhi slum, India

We work with owners, communities and policy makers to bring about lasting improvements to the lives of working animals. Brooke works hard to deliver significant and lasting change, even in some of the world’s most challenging areas. We use our expertise to train and support owners of horses, donkeys and mules, local vets, farriers, harness makers and animal traders to improve standards of care. Operating in 11 different countries, and funding projects in four others, the Brooke now reaches over 2 million working horses, donkeys and mules – more than any other organisation. 

1934: Brooke's beginnings
Dorothy Brooke with war horse in Cairo


On arrival in Egypt in 1930, Dorothy Brooke, the wife of a British cavalry officer, sought out the former war horses that had been put to work in Cairo and beyond when the conflict ended in 1918. Her pleas in a letter to the editor of the then Morning Post (now The Telegraph) were heard, and with help from the British public, Dorothy raised enough money to buy back 5,000 of the horses. She then went on to set up a free veterinary clinic in Cairo in 1934 – the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital – and so Brooke's work began.

Brooke in numbers

  • 100 million: the number of working horses, donkeys and mules all over the world
  • 600 million: the number of people whose lives are supported by working equines
  • 11: the number of countries we work in across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America
  • 10: the number of innovation projects we funded in 2016/17
  • 2,232,600: the number of working horses, donkeys and mules covered by Brooke services in 2016/17
  • 11,957: the number of animals assessed in welfare assessment in 2016/17
Our vision and mission

Our vision is of a world in which working horses, donkeys and mules are free from suffering.

Our mission is to transform the lives of vulnerable working horses, donkeys and mules around the world. We relieve their immediate suffering and create lasting change by working with people, communities and organisations.

See also

In order to sustainably improve equine welfare we recognise the complex interaction between the equine, the equine owning communities, and the system within which they co-exist. 

The welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules the world over is an overlooked - yet crucial - part of keeping families out of extreme poverty. It’s time to take note.