Our history

From humble beginnings as a hospital for ex-warhorses in 1934, Brooke is now the leading global welfare charity for working horses, donkeys and mules.

On arrival in Egypt in 1930, Dorothy Brooke was determined to find the surviving ex-warhorses of the British, Australian and American forces. These brave and noble horses were sold into a life of hard labour in Cairo when conflict ended.

Searching for them throughout Cairo, Dorothy was appalled to find hundreds of emaciated and worn-out animals desperately in need of help. She wrote a letter to the Morning Post (which later became the Daily Telegraph) exposing their plight.

Dorothy Brooke was determined to find the surviving ex-warhorses of the British, Australian and American forces.

The public were so moved they sent her the equivalent of £20,000 in today's money to help end the suffering of these once proud horses.

Within three years, Dorothy Brooke had purchased five thousand ex-warhorses. Most were old, exhausted and had to be humanely put down. But thanks to her compassion, they ended their lives peacefully.

Dorothy Brooke knew thousands of hard working horses, donkeys and mules still suffered so in 1934 she founded the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital in Cairo, with the promise of free veterinary care for all the city’s working horses and donkeys. The Brooke Hospital for Animals was born.