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

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. 

read about our work in the field

How we work directly with equines and their owners, their communities, vets and other animal healthcare providers.

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
  • 13: the number of countries we work in across Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • 1.4 million: the number of working horses, donkeys and mules reached by Brooke services in 2022/2023
  • 10,301: The number of communities we work with
  • 5,000: The number of animal health service providers, vets, paravets and farriers we trained in the last five years
  • 8,709: the number of brick kilns we work in

Our vision

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

Our mission

Our mission is to achieve immediate and lasting positive change to the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules and the communities that depend on them.

Our strategic goals and objectives


  • Transforming equine welfare in communities.
  • Increasing the visibility and inclusion of working equids.
  • Strengthening sustainable animal health systems.

Our Theory of Change

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. We believe that change to human behaviour needs to happen at all levels in order achieve transformational change for the equines and the communities that rely on them for their livelihoods.

Long term impact:

  • Strengthened livelihoods and resilience of equine owning communities.
  • Improved behaviour and compassion of equine owners/users and society.
  • Strengthened existing animal health systems and services.
  • Improved policies, legislation and practice conducive to animal welfare are implemented.

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.

Some useful and surprising facts about our equine friends. Want to know how to tell the difference between a horse, donkey and mule?  Read on!