The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, helps drought-hit Australian donkey rescue farm

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 January 2020

Donkeys at the sanctuary in New South Wales. Picture; Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary

Donkeys at the sanctuary in New South Wales. Picture; Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary

Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary has thrown a lifeline to a drought-hit donkey rescue organisation in Australia.

Water supplies have dried up at the sanctuary. Picture:  Good Samaritan Donkey SanctuaryWater supplies have dried up at the sanctuary. Picture: Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary has thrown a lifeline to a drought-hit donkey rescue organisation in Australia.

The Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary (GSDS) in New South Wales has not been affected by the ongoing bushfires, although the threat of new fires remains.

Its main problem is the parched land. The sanctuary's last onsite water catchment dam has run dry and there is no grazing for the donkeys.

The sanctuary has already used up its stores of barley straw, intended for winter stock, and animal feed is so scarce in the area that suppliers are restricting the amount any customer can buy on one day.

The GSDS is having to truck in 11,000 litres of water twice a week, and send two staff on a daily 300km round trip to visit three separate donkey feed suppliers.

GSDS farm manager Sandy said: "We are travelling out every day to all our suppliers to get hay and straw for the next day's feed.

"It's tiring and we can't seem to get ahead at the moment, with doing everything else.

"It's very stressful here, we are just concerned about feeding, watering the donkeys and taking care of them. We are just coping. The drought has hit us terribly."

In response, The Donkey Sanctuary has made a one-off donation of £10,000. This is enough to buy barley straw to last until the end of April, and fund two weekly water collections for the same period. This will help see the GSDS through until the end of the southern hemisphere summer.

The Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary has a long history of close association with the GSDS. When founder Jo-Anne Kokas began rescuing donkeys in 1990, The Donkey Sanctuary's founder Elisabeth Svendsen met up with her, and continued giving her advice and support as GSDS established itself as Australia's largest donkey rescue organisation.

Simon Pope, Tactical Response Lead at The Donkey Sanctuary said: "We have all seen the utterly heart-breaking scenes unfolding in Australia for both humans and animals alike over the last few months.

"The Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary have worked tirelessly, sometimes round the clock, to deal with the effects of this drought and with the threat of bushfires still hanging over them.

"When we learned just how hard it's been for them to source feed and water for the donkeys in their care and the exhausting but determined efforts they've had to go to, we knew we had to help."


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