Donkeys saved from dreadful conditions

The rescued donkeys. Picture: The Donkey Sanctuary

The rescued donkeys. Picture: The Donkey Sanctuary - Credit: Archant

More than a dozen donkeys were rescued from dreadful conditions thanks to three major animal charities.

Working with the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, The Donkey Sanctuary rescued 14 donkeys from a smallholding in the North East.

The charities were tipped off by a concerned member of public which led to donkey welfare advisor Charly Wain visiting the rural address.

She found donkeys, goats and a Shetland pony sharing the same muddy field with very little food between them.

The field was also full of plastic, rubbish and old farm machinery.

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According to The Donkey Sanctuary, several interventions were carried out over the course of three months but nothing changed and the owner continually failed to address the concerns relating to the donkeys’ living environment, hoof care and diet.

This led to Wain returning with two colleagues from World Horse Welfare plus a veterinary surgeon and an RSPCA inspector.

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Wain said: “I was able to get a clearer view of the donkeys’ feet.

“The hooves were curving upwards on some of the donkeys, and many of the hooves had begun to twist and deviate. I was worried about the condition of the hooves and what other effects this could be having on the wellbeing of the donkeys.”

After the vet’s examination, the owner agreed to sign over all the donkeys to the RSPCA, and within hours, the donkeys were on their way to one of The Donkey Sanctuary’s holding bases.

Wain said: “While handling the donkeys I had noticed all the mares who had foals at foot were underweight and I could feel their spines, ribs and pelvis bones without applying much pressure to them.

“I was so relieved that the donkeys were now going to have their hooves attended to and live in a more appropriate environment.”

Each donkey was x-rayed and further examinations were carried out by a vet and the 11 donkeys and three foals are now enjoying life among other donkeys in a safe environment.

Wain said: “The donkeys would have continued to deteriorate if all organisations involved hadn’t intervened when they did. They now have a happy, healthy future ahead of them.”

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