Home for Christmas: Orphan foal taken in by British charity

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The orphan foal is receiving around-the-clock care by staff. 
The orphan foal is receiving around-the-clock care by staff. He’s being fed by Sara Blair-Salter. © The Donkey Sanctuary

A tiny donkey foal whose mum died after foaling has been welcomed into his life-long home at The Donkey Sanctuary in Britain.

The week-old orphan was relinquished into the care of the charity by his owner, who wanted to give him the best start in life after his mother died after suffering complications during foaling. Despite veterinary care and the best efforts of her owner, her condition did not improve and the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep.

The tiny colt is receiving round-the-clock care by staff at the international animal welfare charity’s New Arrivals unit in Sidmouth. Despite his distressing start in life, he appears healthy and is feeding well on a supplemented diet.

“Our teams work tirelessly all year-round to support donkeys most in need here in Great Britain,” said Hannah Bryer, head of welfare at The Donkey Sanctuary.

“By working with owners, we can often help provide advice and support to find solutions to the challenges they may be facing. Sadly in cases like this, the best welfare outcome for the donkey is often the hardest for owners.”

The foal can be sure of a happy forever home with The Donkey Sanctuary, where he will be cared for until he is big enough to join the resident herd.

The week-old orphan foal enjoys a moment The Donkey Sanctuary's new arrivals manager Sara Blair-Salter. 
The week-old orphan foal enjoys a moment The Donkey Sanctuary’s new arrivals manager Sara Blair-Salter. © The Donkey Sanctuary

“Saying goodbye to our much-loved pets at the right time should never be regarded as a failure,” Bryer said.

“I often admire the courage of owners who put the welfare of their donkeys first, even in the most difficult of circumstances, so when this owner reached out to us, we acted swiftly to make arrangements to bring the foal into our care. There is something truly special about being able to provide hope and reassurance to so many donkeys and their owners, but especially at Christmas.”

The Donkey Sanctuary works to transform the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships.

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