New Year rescue donkeys thriving six months on

David, Connie and Theo with their grooms, six months after their rescue.
David, Connie and Theo with their grooms, six months after their rescue. © The Donkey Sanctuary

Three cold, malnourished and shivering donkeys who were rescued from a muddy Lancashire field on New Year’s Eve last year are now, six months on, thriving in the care of the international animal welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary.

The donkeys, including two foals and one adult stallion, were so skinny their bones were showing through their winter coats. All three were infested with lice and one of the foals had hair loss on its stomach from excessive rubbing against barbed wire fencing to alleviate the itching and irritation caused by the lice.

All three also needed urgent farrier attention for their overgrown hooves.

The New Year’s Eve rescue was part of a multi-agency response with Lincoln-based charity, Bransby Horses, the police and RSPCA.

Adele Crompton, Donkey Welfare Adviser, from The Donkey Sanctuary, said it was heart-wrenching to see the donkeys so clearly undernourished and suffering outside in the harsh winter weather.

Connie, David and Theo before they were rescued on New Year’s Eve 2019. © The Donkey Sanctuary

Now, nearly six months on, there is a happy ending to the rescue.

“Despite the horrendous life they had endured, the trio responded fantastically to their new grooms. Being naturally inquisitive and trusting, the foals, in particular, were quick to learn and respond to compassionate handling” Crompton said.

“ It’s so rewarding to know they are now safe and thriving thanks to the hard work of all our welfare staff and grooms.”

The rescued donkeys, who have been relinquished into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary by the RSPCA as no owner could be identified, will now be given a safe and loving home for life through the charity’s Rehoming Scheme.

Connie and her paddock mates were very undernourished.
Connie and her paddock mates were undernourished and their feet needed attention. © The Donkey Sanctuary

During the Covid-19 crisis, The Donkey Sanctuary has still been responding to urgent welfare concerns. Now the Government is allowing rescue and rehoming organisations to resume rehoming activities, the charity has begun rehoming donkeys once again.

The Donkey Sanctuary is a global leader for equine welfare, research and veterinary care. The charity operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation.

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