Owner’s health crisis prompts rescue of donkey mates

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Guto and Sioni are undergoing care and training, and may be able to be rehomed.
Guto and Sioni are undergoing care and handling, and may be able to be rehomed. © The Donkey Sanctuary

Two donkeys who needed a new home urgently after their owner suffered a health crisis are now safe in the care of The Donkey Sanctuary.

After being contacted by a concerned neighbour, Donkey Welfare Adviser Katana Ashby arrived at the smallholding near Carmarthen in southwest Wales to discover donkeys Guto and Sioni needed to be moved as soon as possible.

The owner of the two geldings had moved out of the property due to ill health, and there was no one there to take care of them.

As time was of the essence, Ashby enlisted the help of Tony Evans from equine charity World Horse Welfare. Evans set up a temporary pen so the donkeys could be caught for a vet to give them their first flu and tetanus vaccinations, then do a basic health check to ensure they were fit to travel.

The 14-year-old donkeys, Guto and Sioni, were then loaded onto Evan’s trailer and were soon on their way to The Donkey Sanctuary’s nearby holding base, where they were placed in temporary isolation away from the other resident animals.

“I could see that Guto and Sioni wanted human interaction, but their lack of consistent handling had made them fearful of people,” Ashby said.

“Due to their situation, the donkeys needed moving as quickly as possible, and without the help of Tony from World Horse Welfare and local neighbours I would not have been able to act as swiftly as I did to ensure the safety of these two lovely boys.”

Although the donkeys had been looked after, their hooves were long, and they needed remedial farriery work. It was also discovered they had not been vaccinated, so this was also carried out.

Sioni and his pal Guto had their feet trimmed and were vaccinated once they were in the care of The Donkey Sanctuary.
Sioni and his pal Guto had their feet trimmed and were vaccinated once they were in the care of The Donkey Sanctuary. © The Donkey Sanctuary

After several months at the holding base in Wales, in February 2022 the pair were transported to The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon.

Guto and Sioni have many months of care and training ahead of them. The Donkey Sanctuary’s behaviour team will work with grooms to form a shaping plan to build up a bond of trust.

It is hoped that the future is bright for Guto and Sioni, and that they will be able to join a new Guardian home on The Donkey Sanctuary’s Rehoming Scheme if they are deemed suitable.

Donkey Guardians are essential to The Donkey Sanctuary, providing safe loving homes for hundreds of donkeys. The rehoming scheme helps free up vital space in the charity’s sanctuaries for donkeys requiring more specialist care.

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