When we were snowed in for a week recently I cleared an area on my concrete yard where I could let my donkeys out when the weather improved. The snow has at last gone but we have had plenty of rain of late. My yard is part concreted and part (supposedly) a hard gravel surface. However like so many Guardian homes I have visited in the last few weeks once you step off the concrete you are into sloppy muck area or worse! The photo shows four donkeys being led around my concrete by participants during my most recent Donkey Care Course (10th March).
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Three female donkeys neglected and abandoned in North Belfast have been taken into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary.
The donkeys were originally brought to the attention of the charity by a concerned individual who was alarmed at the length and distortion of the donkeys’ hooves and the apparent lack of an owner as there was no sign of care and management being shown to the animals.
Recently I watched the first of the Paddington Bear movies. It features a young cartoon bear from Peru whose home is destroyed and who subsequently travels to London in search of a new home. Finding himself lost the story ends happily with the bear evading the evil taxidermist and being accepted into the Brown family. Paddington Bear has been around since it was first written in 1958 and the revival of this popular story appeals to children and those like me, not so young, who remember reading it when they were children too.
Recently I travelled to a remote village down winding mountain lanes over an hour from any tarmac road - to attend a workshop for local veterinary students run by The Donkey Sanctuary Mexico staff. The only economic activity of significance in Santa Ana del Rio is the production of mezcal – a clear alcohol liquid distilled from locally-grown cactus in 15 licensed village pot-stills and involving hundreds of villagers and working equids in the process – at every stage from field to final product.
In the past few weeks one of our donkey welfare advisers, Jane Bruce was working routinely in the Galway region when she noticed a field of welfare-compromised horses. Experience in the field has taught our welfare advisers that where horse welfare issues exist there is normally a donkey or two involved.
Expectations – we all have values, standards, needs and dreams. These lead us to have expectations. The Donkey Sanctuary have expectations when it comes to placing our donkeys in guardian homes. Preparing to rehome two donkeys can for some people involve additional work which varies from basic adaptions to their property to additional construction depending on their existing facilities. The basics include a shed, an area of hardstanding (concrete, stone or other dry surface) a source of clean water and a paddock suitably fenced. An electric fence is also considered a wise investment.
The Donkey Sanctuary recently collaborated with local equine charities ‘My Lovely Horse Rescue’ and ‘The Equine Rescue Network’ to find homes for no less than 8 equines, 2 of which were donkeys and one a yearling mule.
Following a request to rehome two donkeys and a mule, our Welfare Adviser arrived to find that the donkeys and mule were also company to a consignment of several ponies all equally facing an uncertain future and in need of a home.