One of the aims of The Donkey Sanctuary is to spread the word about how best to care for donkeys far and wide, we officially do so more than once a month in the form of our Donkey Care Courses. After completing the course you will receive a certificate to prove your attendance and your donkey knowledge. We have so many different groups coming from all over the country from private donkey owners, donkey lovers, potential donkey guardians, work experience students, new staff, the list is end-list.
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Not to be outdone by our own Donkey Welfare Adviser team that attend equine fairs for The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland, I made the journey all the way to Barabanki close to the India-Nepal border! An annual extravaganza over one week long with some 5500 horses, mules and donkeys walked or trucked from surrounding areas to be traded: onward as store animals (an investment) or put straight to work as pack or riding animals in the fields, on the roads, building sites and in the brick kilns of India and Nepal.
The Donkey Sanctuary India (DSI) oversees the welfare of some 1500 donkeys working on building sites in Delhi and surrounding neighbourhoods. I visited one such site in Gurgaon on October 18 in the company of DSI veterinarian Dr Surajit Nath. These animals work five to six hours per day labouring to move loads of gravel, sand and cement from heaps placed in the broiling sun into the shaded interior where plasterers await fresh building materials.
Hart is one of our mules in Hannigan's farm: she is 20 years old and never had any problems since she came into our care. On October 13 she presented with a sore and streaming left eye and was started on eye drops as well as pain relieve to treat what seemed to be a deep keratitis (injury of the cornea).
After the weekend her condition had worsened considerably and now her entire eye was involved with thick greenish yellow discharge coming from her swollen painful eye. She was treated conservatively with a 10 day course of intravenous antibiotics and pain medication.
Many at The Donkey Sanctuary remember the rescue of a group of donkeys from a farm in Tipperary in the depths of a bitter winter three years ago – they became known as the Frozen Donkeys and are now safely in sanctuary care in Liscarroll. The Farms team have done a wonderful job, nursing them back to health and fostering confidence in humans again.
Our Welfare team recently received a call about four donkeys that were abandoned in the Cooley Mountains in Louth. The donkeys were seized by the County Council and taken to Louth pound. The Donkey Sanctuary lorry hit the road in order to bring these four donkeys to the safety and protection of The Sanctuary.
All four donkeys’ feet needed attention, especially Scamper, who had approximately 4 inches of growth as a result of not being treated by a farrier and Scamper also has a Sarcoid (tumour) under his eye which is under examination.
Erriff is a male model. He is photographed with great regularity. His name is taken from that of the Erriff river which flows over a waterfall called Aashleagh falls. The falls are the centerpiece of a rugged, unspoiled landscape which attracts tourists to its beauty. The river flows into the only true fjord in Ireland, Killary harbour. Fjords are more often associated with Norway where the Vikings come from.
Panache the donkey lived a rather sad and lonely existence having being abandoned in a remote forest and then removed to an equine pound where his future hung in the balance. He was underweight and had the classical long, twisted hooves that indicated previous neglect. Thankfully The Donkey Sanctuary was able to secure the future of this young skewbald donkey that proved to have a very quiet, kind nature.