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In January 2015 the Sanctuary received a call from the public regarding three donkeys who had been abandoned illegally in county Louth. The weather was inclement and the donkeys had no feed or shelter so our Welfare team prioritized this case and removed the donkeys from this situation immediately. The Gardaí assisted with the relinquishment of the donkeys and were very helpful. The donkeys began their rehabilitation process in the comfort and warmth of the Sanctuary in Liscarroll.
Donkeys Edith and Mini were taken into the care of The Sanctuary in July 2015. Their owners could no longer care for them and made the responsible decision to contact us and ask for assistance. Our Welfare team sprung into action and before long these two donkeys were settling into life in Liscarroll.
The donkeys were in good condition, they were assessed by our Veterinary team and tests proved that Edith was in foal. A donkeys gestation period can last between 10-14 months and she was not very far gone so we anticipate that she will have her foal in the Spring/Summer months.
This day three years ago we received a call about a donkey in need and we went to investigate. We were horrified to see the conditions this donkey was in and the pain that he was in was heart-breaking. His hooves were so overgrown and painful he struggled to walk, he was suffering from rain scald (a painful skin condition) from being left out in the elements with no shelter and he was starving, dehydrated and lost all hope.
What started off as a routine check of cattle tags on a Meath farm by Department of Agriculture (DAFM) officials turned into a full blown donkey rescue with a wholly unexpected twist in the tail – Storm Desmond. The farmer in question admitted to having ‘’a couple of donkeys’’ on the land; however a quick walk of the 40 acres saw this increase to 15 donkeys, with some very obvious hoof issues. The donkeys were extremely timid and difficult to approach so the Dept. vet called Donkey Welfare Adviser Cathy Griffin for advice and support.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney received an independent report on matters relating to donkey welfare in Ireland. The report, launched at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, links the uncontrolled eligibility of donkeys for subsidy payments granted for ‘Areas of Natural Constraint’ (ANC) with potentially driving a market for indiscriminate breeding.
It’s hard to envisage what to expect when you receive a call concerning two donkeys abandoned in a disused site and what you will see when you arrive there. Our Welfare team is certainly used to dealing with unexpected situations but we are naturally often shocked ourselves by what we see. It seems that the parameters of donkey neglect and irresponsible management are constantly being stretched further and further…