This year to date 67 donkeys in need have been taken in by The Donkey Sanctuary in Cork.
Many of these donkeys struggled to walk due to pain caused by overgrown hooves. Neeson is one such donkey who came to us in February from Kerry. As the pictures show, Neeson had painfully long hooves which made it difficult to walk. The structure of a donkey’s hooves can be altered when they are overgrown which can lead to incorrect balance and subsequently tendon and joint problems.
Since his arrival at the sanctuary, Neeson’s hooves have been carefully pared back. He will continue to see the farrier regularly and we are confident that his hoof health will continue to improve.
Noel Carton, Head of Operations at The Donkey Sanctuary is concerned about the amount of donkeys we are seeing with hoof problems. Noel said ‘Hoof care is essential to overall good donkey healthcare. To maintain good hooves, donkeys need to be seen by a farrier every six to ten weeks. We operate an outreach programme called the Donkey Welfare Improvement Scheme (DWIS) which aims to provide treatment including farriery to donkeys around the country.’
The Donkey Welfare Improvement Scheme (DWIS) was founded in 2016 to give assistance to private donkey owners with castrations, microchipping, vet, farriery and dental work.
Noel said ‘We encourage donkey owners to contact us for advice about their donkeys. We are very grateful that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have given us ex gratia funding to help run the DWIS scheme and it has been a resounding success to date.’
If you are a private donkey owner and would like to know more about the DWIS, please contact our welfare department on 022 49013 for further details.