A winter rescue last year brought a donkey into our care whose recovery was hindered by the challenging welfare issues we encountered.
During the dark days of late December, we received a report of a donkey foal wandering the roads in Kerry. A local community group, concerned for the animal’s welfare, ensured her safety and swiftly contacted us.
The donkey was immediately brought to Liscarroll and assessed by our Veterinary Team. The community group thought the donkey was a foal, but she was actually a small, underweight, adult donkey. She seemed weak and restless, lying down a lot. Her hooves were overgrown and she was in constant pain as a result. We called the donkey Nightingale and our team began caring for her to try and save her life. She was given pain relief, her hooves were gently pared and pads placed on her feet.
Nightingale was confined to the comfort of her stable to reduce unnecessary movement. The New Arrivals Team were worried about Nightingale. Weighing just 133kg, she was very cold so our grooms placed multiple rugs on her to keep her warm. Her stable had a heat lamp and the floor was covered in shavings to ensure comfort.
Our staff kept a close eye on Nightingale. Her diet was carefully monitored and a donkey called Trooper was placed in her stable for company. Still Nightingale remained restless.
Radiographs of her hooves revealed chronic laminitis. Our farrier did everything he could for Nightingale but tragically, we were unable to make her comfortable on her feet.
Laurence O’Sullivan, Head of Veterinary Services, made the heartbreaking decision to put Nightingale to sleep. He says: “We did everything possible to restore Nightingale to full health. We couldn’t leave her with a future filled with pain and suffering and she was euthanised on humane grounds.”
Due to challenging health issues we were unable to give Nightingale a future, but thanks to your ongoing generosity we were able to give her every chance possible and ensure her life ended in the loving care of our Veterinary Team in Liscarroll.
Can you make a donation today to help us continue our work? Every euro that you donate is put to good use caring for our donkeys and reaching those that need our help and support around Ireland.