Donkey Welfare Adviser Cathy Griffin gives her account of responding to a call from the ISPCA and how it resulted in the rescue of a sweet donkey:
Standing on Mount Leinster in Carlow it was difficult to imagine that we would even find a donkey in such a vast desolate area never mind catch it! Several concerned people had contacted both the ISPCA and The Donkey Sanctuary about a small grey donkey abandoned in the area with overgrown hooves. The ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling was first on the scene and managed to locate the donkey but unfortunately was unable to catch her.
As we have cooperated before on donkey welfare calls Conor contacted me to request assistance with little Vonnie as she is now called. And so myself and Eugene our driver and two local volunteers found ourselves combing the mountain side for Vonnie.
We found her grazing with some sheep in a little valley which was more sheltered from the wind and rain. Although very nervous she was also very interested in the carrots our volunteers had and gradually we coaxed her up the steep slope towards the cattle grid and vehicles where we hoped to confine her enough to catch her. Vonnie was happy to follow us but the moment she saw a rope or head collar she headed for the mountain again.
Thankfully patience is something we all have and not one of us were prepared to leave this beautiful little donkey behind on a lonely windswept mountain. Vonnie was coming home with us no matter how long it took! Finally everything just fell into place and we had her. Following a quick assessment it was decided Vonnie would spend some days at a local volunteers home to rest up and recover from her ordeal before making the journey to TDS.
Once Vonnie realized that nothing awful was going to happen to her she relaxed and enjoyed some carrots and gentle scratches. It was such a wonderful feeling to watch her make her way up the ramp of the lorry,each careful step of her poor neglected feet taking her closer to a life of safety and love. No more lonely days on a bleak, barren mountain for our little Vonnie.