Due to the prolonged wet weather water levels have risen, the land is saturated and calls to help animals suffering as a result have escalated.
One such call from an owner of a donkey and his Shetland pony companion immediately gave me cause for concern.
The gentleman had owned Buddy and Thomas for most of their lives and in recent months had begun to struggle providing for them. The horrendous rain had turned what was a difficult situation into any donkey lover's worst nightmare. Stranded in a flooded paddock the only way he could think to keep his pets safe was to tether them on higher ground. Unfortunately this simply meant the boys were knee deep in cold wet mud in no time. When fodder supplies ran out the owner made the heart-breaking but best decision to contact The Donkey Sanctuary (TDS) and surrender his animals.
The sorrowful sight of Buddy and Thomas standing forlornly in the torrential rain shivering with cold is something I won't forget for a while. These poor boys were so happy to see humans arriving and called out to us almost as though they knew we had arrived to rescue them from their muddy hell. Having had no food for two days they were cold and weak and in very real danger of succumbing to hypothermia. With help from the Wexford SPCA Buddy and Thomas were loaded into the horse box and headed south to an emergency holding base.
As the wet weather continues the pressure on all welfare groups to respond to emergencies will only increase. We need to be able to work together to reach all the donkeys in need. A big thank you to the Wexford SPCA for their help and support with this case.
The donkey sanctuary is under more pressure than ever before to cope with the level of calls about donkeys in distress and we cannot do it without your help. Although today Buddy and Thomas are dry and warm and when they lie down it is on a deep bed of golden straw with bellies full of hay there is no doubt in my mind that without the intervention of the Donkey Sanctuary these two friends would have persisted in a muddy grave.
Provisions are being put in place by The Donkey Sanctuary to ensure that this sweet pair will have the most fulfilling life possible; you can help to ensure their health and happiness by making a donation.