In late January, The Donkey Sanctuary was notified by My Lovely Horse Rescue (MLHR) of a donkey in Wicklow with overgrown hooves, alone in a field.
Due to the case's urgent nature, Joe Prendergast, Donkey Welfare Adviser, called to the area the following day. He found a lone, wet and cold gelding with little shelter. His long hooves were curling upwards, causing him to walk on his heels, and he had difficulty moving around.
The owner was located, and following a conversation with him, Joe contacted a local farrier, who agreed to call the following evening. The donkey was gently guided to a nearby yard and shed, and Joe managed to put on a head collar and reassure the gelding who appeared nervous and afraid.
After a short time, it was evident that this was a gentle animal who responded quickly to kindness. The farrier did a fantastic job returning the donkey’s hooves to some degree of normality, although a further visit from the farrier will be required in the coming weeks.
Joe had other discussions with the owner, who agreed that the donkey’s welfare needs were not being met and that the best course of action was to give him a chance at a new and better life. MLHR generously offered a place for the donkey at their farm in Co. Kildare.
We transported the donkey to MLHR and on arrival at his new home, when the ramp was lowered, the donkey was greeted by other rescued animals led by a small brown donkey called Jimmy. He soon relaxed in the friendly environment at MLHR. The new arrival was named Rowan.
Before leaving Wicklow for MLHR, the owner managed to locate a passport for Rowan that had been missing for years. On checking the donkey's date of birth, Joe discovered that Rowan had turned thirteen the previous week.Thanks to the collaboration between The Donkey Sanctuary and My Lovely Horse Rescue, it was a lucky thirteen for him.