Maggie and Holly were introduced to one another by our welfare team last year. One year after the successful pairing their owner, Siobhan Shanahan, is celebrating their special bond.
Before the two donkeys were introduced, Maggie was living alone at the owner's home in Kerry. Siobhan had become the permanent guardian after bringing the donkey into her care, and she was looking for some support and advice to ensure all of Maggie's needs were being met. Therefore, Siobhan reached out to The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland.
Donkey Welfare Adviser, Ciara O'Kelly, says: "We became aware of Maggie when Siobhan got in touch with some questions. We could see right away how well cared for the donkey was, and we worked closely with the owner to provide all the advice and support she needed. However, Maggie was still living alone, and companionship is so important for donkeys."
Therefore, our welfare team knew that they needed to find Maggie a friend as soon as possible.
Our welfare team received a call about a donkey abandoned on a farm. When they arrived at the farm, the donkey's health was stable. However, if the mare was left outside exposed to the elements she would have started to suffer. In Ireland, a large number of donkeys are abandoned every year, and a high percentage of them are not microchipped. Therefore, if there is no owner, our welfare team must work together to find a solution.
In this case, Ciara O'Kelly knew that Maggie's owner was looking for a companion for her donkey. After some discussion, it was suggested that the two donkeys might make the perfect bonded pair.
When Maggie met Holly
Last November, the abandoned donkey was transported by our welfare team to Siobhan's home in Kerry, and as it was nearly Christmas she named the donkey Holly. Everyone looked forward to seeing the two mares meet for the first time and hoped they would become friends. As soon as they were introduced, everyone got the positive outcome they had been hoping for.
Maggie and Holly quickly became great companions. Siobhan says: "They are so funny to watch and will do everything together, and they will always stand at the gate to bray loudly." Since being introduced, Maggie and Holly live a fulfilled life and remind us of the value of companionship.
Our rehoming scheme
As a result of the Donkey Welfare Crisis, our team discovers an increasing number of abandoned donkeys in need of a loving home. Therefore, we urge anyone who is interested in acquiring donkeys, to find out more about our rehoming scheme. Our team are experts in all aspects of donkey health and welfare, and can offer anyone advice and assistance on how to be responsible donkey owners.
As a result of their owner reaching out to us for support, Maggie and Holly now share a wonderful home. We will continue our work in the community, and if you would like to support us you can donate here.