As the donkeys we care for here at Paccombe Farm get older, their coats become less effective and sometimes they need a little helping hand from us.
Their coats can become less effective for many different reasons. For example, as they become older they seem to hold onto their thick coats a lot longer than when they were younger which can cause a build up of grease in their coats. With such thick coats, there's always the possibility of attracting skin conditions which, if not treated, can cause sore places on the donkey's skin.
We have noticed that some of our older donkeys find it difficult to groom themselves as arthritis begins so set in. Now, you may also be thinking that this sounds a little bizarre, but without any teeth it can be quite difficult for them to groom through their coats. Some of our elderly donkeys also have few or no teeth at all which also causes them to dribble... so we're sure you get the picture that it's not just the summer months our old donkeys need a nice warm bath!
With the hard work and sheer determination of one of our supporters - Mrs Joy Foldys - we have been lucky enough to have had one of our stables that our oldies used converted into a special shower room. Joy has been a friend and ambassador for the Sanctuary for many years now and regularly comes to visit a donkey she helped to rescue called Ben.
Ben is 29 years old and has been in our care here at the Sanctuary since 2001. He's a really friendly little chap and as soon as he hears Joy's voice, he comes running up to the gate. It's so sweet to see that he remembers her.
Joy was able to raise money to fund the shower unit by selling raffle tickets and putting out collection boxes wherever she goes. She even has a Donkey Sanctuary sign on the front of her mobility scooter!
But most important of all Joy spreads good word about the Sanctuary wherever she goes.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank this amazing lady for all her hard work and efforts not just now but over the last decade of her raising funds to help us do what we love best... care for the donkeys in any way we can.