I received a phone call from a member of the public in County Derry in Northern Ireland who was very distressed over a donkey which she had closed into her garden over the weekend.
The lady had noticed the donkey on a very busy road whilst she was coming back from her morning school run. She and her brother managed to direct the donkey off the road onto a quieter road to where the lady lived and into her garden. She thought it was only a matter of securing the donkey until its owner turned up and claimed it.
A day went by and no one had called about the donkey so she decided to make a few enquiries with her neighbours to see if anyone owned or knew who owned this donkey. To her despair no one came forward and it became apparent that it was an abandoned donkey. She was quite shocked to learn that someone could do this and that it was a regular occurrence with donkeys at present. She phoned her local Police Service of Northern Ireland station to report the donkey on her property and they recorded her details and gave her the number of The Donkey Sanctuary for help.
She eagerly contacted the Sanctuary hoping that we could help. Her garden at this stage was in a bit of a mess. Luckily there was enough grass and a small shelter there to keep the donkey for the weekend but the lady had 4 children of her own and hadn't the funds or the space to keep it. She was so relieved when the Sanctuary quickly arranged to pick up the donkey as he was running out of food fast.
On arrival, we found him to be a very thin, very quiet stallion who seemed as if he had been shipped from pillar to post and no care taken of him. We got him home and looked over by the vet immediately. The vet was taken aback by his body condition. The photo above doesn't show properly the extent of his thinness as it is disguised by his woolly coat. His teeth were also very sharp making whatever little food he got difficult to chew.
Archie, as we have now called him, is safely tucked up now in a warm bed and undergoing veterinary treatment. His demeanour is very lifeless at the minute. Only he knows what suffering he has had to endure this last while.
We will do everything in our power to nurse him back to good health and get him interested in life again.