Recently I wrote to introduce you to our newest team member – DAN – the trailer donated to us by two of our kind supporters, Denise and Nick. After only a few days with us DAN wheeled into action to transport a pair of needy donkeys to a place of safety.
So who were DAN’s first passengers? Step forward best friends Eric & Jasper a pair of donkeys who were found living in a muddy field, without proper shelter or hardstanding and very little forage to eat. The winter weather and dropping temperatures had taken their toll. Despite their fluffy appearance, both donkeys were underweight and beneath their thick, winter coats I could feel their ribs, hip bones and spine all too easily.
Eric is the smaller of the two and was of immediate concern. He was quiet and subdued in his behaviour which is usually a sign that something is seriously wrong. I was told that both donkeys had been purchased from a dealer at a market out of sympathy as they were in poor condition but that they had failed to thrive over recent weeks.
We always recommend that anyone wishing to purchase a donkey carries out full and thorough checks before committing to buy or parting with any money. As tempting as it may be to buy donkeys from markets and sales, be sure to check their origin, background and health status as these can often be largely unknown, and any issues which are discovered after the sale are at the buyer’s expense.
It was agreed that the donkeys would be given a secure future in the care of The Donkey Sanctuary and that’s when DAN made his first journey as part of the Welfare Team, enabling us to arrange transport very quickly. Once settled in at our holding base, the donkeys were given a full health check by the vet and have spent the last few weeks enjoying the comfort of a warm, dry straw bed and plenty of good grub in their tummies.
In just a short time, the boys look brighter, their coats are clean and their body condition is improving. Best of all their personalities are beginning to shine through and they are certainly keeping their grooms entertained. Eric is still rather shy, but much more active and interested in his surroundings. Jasper has grown in confidence and is the cheeky chappie of the stables – always ready to raid your pockets in case of a treat – and, well he does look rather smug about it all! I am sure you will be seeing more of this delightful duo in months to come.