Every donkey that arrives at The Donkey Sanctuary has a story to tell. Knowing the background of the donkeys who come into our care is often an important part of understanding their individual character, behaviour or care needs. Today I would like to introduce you to the story of three very special donkeys called Rocky, Eidie and Jenny.
Up until recently this trio had spent much of their lives roaming across farmland in Derbyshire. Whilst this may sound idyllic, the donkeys were relatively unhandled, and being larger and stronger than a standard donkey, providing them the necessary hoof care had proved difficult for their owner. As a result we found that all three donkeys had severely overgrown and misshapen hooves. Working with the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, we offered help to remedy the situation, however it was evident that the donkeys were in need of specialist care and support. Arrangements were made for the donkeys to come into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary, Derbyshire, so they could receive the veterinary and farriery treatment they desperately needed.
Plenty of teamwork was required to ensure the donkeys had a safe journey from one location to another. Thanks to a combined effort involving Donkey Welfare Advisers, Derbyshire Police, RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, a vet and the owner, the donkeys were successfully brought onto the farmyard where they could be assessed by the vet. Once they were given the okay to travel the short distance to our centre, the process of loading three, large, unhandled donkeys began. Huge credit must go to our two fantastic lorry drivers Mark and Tony – who certainly worked up a sweat loading these three donkeys on one of the hottest days of the year!
Once they arrived at our Derbyshire Centre, staff made the donkeys comfortable and allowed them to adjust to their new surroundings. During the following weeks the donkeys received the veterinary and farriery care needed as they began their road to recovery. Thanks to some expert work by Darren the farrier, the donkeys were soon fit enough to make the trip down to Devon where they could be housed with other donkeys of a similar size.
Since making the move to Devon, the donkey’s characters have really begun to show. Rocky, the tallest of the three, is extremely handsome but understandably he is rather cautious of his feet being picked up so our grooms are working hard to make him feel more confident so they can handle him safely. Jenny, loves her ears being scratched and will do almost anything for a bit of attention. Eidie is the most nervous of the group but with time and patience, she is blossoming into a playful and affectionate donkey.
And it isn’t just us who have fallen for this tall trio – Rachel Andrews, Field Officer for World Horse Welfare who helped us with this rescue said ‘I have never seen such beautiful donkeys, I know you shouldn’t have favourites but Rocky is just amazing. I have completely fallen in love with him, he is such a handsome chap. I am so glad that the donkeys are recovering well in the care of The Donkey Sanctuary. Jobs like this really highlight the benefits of working together and how we can achieve really positive outcomes for equine welfare.’
RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Melvin who initially contacted us for help couldn’t believe her luck when she got to visit The Donkey Sanctuary, all in the name of work. ‘There is just something about donkeys that everyone loves. Unfortunately in welfare work, you often have to deal with pretty harrowing situations, so being able to see some of the animals that you have helped settle into their new lives is fantastic. I am so pleased that Rocky, Jenny and Eidie will spend the rest of their lives in the care of The Donkey Sanctuary, results like this really make the job worth it. Thank you.’
I hope you agree that this definitely was a case of a problem shared is a problem solved! We are grateful for the help and support from everyone involved and of course our welfare work is only able to reach donkeys like Rocky, Jenny and Eidie, thanks to the wonderful kindness and generosity of our supporters so from us and from them – Thank you!