I was alerted to an abandoned donkey on a very busy stretch of a main arterial road in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, and duly attended to investigate further. On arrival I discovered a large brown stallion donkey who looked completely dejected at his circumstances. He had been left to fend for himself and by chance had managed to find safety in a roadside field. From here he had then made his way into a field where two horses were grazing. A local stud farm had contacted the Sanctuary and asked if we could help with his removal as they owned the land where the horses where grazing and the donkey could not remain there indefinitely.
The donkey seemed to find comfort in the horses’ company, standing behind them taking reassurance from their presence. When I approached him he stood gingerly with his head down – somewhat deflated and unsure. I gave him some donkey cube treats to gain his confidence and then proceeded to assess his condition. His bodyweight was acceptable but his hooves were long and clearly causing him discomfort when he moved. His belly showed all the tell tale signs of an unkempt existence, his belly coat was matted with manure and the hair was tatted and dirty.
I stood quietly speaking to him as I slipped the head collar over his head and was surprised when he pushed his nose into the bottom of the head collar. Call it instinct or intuition.. it was as if the donkey knew that it was time to leave this field and come to a place where he would receive specialist care and attention, and more importantly where he would be wanted and loved.
Worzel surprisingly loaded with minimal fuss onto the trailer and was soon on his way to the Sanctuary.
He has since had his hooves trimmed to a respectable length and has had a full veterinary examination.
We don’t know what Worzel’s past life has consisted of. Indeed I often wonder what he may have had to endure - possibly neglect, ignorance and apathy. But what I do know is that he has a bright future ahead of him and many years of professional care and devotion in the hands of the Sanctuary.