The Donkey Sanctuary received a call from concerned supporters regarding three abandoned donkeys wandering in a remote forest in Cavan. I reacted quickly to the call and was joined by Sanctuary supporters, Carol and Lucy, who first spotted the donkeys.
When we approached the donkeys they would flee nervously and disappear deeper into the forest or trot away up a stony track - distrusting and frightened.
One of the donkeys had desperately overgrown twisted hooves; she was a pitiful sight as she tried to trot away tripping over her own feet.
Thankfully due to the dedication and persistence of us all the donkeys were located and brought to a place of safety where their condition was assessed.
Two of the donkeys proved to be young mares, heavily in foal, shivering from the relentless rain - both nervous and wary of being handled. The dark brown mare had the grossly long hooves - the extra weight of carrying her foal was bearing down on her tendons and long heels, clearly she was uncomfortable shifting weight to manage the pain.
The second pregnant mare’s hooves were unkempt but would improve with a succession of trims, while the third donkey was a nervous but sprightly young male.
The three donkeys were removed from the forest for their own safety and well-being. On arriving back at The Donkey Sanctuary in Ireland all three donkeys received some feed to recover from their long trailer journey. The pregnant mares were allowed a quiet large stable to themselves and the pure luxury of having a deep, warm bed to lie down on was all too evident as they dropped their weary bodies into the straw.
All three donkeys have had a full veterinary examination. The mares have had a blood test confirming that they are certainly in foal (due early spring 2016) and all have had their hooves trimmed and are learning to be handled and to slowly trust The Donkey Sanctuary staff.
It is reassuring to know that these two mares will not have to go uncared for and unwanted, carrying their foals precariously battling the winter weather. They will all now be afforded the full protection and care of The Donkey Sanctuary for the rest of their lives.
The mares have appropriately been named Lucy and Carol after the supporters who came to their aid. It is a wonderful thing when we can collaborate with our compassionate supporters in order to improve the standard of living for donkeys in Ireland.