Last Wednesday, 16 trainee RSPCA Inspectors visited The Donkey Sanctuary for a day of donkey care, behaviour, and welfare-related training. This is currently the only day that Inspectors receive during their training which is entirely dedicated to donkeys so it’s vital that we maximise this opportunity to help raise their awareness of the needs of donkeys, to inform them of our work here at the Sanctuary, and to let them know that we are always here to help.
Staff from many different departments across the Sanctuary were involved with helping to make the day a success and despite experiencing some roadwork issues at the start of the day, which were largely beyond our control, the agenda ran smoothly and the Inspectors were able to take a great deal of donkey knowledge away with them.
The Inspectors enjoyed theory and practical sessions at our Training Centre on Paccombe Farm, which included a hoof trimming demonstration with the farrier before driving over to Brookfield Farm. With a tour of the laboratory and newly built donkey hospital we were able to give Inspectors a greater idea of some of the work that we do, not only in-house but also out in the field, and with the inclusion of our Head of Welfare’s ‘working together’ talk and accompanying video montage of recent rescues involving the RSPCA and The Donkey Sanctuary, we were also able to help raise awareness of the ways in which our two charities can help each other and continue to work more collaboratively in the future.
We were welcomed (with a squeeze!) into the lab for a brief insight into processing blood and dung samples and this was followed by a lovely tour of Brookfield Farm in the sunshine which of course included some serious donkey cuddling time! Later certificates were presented by Andy Foxcroft, our Director of Care and Welfare, and the Inspectors left at the end of the day in no doubt of who to call for help, support, or advice anytime they find themselves out on a donkey-related complaint.
Whatever the Inspectors' perception of donkeys when they arrived, they left with new understanding and knowledge that will greatly benefit any donkey that they come into contact with during their line of work in the future.