Shelley Fifer is an Administrator for the Veterinary Department at The Donkey Sanctuary. She has worked for the Sanctuary for nine years and has recently visited our Sanctuary in Italy; Il Rifugio degli Asinelli. She has written a series of blogs to give supporters an insight into the team in Italy’s amazing work.
A picture says a thousand words. These of Bico, Dante, Demo, Ronaldo and Obi-Wan certainly do, beautiful mules enjoying life. Safe, warm, and loved. Can you imagine that a few years back they were part of a horrific cruelty case of some 200+ equines found emaciated and dying when they were seized in Colleferro?! To date it has been the biggest animal welfare court case in Italy. ll Rifugio took in many of those poor equines including foals and pregnant mares. As I walked around the farm being greeted by them and having cuddles and ear scratches, I couldn’t quite believe they would want to trust humans again. It’s a credit to the farm staff for doing an amazing job.
One little boy in particular was constantly demanding my attention – Billy, with beautiful pale white rings around his eyes, I couldn’t resist a picture with him. He was constantly sticking his head through the fence if I dared to walk past and not give him a scratch. He lives with his mum and dad and a lovely little chestnut pony called Leo. I also met Sogno, a beautiful white horse who was rescued from going to the slaughter house by a kind lady. He made new friends with several other donkeys and when his owner sadly had to give them up all were allowed to stay together at the farm. Then there was a cuddly foal called Mimi born at the farm and a very handsome mule called Marco, plus so many more you would be reading this blog until next week!
Getting to meet, and spend time with these beautiful donkeys and mules who have come from all different walks of life is so inspiring. I have been so privileged to get to experience our Italian Sanctuary and see all the fantastic work they are doing, day in, day out. Thank you to everyone who supports The Donkey Sanctuary, it’s only because of your support that we can continue to do this life saving work around the world.