Tinsel and Jingles - who rose to prominence as two donkeys rescued by The Donkey Sanctuary as the result of their previous owner being convicted in February of a string of animal welfare offences - have gone on to find a loving new home in the rolling fields of Co.Down. Following several months of care to address their neglected state the donkeys were deemed suitable to be considered for re-homing based on their improving health and kind temperaments. They will continue to be supported in the home to address any future health developments.
I am absolutely delighted that we have found a suitable home for these very special donkeys. They have endured the horrors of a previously neglected existence and really do deserve a second chance at life. They will now live out their lives in a loving home that will give them the one to one attention they so richly deserve.
I had the opportunity to visit the donkeys for a settling in visit and came away smiling knowing that we had made the right decision. Both Tinsel and Jingles were cantering around their new field, kicking up their heels, playing amongst the trees and bushes and thoroughly enjoying their life. Their new guardians advised me they are quite the inquisitive pair involving themselves in any ongoing activity in the yard!
As Tinsel and Jingles settle into their new home it is with timely significance that their previous owner has once again been before the courts and convicted on this occasion for a shocking catalogue of animal welfare offences against ‘farmed’ animals. In Antrim Crown Court he was convicted of six offences of causing unnecessary suffering to bovine animals where Department of Agriculture Inspectors found dead and dying cattle on his farm.
Danny Gray, the Department of Agriculture's head of veterinary enforcement, described it as a "horrendous welfare case".
"There were animals that hadn't had feed or water for days, possibly weeks.
"There were animals who had died out in the field trying to give birth and hadn't been given veterinary attention.
"There were other animals lying dead in sheds which had no access to feed, there were other animals in the sheds stepping out over the top of the animals that were lying in the mud."
18 animals were euthanised while a further 153 animals were seized by officials from the Department of Agriculture from the farm in January.
It’s truly hard to reflect on the staggering level of cruelty inflicted on both the donkeys and cattle while in the charge of this owner but we can at least rest content that The Donkey Sanctuary has done its up most to ensure the safe future of the two surviving donkeys Tinsel and Jingles.