80p out of every £1 goes directly on donkey welfare and care
You may have read the sad news about our gorgeous, feisty little donkey, Gareth, recently. You may even recall when we had to let you know that our fabulously handsome gentleman donkey, Teddy, had been put to sleep.
The response to the news in both cases has been extraordinary and shows how much you all care for the donkeys that you know (and, to know is to love) and may have been to visit.
I need to let you all know that we have had to make the most heartbreaking of decisions for mini adoption donkey, Gareth, gently putting him to sleep this afternoon surrounded by his loving grooms and his best friend, Benji.
He has been giving us cause for concern over the last few months, progressively losing his sight and encountering increasing problems with his hoof. Some donkeys cope well with sight loss, others not so well. Sadly, Gareth was in this latter category and this is why it’s been so challenging to treat his hoof effectively.
A few years ago Alex Mayers and I hosted a harness workshop in Tanzania for several of our African friends. Quite a few charities came for the training, from Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia. These groups represented several NGOs that The Donkey Sanctuary has helped with funding and training over the years.
Running the workshop for the first time were Sanctuary Kenya harness guys, Amos and Nicholas. It was a real multi-purpose event as they were being assessed as trainers whilst we all worked to get the information across to the participants.
Here in Birmingham we are always looking for ways to enrich the lives of our donkeys and variety in their diet is a great way to encourage a healthy appetite. Donkeys are natural foragers, using smell and touch to seek out new taste experiences and they love to explore different tastes and textures.
The feature of The Donkey Sanctuary’s work which I’ve always found the most inspiring is their work with working equids, improving the lives of those dependent upon them financially, and giving a quality of life and security of health to these hard-working “beasts of burden”. In Spain, I have had the pleasure of exploring another side of their work; sanctuary work. Dona Rosa is the larger of the two Sanctuaries in Spain. Whilst it is always difficult to hear stories of abuse, I am astounded once more by the work of The Donkey Sanctuary in alleviating suffering in animals.