Today’s blog comes from one of our funded collaborators All About Animals in the Gambia. Its work to improve donkey welfare includes community training, such as teaching harness making using locally sourced materials, and welfare education. Jacci Jaques, one of All About Animals’ Trustees, sent us this lovely update about a rescue last year…
As we get older our bodies get older with us. Wear and tear of the joints presents as arthritis, senile cataracts result in diminishing vision and we become generally slower and weaker. However donkeys, like horses and rabbits incidentally, have continually erupting teeth throughout their life. The implication of this is that if they are fortunate enough to live into old age, they may well have outlived their teeth!
All the donkeys on our farms and in our donkey assisted therapy centres are looked after by fabulous staff, who not only attend to the donkeys’ basic needs but also have to provide a lot of care when the donkeys are poorly. So you may wonder… how do the grooms get to be so fabulous?
The answer is a mix of motivation and training. The Donkey Sanctuary is responsible for a lot of internal training and staff development and runs a Diploma Scheme, where new starters or long-term staff can progress through various training modules to achieve recognition and diploma status.
We had a new experience here at the Veterinary Department the other week. We had been contacted by El Refugio del Burrito, our rescue centre in Spain, who asked for help concerning a donkey they had rescued. This donkey had extremely overgrown unbalanced hooves that were causing severe problems walking and the farrier in Spain had asked for a second opinion regarding trimming as they had not come across a problem like this before. Up stepped our expert farrier Matt to offer advice, however how to deliver this with the language and distance barrier was a concern.
This month’s blog comes from Anna, our Welfare Vet.
The Donkey Sanctuary is a wonderful place but sometimes it’s in the wrong place! We never refuse admission to a donkey in need but sometimes a long journey down to Devon is not in the best interests of a donkey. For this reason we are lucky enough to have what we call ‘holding bases’ around the country. These special places are run by people who really care for and about donkeys - dedicated people who are or have been Donkey Welfare Advisors or members of The Donkey Sanctuary staff.