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Billy really is a poorly donkey

I started working for The Donkey Sanctuary in 1991 and this week I literally “took my work home with me!”

Billy is a three year old donkey who was relinquished into our care after his owner was no longer able to take care of him. He is such a lovely donkey and may eventually be suitable to help out at our sister charity, the Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys, giving donkey riding therapy sessions to children with additional needs.

Billy really is a poorly donkey

Barney's new boot

A recent arrival at one of our farms is Barney. I was intrigued to see that he is wearing a fetlock boot - these are designed to be worn to protect show jumpers' legs, he has it fitted on his front leg. These are normally put onto the hind legs of horses to stop them knocking themselves as they lift their legs high over the jumps.

Flyn's in good shape

When I visited our Derbyshire Centre in July 2009, I had a chance to go and see some of the donkeys. One of them was a donkey called Flyn. When he came into our care, he had very deformed limbs and could hardly walk. His front legs were practically knuckled over and he was walking on his fetlock joints. He was very thin, uncomfortable and could not be put in with other donkeys as he was a stallion.

Lucky wears contact lenses!

I always enjoy visiting Newton Farm, one of our holding bases, in Buxton, Derbyshire as it is such a beautiful part of the country. Although this farm is not normally open to the public, we are hoping to have an open day next summer to give more people the opportunity to visit the farm.

Caring for 2,400 donkeys - all in a day's work

As General Farms Manager for The Donkey Sanctuary I have responsibility for over 2,400 donkeys and mules that have been relinquished to spend the rest of their lives in our care.

Relinquishments are sometimes due to cruelty or neglect, because of financial constraints, divorce, house moves, down sizing or the donkey's owners being too old and frail to take care of them. The credit crunch is now playing a big part in the increase of new arrivals.

Newton Farm open day

On Saturday Suzanne Daly, Jen Littley and I travelled from Devon to Newton Farm in Buxton, Derbyshire where Chris Pile, the farm manager, had been making feverish last minute preparations for their first open day for four years.

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