80p out of every £1 goes directly on donkey welfare and care
Many of you will have read about little Viola, her mother’s inability to feed her and subsequent transfer to our Italian Sanctuary, Il Rifugio degli Asinelli. Fabrizio, our Italian Donkey Welfare Adviser, has kindly sent me an update with a picture of Viola with Daniela and a video of the foal enjoying her feed. It has not been plain sailing for Viola as she has struggled to gain weight.
When Mary Murika was born prematurely in a hospital in Mannar, Sri Lanka, in 2002 her country was in the middle of a devastating civil war. “Her mother was in constant fear due to the bombing, shelling and gun shots,” says Sister Josephine, director of the Mannar Association for Rehabilitation of Differently Abled People (MARDAP). “They had to run from place to place to survive.”
Two of our taller donkeys have settled in to their new home at Erddig, a National Trust property near Wrexham in North Wales. The previous owners of the hall, the Yorke sisters, kept donkeys that they used to drive in a cart around the grounds, so it seemed fitting that donkeys finally returned. We struggle to find homes with the space and confidence to take our larger donkeys so were thrilled that the National Trust were happy to give two of our lovely taller boys a home.
The Donkey Sanctuary volunteers are our true champions giving the precious gift of their time. They come to help in all different ways and each contribution is hugely valued. I recently heard from a wonderful volunteer, Eileen who dedicates her time helping out on one of our farms in Devon, and at a Guardian home in Herefordshire. Here is what she had to catch me up on!
Many of you will remember the story of the ‘Yorkshire Puddings’ four donkeys, Rhubarb, Custard, Apple and Pie who came into our care after being rescued by our Welfare team and the RSPCA. Following their rescue it was discovered that Rhubarb was in foal. Rhubarb certainly picked her moment to become a mother, giving birth to a beautiful foal right in the middle of storm Barney! The foal was named Beattie, meaning Bringer of Joy and right from the start Beattie captivated our hearts with her playful and curious nature.
Did you know that all of the UK’s beach donkeys require, by law, an annual vet check in order to certify them as fit to work?
In the same way, The Donkey Sanctuary vets check all the donkeys working at our 6 DAT centres twice every year. Each centre has a local vet for any emergency calls but The Donkey Sanctuary vets each have a centre to oversee which provides continuity and direct communication points with the grooms plus the vets, farriers and dentists involved in the everyday care. This allows us to pick up any problems that might affect the donkeys, or their ability to work, early. As the work they do doesn’t exactly require much exertion (compare them to racehorses for example!), it is important to check for subtle conditions that may go unnoticed.