Foals are not always born frolicking into the world - and sadly, many who come into our care at The Donkey Sanctuary have to overcome huge hurdles. Discover three heart warming tales of foals who fought the odds.

At The Donkey Sanctuary we offer a home to donkeys and mules for life - and never is that more important than when small foals arrive into our care. Our dedicated grooms love seeing them progress throughout the years, and they're certain that these three fantastic foals will give you something to smile about, too.

Karma - from freezing to fierce

Karma is one of seven foals recently rescued by The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland. Discovered shivering in a field without access to food or shelter, our staff were worried she wouldn't make it through the night. The smallest in the herd, Karma was particularly vulnerable.

In spite of that, Karma showed and outstanding amount of reserve from the start. In spite of her cruel treatment, she was one of the first in the group to place her confidence in her human rescuers - even when they had to shave her entire body, which was covered in matted fur.

Seven months on, and Karma has staked her place as the boss of the herd. Although she may still be the smallest of the seven, she certainly is mighty.

Ashley - from orphaned to awesome

Ashley is a familiar face among our supporters - as an adoption donkey, he is quite the superstar.

It's hard to believe that the confident donkey we know and love once overcame a terrifying start to life at The Donkey Sanctuary. Ashley was born at the sanctuary ten years ago - but, despite our veterinary team's best efforts, his mother did not make it. He was in need of urgent around-the-clock care; without a mother, he needed to be bottle fed by hand through day and night.

Today Ashley is not only adored by staff at the sanctuary - along with his best four-legged friends Zena and Mr Khan - but also by his amazing family of adopters, who enable us to care for him and so many other donkeys in need.

Zena - from frail to feisty

Unlike her good friend and fellow adoption donkey Ashley, Zena was lucky enough to be born into the sanctuary with a mother that made it through - an extra achievement given that she was born three weeks premature.

Although all seemed well at first, vets quickly picked up that something was wrong. Hardly stirring in the corner of the stable, Zena's back legs were too weak to support her. With a week of care and support bandaging, however, Zena was able to stand up independently and feed from her mother.

Staff have relished watching Zena's transformation from a vulnerable foal to a boisterous and confident jenny - it's little wonder that her inspiring story makes her so popular with our adopters.

Inspired by our fantastic foals?