When rescuers heard a distant bray of a donkey on a welfare call-out, they weren’t prepared for what they were about to find.

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Timmy and Tommy, two desperate donkeys, were locked away out of sight in two separate enclosures of a barn with only their strong friendship to help them through.

The faeces had grown so high in the barn that it became clear quite quickly that this poor imprisoned pair would need to be dug out.

Standing on top of the mounds of soiled and impacted bedding, Timmy’s ears were literally touching the ceiling and it was going to take a lot of effort to remove the donkeys to safety.

When The Donkey Sanctuary’s senior welfare adviser Hannah Bryer discovered the donkeys, she acted as soon as she could - aided by a team of rescuers including World Horse Welfare, the RSPCA, Bransby Horses and the West Yorkshire Police.

She said: “Both of the donkeys were standing on their own excrement with nowhere clean or comfortable to rest. The faeces had built up so high on Timmy’s side that metal bars and wood had been put across the top of his stable door, which I can only imagine was to prevent him falling 5 ft to the ground below.

“It’s horrifying to think of how long he had been shut in what I could only describe as his own personal prison. I just wanted to get them out of there as quickly as possible.”

Timmy and Tommy standing in a stable before being rescued
Timmy before farriery treatment
Timmy's 'do-it-yourself' hooves

Tommy looked as though he had given up on life, and was on the point of collapsing. He was so thin that his spine and shoulders were showing, he had severely overgrown hooves and bald patches on his coat.

Timmy’s hooves, on the other hand, had been savagely cut as part of a ‘do-it-yourself’ job as oppose to a professional trimming by a farrier.

Hannah added: “The stench as we dug Timmy out was overpowering, and as soon as he was released he limped towards Tommy.

“They had suffered from neglect and ignorance and, although they had been deprived of human friendship, you could see they had found solace in each other.

“They had a connection that had strengthened as a result of their tragic ordeal.”

It has taken months of healing, nurturing and training from a team of vets, farriers, nurses and grooms, but now Timmy and Tommy are enjoying their lives at The Donkey Sanctuary in the green fields of Devon.

They have put on weight, their coats are looking healthy, and their individual characters are shining through.

Their future is safe. But this can only happen with your support. Please donate to help us continue to care for Timmy, Tommy and any number of other hidden donkeys in need.


Help more donkeys like Timmy and Tommy

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