A pair of donkeys, who were struggling to walk because of their severely overgrown hooves, are now safe in our care.

Donkeys, Lottie and Lola, both aged nine, were discovered in December 2019 at a site near Carlisle. They were living in a muddy field with little access to shelter. A couple of horses, who would not let the donkeys enter, closely guarded the field shelter, leaving Lottie and Lola to hide behind a hedge to escape the wind and rain.

Sally Bamforth, one of the Donkey Welfare Advisers who attended the scene, said: “The donkeys were living in totally unsuitable conditions and although they were being fed, their needs in every other respect were not being met. Lola’s feet in particular, were in a terrible condition and both had seriously overgrown hooves.”

The owner of the donkeys was recently bereaved and unable to care for his late wife’s donkeys. When contacted he promptly relinquished Lottie and Lola into our expert care.

On the day of rescue, our welfare team spent hours with the nervous donkeys so they could be fitted with head collars and prepared for transportation to a holding base. On arrival, the pair began their recovery with the expert care of a vet and farrier, who began remedial treatment on their seriously overgrown hooves.

Despite initial concerns about Lola’s feet, which were in the worst condition, long-term damage had luckily been averted. Our intervention allowed us to prevent Lottie and Lola’s feet from getting any worse had they stayed in the boggy field.

Today both donkeys are continuing to make excellent progress. Although still a little nervous, the pair are being handled regularly and continue to grow in confidence. Depending on their ongoing care needs, they will either remain under our care or will be re-homed through our rehoming scheme.   

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