We’re incredibly saddened to share the news that Brandy, one of our much loved miniature donkeys, has passed at the age of 26.

Brandy was a firm favourite among webcam viewers, who got to know her along with daughter Gem and bonded friend Twiggy.

Brandy entered our care in 2008, after surviving a life-endangering trip from Canada to the United Kingdom. She made the journey alongside life-long friend Twiggy, while both were pregnant.

Brandy and Twiggy had quite different personalities, with Brandy being the decidedly more energetic and loud of the pair. Despite this, the pair shared an incredibly strong bond and always looked after each other. One evening, when Brandy became injured, Twiggy came to her rescue by alerting staff with constant loud braying.

Miniature donkeys - Brandy, Twiggy and Gem
Brandy and Gem grooming
Twiggy and Brandy
From left to right: Brandy, Twiggy and Gem

As donkeys enter old age, health problems can begin to present themselves. Miniature donkeys are also quite prone to dental problems and often need multiple tooth extractions and careful monitoring. Brandy always behaved very well during her dental examinations and at the age of 26 years old, knew how the process worked.

Over the last few months, grooms began to notice that Brandy was struggling to eat and quidding (dropping food). After a look at her teeth, she needed one of her lower large molars removing which Vet Jesus Buil carried out. Brandy recovered very well from her operation and was back to her usual self in no time. The tooth extraction site was packed with a special putty, equivalent to a donkey tooth filling, which helped the area heal and allowed Brandy to continue eating her favourite foods of grass and straw.

Recently, Farm Supervisor at Slade House Farm Rosie Baker noticed that Brandy had stopped eating and her behaviour was becoming more aggressive towards her friends. A sudden change in behaviour can indicate that a donkey is feeling unwell or in pain, so Slade House Farm's Vet Polly Vogel took a blood sample to gain some insights. The blood results showed that Brandy’s liver wasn’t functioning properly anymore along with her showing pain in her mouth. The difficult decision about her future was then made between the farm and vet team.

Brandy was put to sleep on a sunny afternoon surrounded by Gem, Twiggy, her other miniature friends and the grooms.

Thanks to your support, Brandy was able to live a happy, safe and fulfilling life at The Donkey Sanctuary, alongside her friends and family. Your ongoing support helps ensure that thousands of donkeys across the UK and the globe are given the same opportunities.

Your support can help give life-long support to donkeys like Brandy.