Six donkeys from Worcestershire who were severely underweight and suffering from overgrown hooves have been rescued by The Donkey Sanctuary.

During the coronavirus lockdown, we are still responding to urgent welfare concerns, and when we followed up a call from a member of the public, one of our Donkey Welfare Advisers, Georgia McCormick, she found six donkeys - one male and five females - all with overgrown feet and the majority of them were underweight.

Inside the field shelter, their bedding was covered in mud and faeces and the donkeys' hay was long past its best. It was also clear to Georgia that some of the donkeys were not used to human contact, so it required patience and compassionate handling for them to be fitted with head collars so the vet could examine the donkeys and determine if they were fit to travel.

Georgia comments: “On arrival, I could see the group were in very poor body condition and some of their basic needs weren’t being met. They clearly needed urgent farrier attention to trim their feet and alleviate any suffering their overgrown hooves were causing them."

Worcestershire rescue - group of donkeys
Worcestershire rescue - two donkeys in field
Worcestershire rescue - donkey with long hooves
Some of the donkeys taken into our care from Worcestershire. Bottom right: One of the donkeys with long hooves.

As a result of working with other agencies and the owner of the donkeys, it was decided it would be in the best interest of the donkeys if they were placed into our permanent care where they would be given a safe sanctuary for the rest of their lives.

To help plan for their future care, blood and dung samples were collected from each of the donkeys, and within hours, the donkeys were removed from the site and transported to a local holding base, as the vet deemed they were unfit to travel to our sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon.

At the holding base, the group received further veterinary care, and were put on an appropriate diet as many were underweight. The state of their feet was also a major concern, and using x-rays as a guide, the farrier was able to provide remedial care and begin the task of trimming their hooves.

All of the rescued donkeys will now be given a safe and loving home for life, either in one of our sanctuaries or in Guardian homes through our rehoming scheme.

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