It’s been six months since we rescued three cold, malnourished and shivering donkeys from a muddy Lancashire field on New Year's Eve. With their ordeal behind them, David, Connie and Theo are now thriving in the care of The Donkey Sanctuary.

When our Welfare team were alerted to the donkeys shivering together in a cold and wet field on the morning of New Year’s Eve, they sprang into action to see how they could help.

Two foals and a donkey stallion were found alongside three ponies and a rescue operation was carried out by our Welfare team with support from Lincoln-based charity, Bransby Horses, who met the RSPCA and police on the scene early that morning.

Once the donkeys were taken into possession by police and passed into our care, they were soon transported to a safe place and examined by our veterinary team.

Heart-breaking story of survival

Following their rescue, the trio had visibly overgrown hooves and were so skinny that their bones were showing through their winter coats.

All three were infested with lice and one of the foals had hair loss on its stomach from excessive rubbing against barbed wire fencing to relieve the itching. They were also in need of urgent farrier attention to relieve the pain caused by their overgrown feet.

Adele Crompton, one of our Welfare Advisers, who was part of the rescue team, said: “It was heart-wrenching to see the donkeys so clearly undernourished and suffering outside in the harsh winter weather.

A new start

Six months on from their rescue, David, Connie and Theo are adapting well to their new life. When no owner could be identified, the group were relinquished into our care by the RSPCA.

Reflecting on their journey, Adele said: “Despite the horrendous life they had endured, the trio responded fantastically to their new grooms. Being naturally inquisitive and trusting, the foals in particular, were quick to learn and respond to compassionate handling.

"It’s so rewarding to know they are now safe and thriving thanks to the hard work of all our welfare staff and grooms.”

With their terrible ordeal now behind them, David, Connie and Theo now have a bright future ahead of them. They'll soon be heading off to a safe and loving forever home thanks to our Rehoming Scheme.

Help donkeys in distress

With your support, we can be there for more donkeys like David, Connie and Theo.