Molly, the mule, had a difficult past. But with our assistance, she started a new life in Cornwall on our Guardian scheme. Read more about her story.

Eight-year-old Molly was a nervous mule who has been through a lot in life. Visible scars tell the story of a difficult past, including old injuries caused by an ill-fitting collar, which led her new owner to seek much-needed veterinary care.

Thankfully Molly made a good recovery, and her owner wanted to continue giving her all the love and care she needed. But after a few weeks, the owner contacted us for advice when she realised that she was not able to meet Molly’s needs. Following discussions with our welfare team, we agreed that rehoming Molly would be the best long-term solution.

Meanwhile, in Cornwall, a rehoming application was received from a very experienced woman looking to offer her time and facilities to some equines in need of a new home.

She explained her desire to explore the possibility of rehoming a mule after falling for a pair of mules she used to visit in a neighbouring field (who turned out to be Jenny and Smokey, two mules from The Donkey Sanctuary living at a Guardian home). She had done a vast amount of research into them, and it was clear she had the experience and correct mindset to offer a fabulous home to a mule.

Thankfully these two worlds collided when their requests arrived at the welfare office in the same week. A lightbulb moment in the office put Donkey Welfare Advisers Jenna Goldby and Keira Benham in touch with each other to see if there was any possibility that the new home applicant could be a good match for Molly. Jenna carried out home checks and training support in Cornwall, while Keira carried out behavioural assessments in Lancashire.

Everything started to fall perfectly into place and, in November 2020, Molly made the journey from Lancashire to Cornwall to begin her new life with resident Guardian donkeys, Frankie and Priscilla. Molly can still be wary of being handled around her head, likely due to the previous injuries she had sustained and her subsequent association with pain in this area.

Her past has created some behavioural issues when being caught using a head collar. Our Donkey Welfare Adviser continues to provide support for this, utilising guidance from our specialist behaviour team. Despite the wounds now being fully healed, the emotional scars still run deep. 

But with plenty of support, she is coming on leaps and bounds. She immediately settled into life with Frankie and Priscilla, with the three of them acting like they had been friends for years. Molly’s confidence is starting to blossom week on week, and her new Guardian owner, Jane, is giving her all the time, space and consistent commitment she needs to thrive. 

Despite only being in the home since November 2020, the bond that is building between Molly and Jane is fantastic to see. Mules are highly intelligent animals, and caring for them can be a hugely rewarding experience. Still, it is essential for anyone thinking of rehoming donkeys or mules to understand their welfare needs and seek advice before committing.

We need your help

With your support, we can continue to support mules like Molly.