Sam the foal was relinquished into our care in Christmas 2018 when his mother died after suffering complications during the birth. He has since come on in leaps and bounds and is taking his next steps in life.

It was important that Sam didn’t develop unwanted behaviours from being hand-reared, so grooms introduced him to a mare called Soozee, who’d had foals of her own and had previously been very maternal to foals from other mares.

Soozee proved to be the ideal choice as she took Sam under her wing and started to teach him how to be a donkey.

Sam grew in confidence as he settled into the sanctuary and developed friendships with donkeys of a similar age.

He recently reached the age where we could consider him for rehoming. As a quirk of fate, we matched him to one of our quality time volunteers, who helped look after him at Paccombe Farm, where he lived.

Sam at home with Mark and Wendy

Sam with Wendy and Mark

Volunteer Wendy Lockett and her husband Mark are also Guardians for three other rehomed donkeys, and we felt that Sam would be the perfect addition to her trio.

After passing his medical checks with flying colours, Sam soon joined Wendy and Mark and their donkeys at their home in the Devon countryside.

Wendy said: “Sam has settled in really well and acts like he has been here forever!

“He especially likes Cocoa, as he was the first donkey he made friends with, but enjoys playing with a welly boot with Chocolate. Sam also spends a lot of time with Roger, and they graze together as a pair.”

She continued: “Sam is extremely inquisitive and loves to be with us, and no matter what we are doing, he likes to get our attention to play, especially if the other donkeys are having a nap.

“The four of them like to charge about and play together, which is great to watch. Sam also enjoys when we have visitors, and no one can escape without having a scratch or a cuddle with him.”

From orphaned foal to finding a loving forever home with Wendy, Mark and their donkeys, Sam’s sanctuary journey is now complete. 

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