A group of starving donkeys, including a three-month old foal, were all in a poor state of health when we found them living in a waterlogged field strewn with barbed wire and broken glass.

The foal, named Splash, along with Marina, Storm and Dennis, had endured Storm Dennis, one of 2019’s most violent winter storms, with nothing to protect them from the torrential rain and gale force winds. Much of the area had flooded, and they were confined to a strip of boggy land in the field, surrounded by industrial metal fencing.

The donkeys had little food and their hooves were overgrown. The foal’s mother Marina, was in a particularly poor condition and very underweight. Her overgrown hooves were causing her pain, even when standing still. She was also suffering from a skin condition that caused sores to her face and legs. The lack of food meant she was having difficulty producing the milk needed to feed her foal.

Arriving at the scene, Adele Crompton, one of our Donkey Welfare Advisers, was shocked to discover the donkeys living in such bad conditions. She said: “The land was completely strewn with rubbish – the donkeys were living among strips of barbed wire, broken windows and shards of glass, and building debris which posed a risk of serious injury.”

Working in collaboration with World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA, the donkeys came into our care, after having initially been taken into the possession of the police. They were transported to a nearby holding base where they received urgent veterinary and farriery care.

Now, seven months on, the outlook is far better for the group and they are thriving in our care. Through time spent being handled by expert farriers and grooms the donkeys are beginning to grow in confidence and their personalities are starting to shine through.

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