The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland’s expertise was called upon when a donkey was found in severe pain, after being surrendered to an animal welfare organisation during a horse fair near Mallow, County Cork.

The Donkey Sanctuary in Ireland received a call from The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) Equine Centre, to say that they had taken possession of a severely lame stallion donkey – Cary.

Cary had been surrendered to an ISPCA welfare inspector who was attending a local horse fair. The organisation requested our expertise in helping the young donkey, who was in terrible pain. Staff from our Irish welfare team Joe Collins and Ciara O’Kelly, and farrier Eugene Butler immediately stepped in to work alongside the ISPCA to come to Cary’s aid.

On assessing Cary’s condition, we discovered that the cause of his lameness was due to a deep and painful abscess in his front left hoof. An abscess is usually the result of a wound to the sole of the foot that becomes infected, with a build-up of pus. With some excellent farriery work from Eugene, the abscess was relieved, and a poultice applied to help with the healing process. All of his feet were trimmed, and further medication given to staff at the centre for Cary’s recovery.

Cary was also given a microchip by Joe, and details taken to set him up with an equine passport – it is a legal requirement that an identification passport be kept for every donkey.

Ciara said: “We left Cary in the capable hands of the ISPCA staff, along with some supplies to change the poultice – knowing he was safe in their care. I booked with The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland’s veterinary department to bring Cary in for castration as soon as the abscess had cleared up. In the meantime, I also began the process of finding him a new home.”

The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland's welfare team surrounded by three donkeys
Carey the Irish rescue donkey in a field
Donkey welfare adviser Ciara standing with a pair of donkeys

Everyone agreed that Cary would be a perfect donkey to directly rehome with a loving new family. Ciara added: “Cary is a quiet donkey with a sweet disposition. He was as good as gold and easy to handle on the day, despite the obvious pain he was in. He could go on to join a new family as soon as he had been castrated and was fully recovered.”

Cary enjoyed all the care and attention he received after being rescued as well as being pain-free, and having a dry, clean stable with straw and fresh water. Whenever Ciara was passing by the centre, she loved to pop in to visit him, and to see how his recovery was doing.

As soon as the abscess healed, Cary was brought to The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland for castration, and after a short stay in the hospital he was returned to the care of the ISPCA while we continued to search for a new home for this brave little fellow.

Using their available resources and contacts, our welfare department were finally able to match Cary with a wonderful new home who were looking for a companion donkey.

Cary’s life before being rescued is unknown, but what is certain is that through the collaboration and resourcefulness of two organisations, his future is now very bright.

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