Following a call from a concerned member of the public, our welfare advisers came to the aid of three donkeys found straying on a Yorkshire road in September 2017.

When we arrived at the location, the donkeys had been secured into a temporary enclosure to keep them safe for the time being. The stray donkeys attracted the attention of three local children who waited with their mum to make sure we found the donkeys.

Calls were made to the RSPCA, the police and to a veterinary practice nearby to assist us in trying to locate the three donkeys’ owners, and to check their health for any immediate problems.

Bert, Fidget and Fudge – names given to the donkeys by the children – were assessed by the vets. Bert, a stallion donkey, had wounds on his legs, which were attracting flies and causing irritation. He also had sunburn to his delicate muzzle.The mares, Fidget and Fudge, were incredibly nervous. All three were in poor body condition, with overgrown hooves and evidence of lice infestation.

Bert, Fidget & Fudge before their rescue
Bert's fetlock wound
Bert's sunburn
Bert, Fidget and Fudge before their rescue.

As a result of our intervention and with the help of the other organisations, the donkeys were taken into possession under the Animal Welfare Act and placed temporarily in The Donkey Sanctuary’s care.

Police made enquiries and RSPCA officers left a 14-day notice on the gate and roadside asking for the owner to contact them. The owner wasn’t traced and therefore the RSPCA served notices accordingly and signed the donkeys over to The Donkey Sanctuary.

The trio have since made a good recovery. Bert’s wounds are healed, their feet have been trimmed by a farrier, their lice infestation treated and their overall body condition improved. As with all new arrivals at The Donkey Sanctuary, blood and dung samples were carried out to check for any underlying health concerns. Further examinations revealed that Fudge was pregnant, and would be expecting a foal some time in 2018.

Pregnant Fudge
Bert at The Donkey Sanctuary
Fidget at The Donkey Sanctuary
Bert, Fidget and Fudge after their arrival at The Donkey Sanctuary.

Now they have settled in, Bert has been introduced to a herd of other young, lively male donkeys. Fidget and Fudge have a quiet field and stables to themselves, where Fudge recently delivered her foal, Coby.

All three donkeys, and Fudge’s foal will be provided with permanent sanctuary and care for the rest of their lives.

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