Abandoned in Ireland
The emergency call
This young donkey was found near Buttevant, Republic of Ireland after the sound of desperate braying alerted a member of the public to a donkey in distress.
The rescue team was dismayed at what they found: a desperate looking donkey, with exposed patches of skin and painfully long hooves. Abandoned and with no shelter, Nollaig had suffered the scalding effects of wind and rain because donkeys do not have waterproof coats. He was also infested with lice and had scratched himself raw in several places trying to stop the itching. Saddest of all, Nollaig was marooned in a small area of the paddock, unable to negotiate his way into the field due to poor terrain and painful hooves.
In Ireland, some believe that donkeys bring luck and love to a farm, but this poor donkey had been forgotten, left to forage for food amongst the hedgerows and drink ditch water.
The rescue was slow as Nollaig was carefully inched over a ditch and across difficult terrain, taking breaks along the way to give him moments of respite from his painful hooves. It took a long time to lead him to safety, but Nollaig did not hesitate as he walked into the trailer.
We took Nollaig to a holding base where he was given the urgent attention he needed. Indeed, the farrier was shocked to measure at least six inches' growth on Nollaig's hooves, suggesting he had never once had them clipped.
The story is far from over
Nollaig is beginning his road to recovery and, when space becomes available, he will move to one of our UK farms. All our Irish farms are full as, sadly, the number of donkeys needing our help rises daily. "We currently have 136 abandoned donkeys being cared for at our holding bases and a further 57 donkeys waiting for a place at one of our farms as their owners can no longer afford to look after them. It is appalling what is going on at the moment and we are at crisis point," Paddy explains. It costs £110 a month per donkey to care for them at a holding base.
If it wasn't for his bray, he wouldn't have been found. His bray saved his life.
Here in the UK, we are working hard to make room for donkeys like Nollaig and have converted a barn into stabling to house the growing number of donkeys from Ireland. The financial impact is high and we are continuing to feel the strain.
We can only continue to help these donkeys with your support and every single donation will make a difference.
How you can help us
Here at The Donkey Sanctuary we give life-long care and love to donkeys that have nowhere left to turn.
- Donating £3 today can cover the cost of looking after one rescued donkey at our Sanctuary in Sidmouth for half a day.
- Donating £5 today can rescue abandoned and neglected donkeys from terrible conditions by helping to keep our emergency rescue vehicles on the road.
- Donating £16 today can give two abandoned donkeys the nutrition they need to start their recovery to good health. Many of the donkeys we rescue are malnourished and underweight and need a carefully managed diet to help them build up their strength and set them on the road to recovery.
- Donating £20today can pay for one visit from the farrier to trim long and painful hooves and treat uncomfortable foot conditions.
- Donating £30 today can give an abandoned donkey relief from painful hooves. Donkeys’ hooves need to be checked and trimmed regularly by the farrier to ensure they are in good condition and free from pain.
- Donating £40 today can provide rescued donkeys with comfort from painful teeth. Many abandoned donkeys suffer with poor teeth, making it difficult for them to eat and stay healthy. A visit to the equine dentist can turn their lives around, enabling them to eat in comfort.
- Donating £50 today can stock our medical supplies for one day to treat sick and injured donkeys overseas.
- The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen. Sadly, she passed away in 2011 but her memory lives on in our work, as does her eternal motto that, in everything we do, donkeys will always come first, second and third.
- The Donkey Sanctuary’s vision is a world where donkeys live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued.
- There is estimated to be 50 million donkeys in the world. By 2018 we aim to double our reach to two million donkeys in 40 countries.
- Our aims include: never to turn away from donkey and mules in need and to provide lifelong care for them in the UK and Ireland; to reduce the suffering of domestic and working donkeys due to neglect, ill-treatment, illness, ignorance and injury; and to improve the lives of both donkeys and people through positive human donkey interactions.
- We currently work in 34 countries worldwide through major projects and collaborations. These projects mean we were in reach of 1.6million donkeys, and we directly treated almost a quarter of a million donkeys and mules in 2015.
- Since commencement of the charity in 1969 over 18,800 donkeys and mules have been provided with a sanctuary for life. 6,600 donkeys and mules are currently in our care at our sanctuaries, holding bases and through our Rehoming Scheme in the UK, Ireland and Europe. This includes the 960 donkeys and mules we rescued in 2015.
- We seek to analyse, understand and respond to emerging donkey welfare problems and to advocate on behalf of donkeys and bring their welfare issues to the forefront - at local, national and international levels.
- In our efforts to reach the world’s population of donkeys and mules, we work hard to impart our knowledge on the care and welfare of donkeys through training and education programmes.
- The Donkey Sanctuary is a registered charity and we rely entirely on donations and legacy gifts to fulfil our worldwide work with donkeys and mules. You can help the Sanctuary today by donating, fundraising, volunteering, adopting and rehoming.
- Our Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon, is our international headquarters and is open to the public 365 days a year.
Just look at Nollaig six months after we rescued him, thanks to your help