The Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary has recently taken charge of 18 donkeys, rescued from the Yorkshire area in 2009, and is now hoping the public will give the animals worthy names this Christmas in return for a small donation.
The nameless donkeys are currently settling in at the New Arrivals unit; amongst them are foals, a stallion with ongoing foot problems, a donkey with a heart murmur and numerous mares currently in-foal.
The charity hopes that people will log on to its website to enter the naming competition. Here they can view the donkeys’ photos and suggest a name for a minimum £2 donation.
The 18 donkeys were rescued following a complaint initiated by The Donkey Sanctuary’s northern welfare officers. The RSPCA cared for the donkeys for about six months pending prosecution of the owner for neglect.
Having now successfully prosecuted the owner, the RSPCA were able to hand over the donkeys to the Sanctuary which specialises in caring for these humble creatures.
Dawn Vincent who has worked for the charity for over 13 years says: “It is unusual to have so many donkeys without names, so we hope the public can help! We are inviting people to enter our competition to give each of the donkeys a truly wonderful gift of a name this Christmas. The small donation for taking part will be a big help in caring for these and many other rescued donkeys here at the Sanctuary.”
The names will be drawn by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, Founder of The Donkey Sanctuary on Christmas Eve, just in time for Christmas.
The 18 donkeys are:
10470 (currently known as SLK1)
A 25 year old skewbald mare with a “lovely temperament”. She has several medical problems, and she is receiving ongoing veterinary care and treatment. She is still underweight and is receiving extra feed. She is also the mother of a 6 month colt foal 10471 (SLK2).
10471 (currently known as SLK2)
A six-month-old colt foal who is the offspring of 10470 (SLK1). He’s skewbald in colour and has a cheeky temperament!
10472 (currently known as SKL3)
A 25+ year old stallion donkey who has fathered most of the foals in this group of 18 donkeys. When he was first rescued his feet were very bad; he could hardly walk. X-rays have revealed that he has irreparable damage of the pedal bone, which means he will need specialist foot care for the rest of his life if he is to be comfortable. He also has several other medical problems which are being treated by our veterinary surgeons. He is currently comfortable and eating well.
10473 (currently known as SLK4)
We believe this mare is between one and two years old. She had a number of bald patches on her body when she was first rescued but good parasite control has cleared up the lice and mites, and she now has a much healthier coat. She is closely bonded to 10474 (SLK5) and spends most of her time with her.
10474 (currently known as SLK5)
This brown filly foal is thought to be around one to two years old. She is closely bonded to 10473 (SLK4) and has a quiet temperament. She had some skin problems when first rescued but these have now cleared up thanks to the appropriate treatments being given. She is also likely to be pregnant and is being closely monitored.
10475 (currently known as SLK6)
This colt yearling is entirely black in colour – even his muzzle and underbelly, which is most unusual. He is fairly nervous and will need extra handling to give him confidence in humans.
10476 (currently known as SLK7)
A 12-year old mare who is a mother of two. Her foals are 10477 (SLK8) and 10485 (SLK7a). She is brown in colour and when first rescued had very long, neglected feet which made standing and walking most difficult for her. She is likely to have ongoing foot problems; and might be in foal again and will be scanned in the near future.
10485 (currently known as SLK7a)
Born on the 4th September 2009, this little colt foal was born in the safety of the RSPCA, and now has a permanent home at The Donkey Sanctuary. His mother is 10476 (SLK7) who had long, neglected feet when she was rescued.
10477 (currently known as SLK8)
This dark brown fluffy colt yearling is the offspring of four-year old 10476 (SLK7). He now has a younger brother 10485 (SLK7a) who was born in September 2009.
10478 (currently known as SLK9)
This grey/brown mare is thought to be around five or six years old and needs attention to her teeth which haven’t been regularly checked. She was in a poor condition when first rescued, had neglected feet and her muzzle has been quite sunburnt in the past. There is a possibility that she might be in foal.
10486 (currently known as SLK10A)
Born on 29th August 2009, this little filly foal is cream and grey in colour. She was born in the safety of the RSPCA, and now has a permanent home at The Donkey Sanctuary. She is safe with her mother who is 10479 (SLK10). She is growing well and is quite an independent foal for her age.
10479 (currently known as SLK10)
This seven-year old mare had a serious lice infestation and poor, neglected feet when she was first rescued. She has made a great recovery but is likely to be pregnant so we are keeping a watchful eye on her and she will be scanned for pregnancy in the near future.
10480 (currently known as SLK11)
This seven year old mare is skewbald in colour. She had such a serious infestation of lice and mites that she had total hair loss on her back and rump when first rescued. Her feet had also been neglected so she had been finding it difficult to walk. She is in foal and is being monitored very closely.
10481 (currently known as SLK12)
At approximately 30 years old, this is one of the oldest donkeys in the group. She was very thin, had neglected feet and had a severe skin condition when first rescued. She still has a long way to go before being an ideal body weight and her feet will never be perfect, but our farriers will do the best they can to make life more comfortable for her. She will be wearing a rug for the foreseeable future and is under close observation and treatment from our veterinary surgeons.
10482 (currently known as SLK13)
This nervous mare is just four-years old. She is skewbald and has a damaged right ear making her quite easy to pick out from the group. She had overgrown feet when she was first rescued and is quite a nervous donkey. She is possibly in foal and being monitored closely. She has a brown filly foal who is currently known as 10487 (SLK13a).
10487 (currently known as SLK13a)
This brown filly foal was born in the care of the RSPCA on the 16th August 2009 and now has a Sanctuary for life in our care. Her mother is 10482, the mare with the distinctive damaged ear.
10483 (currently known as SLK14)
This six-year old mare was in the worst condition when first rescued. She was emaciated and had a severe infestation of lice making life very uncomfortable. She has a deformed spine (called a roach back) and despite her poor health, might be in foal. She is quite a nervous mare and is under close observation.
10484 (currently known as SLK15)
A one-year old filly foal. When first rescued, she had lice and had to be treated to prevent further skin problems. She’s skewbald in colour and has a heart murmur, which our vets will keep a watchful eye on. She is quite nervous to handle but is very happy with the rest of the group and is being observed closely.