The Irish counterpart of the Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary has been inundated with donkey rescues, and has today revealed that more than 175 have been taken in so far this year. The latest is Beamish, found with terribly overgrown feet and barely able to walk.
Beamish was rescued by the charity’s Sanctuary in County Cork at the end of April this year with his two donkey companions, and is still recovering from significant neglect.
Welfare Officer Brenda Falconer, who covers the Kilkenny area of Ireland, received the complaint from a concerned member of the public. She says: “I have seen many cases of neglect due to the nature of my job, but I have to admit I was shocked at the state of Beamish when I first saw him, he was covered in lice, he had sores all over him and he had great difficulty walking because his feet were so awful. These are very friendly donkeys- it’s hard to believe that people could allow them to get in such poor condition.”
Beamish and his two companions are now rehabilitating at the Sanctuary and are guaranteed sanctuary for life. It will be a long and slow road to recovery for Beamish; he is undergoing regular remedial farriery for his overgrown hooves, and is on long term medication to help ease the pain in his feet. It is expected that it could take up to six months for him to return to full health.
The Irish Sanctuary has seen a sharp rise in donkey numbers over the past year. Noel Carton, Head of Operations Ireland says: “This is partly due to the economic situation; unemployment is at its highest level since 1975, the banks are having difficulty in allowing overdrafts or lending money and around 77,000 people were made redundant in 2009. All of these things contribute to people not being able to afford to care for their donkeys anymore and turning to us for help, or far worse, just abandoning these poor animals.”
Noel continues: “We are almost at full capacity, and because we never turn any donkey away, we will have to move some donkeys to the UK, where luckily there is a small amount of space at the moment. They will have a full veterinary check and a certificate of fitness to travel, before transferring over to our farms in the beautiful Devon countryside, where they will continue to receive expert care from the Sanctuary, whilst allowing us to keep up with the growing welfare demands Ireland currently has.”
Since 1969, The Donkey Sanctuary has provided a home to over 14,500 donkeys, of which almost 3,000 have been rescued in Ireland. The Donkey Sanctuary relies entirely on donations to care for these donkeys. If you would like to know more about our work, or you would like to make a donation please visit http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.ie