Four abandoned donkeys near Coalisland in County Tyrone have had a lucky escape after being rescued yesterday by The Donkey Sanctuary from a bog in which another donkey sadly drowned.
Staff at international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary were first alerted to the five abandoned donkeys on Thursday 5th July, when they were contacted by the owner of the land who was concerned for the donkeys’ welfare. Two mares, along with a stallion and a young foal, were rescued from the bog and taken to the charity’s holding base for safety, but tragically the fifth donkey was found dead and is suspected to have drowned after falling into a drainage ditch.
Allen Andrews, The Donkey Sanctuary’s Regional Welfare Officer responsible for Northern Ireland, was first on the scene:
“It was a harrowing sight. Not only had one donkey tragically died in what must have been a terrifying death, but all the surviving donkeys have painfully long hooves and are terribly thin. We rate the body condition of donkeys as being between zero and five, with zero being emaciated and five obese. Even from a distance, the two mares in the worst condition were at best little more than a condition score of 1. The only food available to the donkeys was the boggy grass which hid the drainage ditches full of water in which their companion had drowned.
“All four surviving donkeys are now safe in the expert care of The Donkey Sanctuary, where they will be assessed by a vet to make sure they get all the necessary veterinary and farrier treatments to aid their recovery. They are naturally all traumatised by recent events, and I am sure that it will take some time before they learn to trust again, but they are now guaranteed warmth, shelter, nourishment and a secure future with the charity, and we will do all we can to give them the best chance possible of returning to full health.”
To report neglect or mistreatment of donkeys, or for free, expert advice for anyone experiencing difficulties in caring for their donkeys, please call 01395 578222.
All of the donkeys taken in now have a sanctuary for life with The Donkey Sanctuary. The charity is funded entirely by donations and takes in an average of eight donkeys each week throughout the UK and Ireland.