A donkey given a fresh start providing therapy to children with additional needs after being rescued from appalling cruelty and injuries was last night named Rescue Animal of the Year at the 2013 Animal Hero Awards.
Shocks was rescued in 2010 by The Donkey Sanctuary with a horrendous and insufferable injury to his neck caused by an embedded head collar and having industrial bleach poured over the wound.
After his rescue in Ireland, and time spent at The Donkey Sanctuary’s headquarters in Devon for veterinary treatment and care, he began a new life at the charity’s donkey assisted therapy centre in Birmingham. He had initially been very wary around humans but managed to overcome both his injuries and nervousness to qualify as a therapy donkey. He gave his first donkey assisted therapy ride at the centre last month.
Dawn Vincent of The Donkey Sanctuary accepted the award on Shock’s behalf and says: “We were all deeply moved by Shock’s story. He had experienced such terrible trauma and cruelty and through our charity has now found his home – the environment offered by our donkey assisted therapy projects, specifically because of the contact he receives from children, has given him great comfort and confidence as he learns to trust humans again. Shocks and the children now help each other, and his Rescue Animal of the Year
The award was presented by Ashley Roberts and Kimberley Wyatt , formerly of the Pussycat Dolls, at a ceremony hosted by Amanda Holden at The Langham Hotel, London.