Last September we heard from the RSPCA that they had received a complaint about the plight of three donkeys in the West Midlands, and two of our welfare officers, Molly Lloyd and Diane Sisley, met with the RSPCA officer to follow this up. They found Dumpling, Suet and Muffin, who were being kept in a small livery yard owned by an elderly lady. It was apparent that, due to poor health and financial constraints, the owner was finding it difficult to care for them.
Dumpling was in the worst condition. She was very thin, had very overgrown front hooves, and was infested with lice. Magpies had been pecking at her, and she had open wounds on her back. A local vet was called immediately. The donkeys' owner was happy to let The Donkey Sanctuary take care of them. Our lorry was sent to collect them, and Dumpling, Suet and Muffin were taken the short distance to the home of Sue and Ron Sharples, who often provide temporary livery to donkeys when they are not fit enough to travel to Devon. The donkeys soon settled in, and their spirits lifted completely.
In the following weeks all three donkeys had to undergo intensive treatment, particularly Dumpling and Suet. The farrier did a marvellous job in re-shaping Dumpling's feet, and the vet had to remove one of Suet's teeth which had been growing into the side of her cheek, causing a lot of pain. All three donkeys received treatment for lice, while Sue and Ron provided them with the best tonic of all - tender loving care.
In early December it was decided that the three donkeys should be moved to Sidmouth. Although Suet and Muffin had both made a good recovery, Dumpling was still having problems and needed to be closely monitored by our vets. Sadly, just before Christmas, with her friends close by, she had to be put to sleep. Suet and Muffin, however, have settled in well, and will spend the remainder of their lives in comfort at the Sanctuary.