Ivan had been bought as a young foal in County Clare by his owner a few days before being stopped by the Northern Ireland Port Authorities and subsequently signed over to The Donkey Sanctuary in 2008. He was collected by our local Welfare Officer and taken to a holding base in County Tyrone where he received extra special care and attention and in time grew into a confident young colt!
Robbie was also relinquished to the same holding base as a youngster a month later as his owners’ daughter had lost interest in caring for him, having only acquired him four months previously from a neighbour who had bred Robbie. During their stay at the holding base, Ivan and Robbie soon became firm friends. Robbie was a little shy at first but with some encouragement from Ivan and one to one attention from our dedicated staff, they soon became a mischievous double act!
As the numbers of abandoned and neglected donkeys in Northern Ireland grew at a rapid pace, we needed to relieve the pressure at the holding base and in June 2009 Ivan and Robbie were transported to The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon in one of our specialist lorries which are fully equipped with the latest technology. Following a comfortable journey and completion of a successful settling in period (including a thorough medical), Ivan and Robbie joined a group of friendly resident donkeys. The group spent their days quietly roaming the fields and barns and Ivan and Robbie also enjoyed regular walks around the grounds!
As Ivan and Robbie are such young, fit and energetic donkeys with fantastic temperaments, the staff felt they ought to have the chance to thrive in a home environment and receive the individual love and attention they so deserve. We were then delighted when this dream became a reality for the boys when they were sent to a super foster home in July 2010! The new foster owners were not only thrilled to be considered for this dynamic duo but also had plenty of equine experience and a paddock adjacent to their property, so their expertise will be invaluable.