The appalling case of 104 equines rescued from an equine trader in Italy this week has shocked our staff to the core. The animals had been abandoned without food or shelter and surrounded by the bones of donkeys and horses that had been left to starve.
The Italian authorities are starting legal procedures against the owner and have asked The Donkey Sanctuary to care for the 15 donkeys, 9 mules and hinny, saving them from a miserable, painful existence.
The Donkey Sanctuary’s staff have been sickened by the scale of neglect and cruelty, many of the equines are on the verge of death with barely enough energy to stand.
Our manager of European operations, Andrew Judge, is currently on the scene and yesterday reported: “Too many times on this trip I have been shocked with the cruelty we faced. Today I saw a large number of dead equines spread out on the land and buildings in front of me. It was shocking to think that these beautiful animals had just starved to death and been left where they fell for scavengers to eat them. I felt ashamed to be human today and angry at the indifferent people who see these problems every day but do nothing.”
Andrew also reported finding a very young grey donkey foal which had been left to fend for itself, looking lost and clearly needing its mother. He kept an eye on the foal for some time to see if it could find its mother but to no avail, she had been taken away. He brought the foal to a barn for food and warmth where we had moved the older rescued donkeys that were in the worst condition. It spent 10 minutes walking around but eventually found its mother, a beautiful, small black donkey who was underweight and had a large part of her ear cut off. Exhausted but visibly happy to be reunited, the foal started suckling from its mother straight away.
We operate an Italian Sanctuary, Il Rifugio degli Asinelli, in Turin and, once the prosecution case is complete, this group of rescued donkeys, mules and hinny will be given a Sanctuary for life.
Please help us care for donkeys like these 15 donkeys, 9 mules and hinny by donating to help fund the huge costs of providing Sanctuary, food and veterinary care. Together we can give them the care and love they desperately need. Please rest assured that any donation you give no matter how small will help to give more donkeys a safe, happy and healthy future.
A regular gift such as a Direct Debit allows us to plan for the future.
Regular gifts can also help to purchase the ongoing essentials in life - feed for donkeys for just £3 a month or bedding materials such as straw or wood shavings for a £5 monthly donation.
By making a regular donation by direct debit you can help us to plan for the future and reduce administrative costs.
Donations by cheque
If you prefer to make a donation by cheque, please make your cheque payable to "The Donkey Sanctuary" and send to:
The Donkey Sanctuary
Donations by credit card
Alternatively, if you prefer to make a donation by credit card, please telephone +44 (0) 1395 579128 (Monday-Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm).
Thank you for your continued kindness. We simply could not continue to be there for donkeys in distress without your valuable support.