Donkeys are a joy to own and our welfare officers around the country help to support donkey owners of all stripes to get the most out of their pets.
This was the case with Stephen and James from Lancaster who bought two mares, Tinker and Belle, from a private owner last autumn. The couple were particularly excited that Tinker was expecting a foal.
Unfortunately as her due date drew near at the end of the year the weather took a turn for the worse and the owners struggled with the mud and with keeping the donkeys stabled and dry. Even more so once little Holly arrived on 13th December 2013.
At this point the owners realised they were out of their depth. Having been given advice by our welfare officer, Pam Moon, throughout Tinker’s pregnancy the couple took the difficult decision to relinquish all three donkeys. Pam set the wheels in motion for veterinary checks to be made for the donkeys to be taken into the Sanctuary.
However the situation became urgent when the donkeys’ stables started to be subjected to malicious and unprovoked attacks by an unknown person. Stephen and James found the donkeys’ food was being taken away from them and the foal locked away from her mother. With these acts both the owners and our welfare officer began to fear for the donkeys’ safety so the decision was taken to remove them to safety that same day. Tinker, Belle and Holly have since been given sanctuary with us.
Welfare Officer, Pam Moon, explains: “We were arranging for the veterinary checks to take place so we could take the donkeys in but with the malicious acts we realised the donkeys had to be removed that day to a place of safety. We don’t know what would have happened next so we urgently needed to get them out of there. At four weeks old a foal needs to be with its mother so there was a real urgency about making sure she was safe.”
She adds: “We had been supporting the owners while Tinker was pregnant and we had been back a few times to help. It was good that we stayed in touch because they let us know they started to feel out of their depth. And thank goodness they did.”
The lovely trio, Tinker, Belle and Holly, are now living happily at our Derbyshire Centre.