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Rescued donkeys find sanctuary in Dorset

Words by Smiley Team

A trio of neglected donkeys, who were found suffering with severely overgrown hooves and living in a field containing toxic plants, are now thriving in the care of international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary

After responding to assistance from the RSPCA in May 2020, welfare adviser Katana Ashby attended the address in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, and discovered the group were in need of veterinary attention. 

With no shelter or access to water, the donkeys – named Laura, Big Ears and Snowy – were confined to an open field which contained ragwort, a toxic plant that can be fatal to equines and other livestock if eaten. 

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Laura, Snowy and Big Ears’ journey next took them to The Donkey Sanctuary’s Axnoller Farm in southwest Dorset. Here, the trio spent several weeks in the farm’s New Arrivals Unit where grooms could spend time building up their trust and confidence.  Since arriving at Axnoller, their transformation has been rewarding for all the team members who have been working with them. 

Axnoller Farm groom Laura Attwood added: “It is heartwarming to see how their characters have blossomed and their confidence has grown. 

“We feel in time, we can work on building up more trust so these wonderful donkeys can enjoy the mutual benefits of living with one of our fantastic Donkey Guardians. 

“If they end up not taking that road, they will have a safe, enjoyable home for life at The Donkey Sanctuary.” 

Donkeys working worldwide

The Donkey Sanctuary is a leader for equine welfare, research and veterinary care. The charity operates programmes worldwide for animals.

Their vision is a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued. "We run 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules," they say.

"Our hospital treats sick donkeys and trains vets both nationwide and worldwide. Our donkey-facilitated learning programme helps vulnerable children and adults develop life skills by connecting with donkeys on an emotional and physical level."

Worldwide, the charity operates programmes for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation, and those used in the production of meat and skin. 

In rural areas, donkeys are often used in farming and as transportation: they pulls ploughs and carts, deliver goods to market, and collect water from wells. In urban areas, they are mainly used in construction, transport of people and goods, and refuse collection.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Help rescue donkeys from suffering and neglect by donating
VOLUNTEER: Volunteer your time or adopt a donkey. Find out more.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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