RESCUED One of the abandoned donkeys being transported to The Donkey Sanctuary.
Animals in extremely poor condition left to die with no food or water
SIXTEEN donkeys in extremely poor condition were seized by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in south Mayo on December 29 last.
The neglected donkeys were abandoned in a field with no food and no access to water. They were removed into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary, Mallow, Co Cork.
The harsh winter weather conditions meant the field they were in was water logged. The carcass of a dead donkey was also discovered. The location where the donkeys were abandoned cannot be disclosed due to the possibility of a legal prosecution.
David Walsh, donkey welfare adviser with The Donkey Sanctuary, provided assistance with the operation to remove the animals.
“These donkeys were abandoned with no food or water. They had resorted to drinking water from puddles and were trying to eat tree branches because they were so hungry. To see these lovely animals huddled together in misery with a dead donkey in plain sight is horrific,” said Mr Walsh.
All of the rescued donkeys are male with ages varying from two to 20 years. The majority have very long hooves and walk with great difficulty and pain. Many of the group are severely underweight and it will take time and care to return them to their correct weight. All of the donkeys’ coats are matted and filthy, and were a ‘sorry sight to behold’.
Noel Carton, Head of Operations Ireland said, “We are grateful to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Mayo for alerting us to the presence of these donkeys. We can now begin the process of getting them back to full health at The Donkey Sanctuary.”
The donkeys will be fully assessed and monitored by the sanctuary’s veterinary team. Their hooves will be trimmed by the farrier, and their teeth will be checked by the equine dental technician.
If you would like to make a donation to the The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland, a registered charity, please visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.ie or call 022 48398.