The effect growing financial pressures can have on owners and their animals was put into stark contrast this week with the release of images of two donkeys who had been rescued by the Donkey Sanctuary.
The sanctuary responded to a relinquishment request in Co Antrim, involving two mare donkeys – Kitty and Tilly – whose owner was struggling to manage them due to a combination of financial difficulties and health problems.
It was clear from the initial visit that the donkeys were in a lot of pain due to their severely long and distorted hooves. It is estimated the hooves had not been trimmed in approximately two years.
Kitty in particular (the mother of Tilly) appeared to be in acute pain with staff noting she was desperately trying to distribute weight from one foot to the other, had protruding shoulders and was noticeably in very poor body condition. The look in her eye and across her face was clearly one of intense discomfort.
Tilly her daughter was also in very poor condition, she had extremely long hind hooves and was hobbling about lamely trying to find some degree of balance when she moved.
Despite enduring their constant pain, day and night with no relief, both donkeys displayed the sweetest and kindly temperaments possible.
Realising the urgency of the donkeys’ plight, the sanctuary moved swiftly to take the donkeys into their care.
A statement from the sanctuary read: “Kitty in particular seemed to have exceeded her threshold of acceptable pain, lying down, overwhelmed and exhausted by her extreme discomfort. Tilly her daughter stood silently by her mother only able to offer her presence as a mere means of comfort.
“Veterinary and farrier assessments and treatments were actioned immediately. Both donkeys were clearly not in a good place and were administered pain relief injections while x-ray’s were taken of their hooves as they lay in the stable.
“Perhaps the most touching moment was when Kitty’s pain relief injections began to take effect and she rose to her feet, nudging and grooming her daughter – her constant companion throughout their previous pain ridden times.”
If you are concerned for the welfare of a donkey then please call the welfare department on 022-49013.
Since The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland was founded in 1987 it has rescued over 4,370 donkeys.
For more information visit: http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.ie