A donkey found with hooves three times a healthy length has been rescued by the Donkey Sanctuary Ireland.

Three-year-old Echo was discovered at the end of December following a call from a concerned member of the public.

Donkey welfare adviser, Jane Bruce, discovered Echo in a “shocking state of neglect”.

He was very nervous and the charity believe he had had very little positive social interaction.

“When he hobbled about the field he had to lift his legs high to try and avoid the hooves becoming entangled,” said a charity spokesman.

“Echo is just three years old and it is possible that his hooves may not have been trimmed in his lifetime.”

Ms Bruce contacted the council welfare officer who came to the site of the donkey and approved seizure of Echo.

He was given pain relief to make him comfortable for his journey to the sanctuary in Mallow, Co.Cork.

“The neglect of Echo’s hooves stands out as one of the worst cases that I have witnessed,” said Ms Bruce.

“The donkey was in considerable pain and discomfort when I found him. To alleviate the pain in his hooves, he was shifting his weight about and walking appeared very uncomfortable.”

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Since being seized, Echo has undergone veterinary assessment and his hooves have been x-rayed.

He had his first trim to remove the excess hoof horn and is currently on pain relief to help him adjust to the new angle of his hooves.

“With continued farriery and veterinary treatment, we are positive for good progress for Echo,” added a charity spokesman.

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