A 10-year-old stallion donkey with split and curled hooves has been rescued by the Donkey Sanctuary.

The donkey was found at a derlict cottage in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland on 19 August by a photographer who reported him to the police.

The charity believes that his feet had not been trimmed for at least two years, leaving him in pain and with twisted legs.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s regional welfare officer for Northern Ireland Allen Andrews said: “His hooves were among the longest I have ever seen and he must have been in great pain.

“All four of his hooves were curled and cracked, causing the stallion to walk awkwardly and his legs to become twisted.

“I cannot imagine how painful this must be for him, and yet he still had a lovely temperament and did not seem to be scared of people.

“The donkey, named Johnny after the police constable involved in his rescue, is now being cared for at out holding base.

“Johnny’s feet have been x-rayed by the vet to check for internal damage and his hooves have been trimmed back to help him walk normally again.”

The local police could not find his owner and Johnny will now stay with the sanctuary for life either assisting with donkey riding therapy with The Elizabeth Svendsen Trust at Templepatrick, near Belfast, or as a resident in Devon.

To see a video of Johnny just after his rescue visit http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/johnny