Three donkeys have been rescued from a “farm of horrors”.

The equines were “suffering in darkness” alongside many “desperate and dying” animals, as well as two dead horses.

The Donkey Sanctuary in Spain’s team at El Refugio del Burrito responded to a tip-off about the farm in Bormujos, Sevilla, and were horrified by what they found.

“The smell of death was devastating,” said sanctuary director Veronica Sanchez.

“Two horses were in an advanced state of decomposition and there was a multitude of bones from many animals scattered all over the ground. Next to this cemetery, other animals were still alive but had no food or water.”

A charity spokesman said it was one of the worst cases of animal neglect the team had seen.

The sanctuary staff called the Seprona — a unit of the Spanish Civil Guard responsible for protecting animals and nature. An urgent application was made seeking authority to confiscate the animals who were “starving to death”.

“Much to the frustration of sanctuary staff on the ground, the local authorities with the power to give the operation the green light dragged their heels and when they returned the next day, the donkeys had vanished,” said a charity spokesman.

Donkey disappearance

“We returned to give water and food to the animals on the farm and we had an awful surprise in that the donkeys had disappeared,” said Ms Sanchez.

Seina and Gabriela relax in their new life. Credit: Fundación Santuario Gaia

“However, we later received an anonymous call telling us where we could find them and we were able to take them to a safe place. Not only could we save the donkeys, but the rest of the animals that were in the farm were also taken to local animal sanctuaries.”

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Once the donkeys’ safety had been secured, the Donkey Sanctuary collaborated with animal sanctuary Fundación Santuario Gaia, which offered to take the trio into its care.

“Now called Seina, Gabriela and Manel, the donkeys are enjoying a happy life and a brighter future which had previously seemed impossible,” added the charity spokesman. “El Refugio del Burrito are working hard to take the case to court.”

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