An abused Irish donkey is making good recovery after it was rescued in January.

A concerned passer-by rang the Irish Liscarroll Donkey Sanctuary in January after seeing a young donkey in a great deal of distress.

Shocks, a five-year-old brown donkey, had been tethered so tightly that by a rope around his neck had become deeply embedded.

His owner had pulled the rope from the wound by force with no anaesthetic, leaving a serious gash. He then attempted to clean the wound with an abrasive chemical cleaning fluid, causing serious burns.

Bernard O’Neill, welfare manager at the Liscarrol Sanctuary — Irish Counterpart of the Sidmouth based Donkey Sanctuary — said: “It must have been excruciatingly painful. We were worried whether or not he would survive but, with specialist veterinary attention and care from our staff, he has really started to respond to treatment and enjoy life in his new home.”

Donkey Sanctuary spokesperson Suzi Cretney described the case as one of the worst she had seen.

Ms Cretney reports: “We are seeing more cases of abuse as a result of the recession — in Ireland an increase of 143% and in the UK an increase of 23% over the last financial year. Figures in 2010 are still on the increase.

“The value of horses and ponies has declined so much, particularly in Ireland, that unsold equines are commonly abandoned.”

Despite the extent of Shocks’ injuries, the Donkey Sanctuary will not pursue prosecution of his owner.

Ms Cretney added: “We generally don’t prosecute. Our priority is the welfare of the donkey. We leave prosecution to bodies like the RSPCA.”

Shocks, meanwhile, is recovering well. He has joined the main donkey group at Liscarroll Sanctuary, and is making friends.