A tiny donkey found dumped in a plastic bag died less than 24 hours after he was rescued.
On 14 November, Sue and Rod Weeding, of Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, received a phone call from a man who had found the animal, near the Segura river in Las Heredades, Spain.
The colt was taken to the Hospital Veterinario San Vicente, Alicante, where the veterinary team “received him with open arms to try to give him a second — perhaps we should say first — chance in life”.
“But the little grey donkey couldn’t stand up and he looked exhausted,” said a spokesman for the charity. “His eyelids were half-closed almost all the time. Sue, Rod and everyone including the hospital wondered what had happened to him during his short life.
“At the time, everyone was hopeful, and Sue and Rod were ready to do whatever it took to give that little donkey a home and a future.”
But vets found the animal was suffering from a severe case of pneumonia, as well as malnutrition and dehydration, and X-rays showed he had blood clots in his lungs.
“The frail little creature died less than 24 hours after his rescue,” said the spokesman.
“The staff at the San Vicente hospital made sure that he felt loved and taken care of during his last hours in this world.”
The charity has rescued more than 160 equines but this is the first to have died within hours of rescue.
“Although Sue and Rod have worked with the police in extreme cases of abandonment and neglect, the conditions in which this donkey was found are some of the worst they have witnessed, particularly because it was dumped like rubbish in a place that was very hard to find,” the spokesman said.
“A grey baby donkey covered in faeces with his intestines starting to come out of his body, lying down, unable to move because he was trapped inside a blue plastic bag big enough to cover most of his body.
“His head wasn’t covered and his eyes, tired and sad, were a testament to the horrors such a small creature had gone through during his life. Not a single animal should go through this.
“Small acts of kindness can change the future and help Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre continue with its mission to rescue, rehabilitated and provide a home for equines in need.”
‘What I saw happening is inhumane and sickening and we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg’
“Action must be taken now to curb this trade, in the interest of both animal and human welfare”
Mr and Mrs Weeding, who founded the sanctuary, named the colt Kisses.
“We just hope the story of baby Kisses helps us highlight the importance of animal rights not only in Spain but in the world,” Mrs Weeding said. “No animal should be treated like this.”
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