A young donkey spotted being fly-grazed in a supermarket car park, and stabled in the back of a van, has been rescued and taken into a charity’s care.
World Horse Welfare said Delilah’s was “one of our more unusual” cases, as she had been spotted tethered in various locations around Middlesex also including outside a doctors’ surgery.
World Horse Welfare field officer Nick White had been advising Delilah’s owners on the care and food she needed.
“The first time I was alerted to Delilah, she was less than a year old, very frightened and living overnight in the back of a transit van which she had to jump up into,” he said.
“The van had no ventilation and only rags on the floor with no fresh air and would have been very cold on winter nights. During the day she was tethered in the car park of a DIY superstore near Heathrow and her owners would not be parted with her, despite my offers to take her into the charity’s care.”
Mr White monitored Delilah’s condition, seeing her in a number of different locations.
“On a visit one day in March, Delilah was clearly exhausted and lying on the grass outside of a doctors’ surgery with no water,” he said.
“This is clearly not ideal for any equine, but particularly for donkeys who rely so heavily on companionship and at such a young age too. I knew we had to try and get her out of this situation.
“I met the people who had been caring for her and it became apparent that her previous owners had moved on, leaving Delilah behind with no provisions for her care.”
Those caring for Delilah were about to be evicted and could not take the young donkey with them so they signed her over to World Horse Welfare’s ownership.
Delilah was taken to the charity’s Glenda Spooner centre, where she has since been “undergoing rehabilitation and learning all about what the life of an equine should be”.
Mr White added: “Coming across a fly-grazing donkey is certainly not a common occurrence in my job but thankfully we were able to save Delilah from this situation and she now has a bright future ahead.”
A World Horse Welfare spokesman said Delilah has been “thriving”.
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“She is enjoying making lots of new friends with the various horses and ponies at the Somerset centre,” she added. “Delilah’s friendly nature and good looks have already proved a hit with visitors and a recent competition to find a fitting name for this furry donkey had over 100 entries.
“The winning name was suggested by visitor Kate in honour of her daughter, Delilah, and an official naming ceremony is soon to take place.”
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