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Starving donkeys found living among shards of glass ‘thriving’ since rescue

A group of starving donkeys, including a three-month old foal, who were found living among barbed wire and shards of glass during Storm Dennis are now thriving since their rescue.

The four donkeys; Storm, Dennis, Marina Marina and her foal Splash, were rescued from a site at Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, as part of a joint operation between the Donkey Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA during February’s storm.

A spokesman for the Donkey Sanctuary said the group had endured one of the winter’s “most violent” storms with nothing to protect them from the torrential rain and gale-force winds.

“Much of the area had flooded, and they were confined to a strip of boggy land in the field, surrounded by industrial metal fencing,” said the spokesman.

Donkeys rescued during Storm Dennis

“Marina was in a particularly poor condition and very underweight. Her overgrown hooves were causing her pain, even when standing still. She was also suffering from a skin condition that caused sores to her face and legs. The lack of food meant she was having difficulty producing the milk needed to feed her foal.”

Adele Crompton, Donkey Sanctuary welfare adviser, was “shocked” to find the group living in such bad conditions.

“They were forced to live among filth and their field was completely waterlogged and so dangerous. The land was completely strewn with rubbish; the donkeys were living among strips of barbed wire, broken windows and shards of glass, and building debris, which posed a risk of serious injury,” she said.

“The lack of basic care meant that the welfare needs of the donkeys were not met and they were at risk of further suffering.”

The four were taken into the care of the Donkey Sanctuary and received urgent veterinary and farriery care.

“The pain Marina would have been in had she not had her feet treated does not bear thinking about. If it had not been for our intervention, they would not have been able to survive, Splash especially,” said Adele.

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The spokesman said seven months on, the outlook is “far better” for the donkeys, who are thriving in the charity’s care.

“After spending time being handled by expert farriers and grooms, the donkeys are beginning to grow in confidence and their personalities are starting to shine through,” he said.

“The four will now be given a safe and loving home for life, either at the Donkey Sanctuary, or in one of our guardian homes through our rehoming scheme.”

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