A fibreglass donkey belonging to equine charity the Brooke has been stolen from a country show.
The donkey model, named Dotty after the charity’s founder Dorothy Brooke, was taken in the early hours of Monday (31 August) at Edenbridge and Oxted Agricultural Show.
Dotty was the mascot of the Brooke’s Sussex Champion Group (a local fundraising team), and the Edenbridge and Oxted Agricultural Show was one of many events it attended.
“It’s not the money that I’m worried about, it’s the principle of the thing,” said Diane Price, who runs the Sussex group.
“It’s a violation of our efforts and what we stand for. I just can’t believe someone would steal from a charity at an event where people are supposed to be having fun.”
Charlotte Dujardin, dressage star and the Brooke ambassador, has joined the appeal to get Dotty back.
“Why would someone steal this?” she wrote on Facebook.
“The Brooke work tirelessly to help horses and donkeys that need our help… someone may know who has it.”
A spokesperson for the Brooke added: “We were shocked and saddened to hear about Dotty going missing.
“Diane has been such a great fundraiser and we know how much Dotty means to her. Let’s get her back.”
Anyone with information about Dotty’s whereabouts is urged to contact Surrey Police on 101.
Helping working horses, donkeys and mules
The Brooke operates in 11 countries around the world helping to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules.
The charity was set up in Egypt 80 years ago when its founder Dorothy Brooke rescued 5,000 former warhorses abandoned after World War One.
Today it helps 1.5m working equines in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.