Mule abandoned at Appleby 2018 becomes ‘firm favourite’

A welfare charity that rescued an abandoned mule at Appleby Horse Fair a year ago said it is “heartbreaking” to think what could have happened to her.

Six-year-old dun Dotty was seen by Donkey Sanctuary staff being driven at the 2018 fair and was later found loose nearby with no sign of her owner.

A spokesman for the sanctuary said Dotty was taken to Appleby police station while attempts were made to locate her owner.

“Our Derbyshire sanctuary remains on call during the equine fair, and as staff were ready to offer her a temporary home straight away, Dotty was transported the same day,” said the spokesman.

“Dotty’s hooves were overgrown, but she had a friendly nature and she was loving and keen to be in the company of the RSPCA and police station staff who all immediately fell in love with her.”

Notices were left at the scene by the RSPCA giving the owner two weeks to come forward and claim Dotty.

Donkey Sanctuary head of welfare Hannah Bryer said: “It is always disappointing to see any equine abandoned or discarded, especially at an event like Appleby with a high presence of welfare teams who are there to help.

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“Dotty is an incredibly sweet-natured mule so it is heartbreaking to think what would have happened had the welfare team at Appleby not spotted her plight.

“I am incredibly grateful to the RSPCA and police who helped provide a safe place for Dotty until we could find her a more permanent place to stay and of course to our supporters whose kindness means our teams can be there on the front line to help donkeys and mules wherever they may be in the UK.”

Dotty was signed over to the Donkey Sanctuary after no owner came forward. The spokesman said the intelligent mule has become a “firm favourite” at the sanctuary’s Derbyshire centre where she is undergoing training with the aim of finding her a new home in future.

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