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Donkeys Found in 'Terrible' Living Conditions

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2:03pm 26th February 2014
(Updated 2:03pm 26th February 2014)

13 donkeys have been rescued in Cornwall in the height of the storms.

The animals were found malnourished and frightened in what are described as 'terrible' living conditions.

The Donkey Sanctuary took them in with the agreement of their owner amid fears for their safety.

A Donkey Sanctuary Welfare Officer said: "It was a pretty bad situation. Spice and the other mares were distressed, underweight, frightened and cold. The condition of some of the stallions was very concerning. None of them had enough shelter. Some of them had rain scald. We didn't know how much food they were getting or how often, we couldn't tell exactly how bad they were, the weather was getting worse and worse and we really couldn't leave the donkeys in that situation any longer."

In less than 24 hours The Donkey Sanctuary pulled together an entire crew of vets, handlers and lorry drivers to speed the donkeys to safety.

The welfare officer added: "The team battled torrential rain and gales to contain the frightened herd and to whisk them away. Taking a gate off its hinges to make a temporary pen and holding it in place for hours until transport arrived in conditions like "Noah's Ark" was worth it to see the donkeys removed to safety.

"It was just a huge success and a relief to see them removed to safety. That's the best outcome."

The charity said the donkey owner's personal circumstances had changed so dramatically that she could no longer cope with her pets and she voluntarily relinquished them. No further action was taken by the RSPCA, who were also called to the site.

The officer said: "Sometimes people are just overwhelmed and I'd like to make it very clear that we are there to help donkey owners. We're not out to collect them all. We just want to provide advice and support, improve welfare for donkeys so the owner and alike gets the best of both worlds."

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2:03pm 26th February 2014

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