Rescued: lice-infested donkeys found in ‘shocking conditions’ in a field in York

Four York donkeys found in bad shape in a field fraught with danger have been rescued by a charity.

The Donkey Sanctuary found four animals, parsley, sage, saffron and sorrel, in the field near York.

Health chief Hannah Bryer said their environment was fraught with risks, including pipes, nails, rusty metal and plastic packaging.

The field also grew poisonous ragwort, which can sometimes be deadly to animals.

A loose piece of unused fencing tape had been strewn across the field, which could have seriously injured the donkeys if they got entangled, as it is very strong and does not break easily.

The donkeys also showed signs of ill health.

“Parsley was visually very underweight and he was also worryingly quiet and understated,” Hannah said. “Changes in condition and behavior are often signs that something is wrong, so my priority was to get him checked out by a vet.

Parsley was generally in poor condition. His fur was matted and infested with lice. His feet were overgrown and needed farrier care.”

Sage also had lice, characterized by areas of broken hair caused by scratching and a blotchy-looking coat with lice eggs.

Towards Recovery: The Herbs. Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary

She was overweight and had developed fatty pockets over the ribs and hindquarters. Her hooves were also overgrown, causing lameness and making turning extremely difficult.

Saffron and Sorrel both had dander on their necks, shoulders and limbs, and their hooves were also overgrown.

The Donkey Sanctuary worked with the RSPCA, North Yorkshire Police and a local equine vet to protect the donkeys’ welfare.

Later, the donkey’s owner agreed to surrender the four animals to the care of the charity.

Hannah said: “’The Herbs’, as they are affectionately known, are friendly, curious donkeys who unfortunately needed our help.

“They are still being monitored from a veterinary point of view and are currently undergoing training to support their behavior and will be assessed later to see if they are suitable for rehoming.

“During their time at our sentry, they needed a lot of support to give them more confidence in handling and when the farrier comes to trim their feet.”

You can donate to The Donkey Sanctuary here

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