A Donegal animal charity is calling for a change to the law to make prosecutions for animal cruelty easier after dealing with one of its worst animal cruelty cases it has seen.
The Donegal Donkey Sanctuary has made the call after a donkey foal died from malnutrition and exposure over the weekend. The animal was found in a coastal area of Fanad half-starved, with no shelter and lying in 18 inches of muck and manure.
Despite efforts to save it the animal died in the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary on Saturday morning having been brought there on Friday. The incident is the latest in a busy year for the organisation.
Another donkey has been reported missing from the field by locals and there are fears that it also died. Gardaí were notified about the cruelty cases and attended the animal’s removal from the field on Friday. Shocked locals also attended and expressed their anger at the treatment of the animals.
Photographs of the foal, which was between two and three old-years-old, have been posted on the sanctuary’s Facebook site and have attracted comments from all around the country and as far away as the US and Australia.
The workload of the sanctuary has increased by 200 per cent in the last year and it is now housing 31 animals, compared to 16 a year ago.
Some of the cases result from change of financial circumstances in a home where a family can no longer afford to care for a pet. Other cases are due to animals being picked up at low prices without consideration of the long term costs of keeping them.
Manager of the sanctuary, Danny Curran, said the case is the one of the worst it has dealt with since it was founded in 2007. He said the law makes cruelty cases very difficult to prove and needs to be changed.
“If a donkey is well fed it is warm and can withstand a lot. If they do not get enough to eat they are vulnerable to pneumonia which is what happened here. No one bothered with him at all and then he was housed with cattle who trampled his weak little body into the muck.”
The Sanctuary has launched ‘Justice for Bobby’ online petition campaign. For more information, see the DDS facebook page or visit www.donegaldonkeysanctuary.com.