A WEEK-old orphaned donkey foal has been given a home forever with The Donkey Sanctuary, after its mother died shortly after giving birth.

The foal was relinquished into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary by its owner, who wanted to give it the best start in life after its mother tragically died after suffering complications during foaling.

Sadly, despite veterinary care and the best efforts of the donkey’s owner, her condition did not improve and the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep.

The week-old male foal is receiving round the clock care by staff at the international animal welfare charity’s new arrivals unit in Sidmouth. Despite his distressing start in life, he appears healthy and is feeding well on a supplemented diet.

Hannah Bryer, head of welfare at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “Our teams work tirelessly all year round to support donkeys most in need here in Great Britain.

“By working with owners, we can often help provide advice and support to find solutions to the challenges they may be facing.  Sadly in cases like this, the best welfare outcome for the donkey is often the hardest for owners.”

Bryer said: “Saying goodbye to our much loved pets at the right time should never be regarded as a failure. I often admire the courage of owners who put the welfare of their donkeys first, even in the most difficult of circumstances, so when this owner reached out to us, we acted swiftly to make arrangements to bring the foal into our care.

“There is something truly special about being able to provide hope and reassurance to so many donkeys and their owners, but especially at Christmas.”

The foal can be sure of a happy forever home with The Donkey Sanctuary, where he will be cared for until he is big enough to join the resident herd.

The Donkey Sanctuary works to transform the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships.

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