Thursday, May 24, 2012

The End or The Beginning

Today will be the end of a life that was lived for years in suffering and neglect in the hands of people who didn't know better and didn't care enough to educate themselves even though the evidence of not being properly cared for starred them in the face every day. How could you? How dare you? These are all questions that baffle my mind right now and I am so angry and saddened by the event has to take place today because of this, so so very unnecessary. Poor sweet soul lived like that for the last twelve years, with hooves trimmed once in during that time. Hidden away from the world, he was not spotted by anybody but the immediate family. It breaks my heart to see him go, we had such high hopes for him and send healing thoughts and prayers for him. But the xrays showed irreversible damage to the bones in his hooves and his whole body confirmation had to adjust to his horrible overgrown feet.
He was a sweetie, and I am proud to say that the staff at the DSC has been amazing when it comes to show the old donkey love and compassion. Wish we volunteers would have had a chance to do so too, but he was still in quarantine and off limits to us. I did spend a lot of time with him on Sunday over the fence talking, and he had his nose right close to mine, but still I  had to stick to the rules and not touch him.
Oscar when he first arrived
So after  a short 1 1/2 weeks  stay at Donkey Heaven at the DSC Oscar will begin  his journey over the rainbow bridge to a life free of pain. Sleep well sweet old donkey, we will all miss you and your story will be told over and over again at the DSC as your pictures and hooves will be a constant reminder of what people do to animals out of ignorance and just not caring.

Here is to educating people on what not to do...and yes donkeys are used as guardian animals everywhere......

Donkeys and Cattle – PLEASE THINK AGAIN!

MAY 17, 2012  written by Sandra Pady, Exe. Director at the DSC
Earlier this week, we admitted yet another donkey for lifelong care who had lived  for most of his life (20+ years) with cattle.  And, once again, we found ourselves faced with  a creature who had suffered as a result of living for too  long in an unhealthy, unsuitable  environment.
Cattle are fed an extremely rich diet, as everyone knows.  Donkeys, on the other hand, thrive on coarse grasses and scrub.  When a donkey has no choice but to eat the food given to cattle, the donkey will gain weight rapidly.  Fat pockets will form on the hips, the belly will bulge and, most of all, the crest of muscle on the animal’s neck will become encased in fat.  Within a relatively short time, the crest will fall over, remaining permanently out of place.
Donkeys are herd animals and they thrive with their own kind.  When a donkey is placed with a herd of cattle, the donkey might bond with one other animal and, if threatened, might want to protect that one other animal.  But donkeys do not  have the instinct to protect an entire  herd.  This instinct is strong in certain breeds of dogs: eg. Great Pyrenees, Anatolian, Akbash or Maremma.  These dogs make outstanding guardians and they are very comfortable living with cattle. (   
Finally, a donkey’s hooves should be trimmed by a farrier every 6-8 weeks.  This is not required for cattle and, too often, we see donkeys whose hooves are horribly overgrown, causing constant pain and damage to the animal’s back and spine. 
There are many, positive reasons to give a donkey a home and to give it care.  But compelling  it to live with cattle is not one of them.  Cattle are much better protected by canine guardians and donkeys live best, without stress, when they can be with a donkey companion.


Anonymous said...

That is such sad news, almost bittersweet because donkey heaven has got to be amazing!

Tina said...

When we looked and watched Oscar in the quarantine paddock we often wondered if he thought already he had died and gone to heaven. His feet were normal, his pain was controlled by heavy medication and he got love from staff...that must have felt almost like heaven already.