Abandoned donkey finds new sanctuary

Saved...Salvus in his new home.

A public appeal to name an abandoned donkey – found on the side of a hill in treacherous weather conditions in Spiddal last week – has come up with one that reflects his dramatic rescue.

The animal, described as having a sweet and gentle demeanor, will be known as Salvus – a Latin word that means ‘alive and free from difficulties’ – according to the Donkey Sanctuary which is now restoring him to full health at its Cork facility.

Salvus was spotted by several members of the public, who reported his whereabouts to the Donkey Sanctuary as he was abandoned in a mountainous area with no access to food or shelter.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Welfare Advisor, Ian Colton, was aided in his search for the donkey by the Gardaí from Spiddal and Salthill.

The location of the donkey on a hill made him clearly visible to road users and led to a huge public reaction, according to Mr Colton.

“I received more complaints from members of the public in relation to this donkey than any other in 2015,” he said.

Following a Facebook campaign to name the donkey, Salvus was chosen. The Latin word – meaning ‘alive and free from difficulties’ – was deemed particularly appropriate given the conditions in which he was found and his sweet personality. That is according to The Donkey Sanctuary’s Public Relations Officer, Tríona O’Mahony.

Salvus is now receiving much-needed care and attention at The Donkey Sanctuary in Co Cork.

When he arrived, he was in poor condition and his neglected hooves were said to be causing him a lot of pain.

“He’s doing well now; it’ll be slow for him to regain trust in humans but he’s a lovely, sweet and gentle donkey,” said Ms O’Mahony.

This was the first time that a donkey was rescued in Co Galway under new EU Identification of Equidae Regulations 2014.

Once Mr Colton had located the donkey and found that he was not micro-chipped, he could then, along with the Gardaí, give notice that the donkey would be seized.

The Facebook campaign asked for name suggestions to be texted to the sanctuary, along with a €4 donation. This helped to raise vital funds for the sanctuary, which rescued over 500 donkeys last year alone.

Ms O’Mahony estimated that it would cost in the region of €3,000 to get a donkey, in the condition that Salvus was found, back to full health when all veterinary, farrier and chipping costs are included. There are also costs to be considered even after their health is restored. “To care for one healthy donkey per year, it’s about €1,500,” said Ms O’Mahony.

Ms O’Mahony warned that without the help of the public, The Donkey Sanctuary would not be able to carry out their work.

“It is important that the public let us know because without them, we don’t know where the donkeys are. We rescued over 500 donkeys last year and we have the public to thank for that,” she said.

If you wish to make a donation, visit The Donkey Sanctuary.