A committed owner has transformed the life of her equine thanks to the support of The Donkey Sanctuary.

Her mule, Dolores, was almost relinquished into the charity’s care when she felt unable to cope due to personal circumstances.

10-year-old Dolores’ behaviour presented additional challenges and when she first arrived with her owner she was very nervous.

However, The Donkey Sanctuary’s Welfare Adviser Tewsday Herbert was on hand to help.

“The owner felt unable to continue caring for Dolores and was considering finding a new home for her but was clearly devastated by this,” said Tewsday. “She came to us for help as she knew we had expertise in mules.

“When I first met Dolores, I could immediately see that she had such a lovely relationship with her owner and how hard it was for the owner to have to consider giving her up.

“Moving any animal can be a daunting and potentially stressful experience for them. With Dolores already showing signs of being a nervous mule, it was important to help prepare her to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

“I spoke at length with Dolores’ owner and explained how we could help her through training and familiarisation, with their support.”

Over the following weeks, Tewsday worked with Dolores and her owner to build trust and help Dolores feel more relaxed when being handled.

As time passed, the owner’s personal circumstances improved, and Dolores’ behaviour began to change. Tewsday realised the situation could have a happy outcome for everyone involved.

“It was clear to me that the owner was really committed to Dolores, and the approach we had taken to training was working,” she said.

“The owner knows Dolores better than everyone, and they had been on such a long journey together already.

“I am delighted that we were able to help Dolores and her owner stay together and form a new relationship that works for both of them. They are a wonderful pair and suit each other so well.”

Dolores is now a confident mule who is now happy to be caught and led. The Donkey Sanctuary will continue to support her owner to help them continue to enjoy happy life together.

Lead image: Credit – The Donkey Sanctuary

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