A donkey sanctuary, which provides a home for life for equines who have been neglected or abused, faces closure if it cannot secure vital support.

Lucy’s UK Donkey Foundation is a small UK charity based in Israel, where 53 rescued donkeys and three rescued horses are cared for by volunteers.

The charity is struggling amid the current circumstances brought on by the pandemic and is often falling short of its £5,000 minimum monthly running costs.

Sanctuary volunteers have issued an urgent plea so it can continue its work saving donkeys like Alan, Chico and Zachariah.

Alan was found stranded on a busy roadside after he had been hit by a car. He was bleeding from his nose and had multiple wounds to his body and face.

He was taken in by sanctuary owner Lucy Fensom and after careful treatment he has now settled happily into the sanctuary.

Alan was rescued from the roadside after he was hit by a car. Credit: Lucy’s UK Donkey Foundation

Chico was also discovered in a dreadful state.

He was suffering from a deep saddle pack wound to his back and multiple cuts and scars to his body. Lucy treated him at the sanctuary and he gradually returned to full health.

Alan and Chico now have a home for life with Lucy, alongside Zachariah (see picture, top), who was found at the Syrian border.

“He was dreadfully traumatised and in pain after having his eyes deliberately gouged out and his neck stabbed on both sides,” said a spokesman for the charity.

“With a great deal of patience, eventually Lucy was able to gain Zachariah’s trust and provide him with the love and care that he needed to recover. He is now a very happy, contented, gentle donkey thanks to Lucy’s devotion to his recovery.”

A safe haven for donkeys

Lucy and her volunteers are called out at all times of the day or night to deal with donkey emergencies and casualties.

As part of her work, Lucy helps to educate the donkey owners by showing them better handling methods, including correct harnessing, hoof care, dentistry and feeding, in the hope that this in turn will improve the equines’ lives.

Alan today. Credit: Lucy’s UK Donkey Foundation

However, this vial work is under threat, and the four-scare sanctuary risks imminent closure if further donations cannot be secured.

Like many charities, the global pandemic has hit the sanctuary hard and funds are very low.

Support is needed to maintain the care of the donkeys, including paying farrier and vet fees as well as purchasing basic supplies like feed and shavings.

The public can help support the charity through donations, however small, as well as sharing its work to their friends and family via social media, and through word of mouth.

“We are distraught to have to tell you that despite your kind donations and support, we are at serious risk of having to close down,” said a charity spokesman.

Chico was found with a dreadful wound. Credit: Lucy’s UK Donkey Foundation

“There is currently no other safe, risk free place for our beloved animals to go, so we need to try one last desperate attempt to see how we can try to secure the monthly amount needed to maintain our sanctuary.

“We will not be able to continue without your critical help.”

Those willing to make a donation can do so via PayPal (shop@lucysdonkeyfoundation.org.uk) via the charity website (lucysdonkeyfoundation.org.uk/donate) or through its GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/lucysdonkeys).

Find out more about Lucy’s UK Donkey Foundation and sign up for the charity’s newsletter by emailing volunteer Erika at webgirl@lucysdonkeyfoundation.org.uk

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Chico was nursed back to health. Credit: Lucy’s Donkey Foundation