A horsebox belonging to The Donkey Sanctuary has been found after it was stolen on Monday night (19 April).

The vehicle was parked outside the Premier Inn hotel in Denton, Manchester, when it was stolen overnight between Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 April.

The stolen van was recovered by Greater Manchester Police later on on Tuesday night (20 April).

The charity has said it wishes to “thank the public for their social media support in helping locate the vehicle”.

The horsebox is used regularly to transport donkeys and was empty when it was stolen.

When it was taken, it was parked during an overnight stop and due to collect a donkey from the charity’s Manchester sanctuary in Abbey Hey. The donkey was then due to be taken to The Donkey Sanctuary’s international headquarters in Sidmouth, Devon.

The white Peugeot Equi-Trek Boxer van, registration number YJ69 EFY, is clearly branded with The Donkey Sanctuary logo.

Hannah Bryer, head of welfare at The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “We’re incredibly sad that someone has chosen to target The Donkey Sanctuary like this – we are a charity that relies entirely on donations, so we can be there for donkeys in greatest need.”

About the charity

The Donkey Sanctuary carries out its work worldwide. Its vision is a “world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued”.

The charity runs 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules.

Its hospital treats sick donkeys and trains vets both nationwide and worldwide. There is also a donkey-facilitated learning programme which helps vulnerable children and adults develop life skills by connecting with donkeys on an emotional and physical level.

Worldwide, the charity operates programmes for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation, and those used in the production of meat and skin.

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