DISASTER neearly struck at an animal sanctuary on Friday when heavy bursts of rain almost took the life of a defenceless donkey.
Heavy rain overnight flooded a usually dry dyke at Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary in Huttoft and an unsuspecting rare Andalucian donkey called Dona Pepa found herself stuck in water up to her shoulders.
Staff at the sanctuary mounted a rescue operation and, with the help of an excavator and heavy lifting straps, were able to get her out of the water.
Tracy Garton, sanctuary owner, said: “She was cold and in shock when we managed to get her out of the mud and water. She was close to death but we dried her off with towels, coats, jumpers and anything else we had to hand, then wrapped her in dry blankets to keep her warm.”
Having stabilised Dona Pepa, the next problem for the sanctuary staff was that she just could not get up and she needed to be moved to safer conditions quickly for more treatment.
An emergency vet was on scene and thanks to the kindness of both sanctuary staff and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, they were able to hoist Dona Pepa to her feet.
“Without the firefighters help, I don’t know how we would have managed,” added Tracy.
“We can’t thank them enough, Dona Pepa was clearly relieved when she was back in her stable but seemed to rather enjoy the attention from the firemen and now has five new men in her life!” explained Tracy.
The sanctuary is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm and every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 3pm. It rescues donkeys from all over the UK, often taking in donkeys that other sanctuaries refuse to take.
“We have been hit very hard this year, visitor numbers are low and we are struggling - our takings and donations are about 70 per cent down on last year and winter is now looming,” added Tracy
To find out how to support the sanctuary call Tracy on 07940 146330.