The owner of a defenceless donkey who was attacked by cruel thugs last month has been overwhelmed by the international outpouring of anger and support he has received.
John Nuttall, who offers donkey rides on beaches across Lincolnshire, including Skegness and ingoldmells, was distraught to learn one of his precious herd had been the victim of such a heartless attack.
Dudley, an eight-year-old jack, was resting in a field near Cleethorpes after a hard day’s work when witnesses saw two ‘young lads’ grab his head through the fence and begin kicking him repeatedly.
John was furious that anyone would attempt to harm the poor docile creature and desperate for justice to be had.
“I can’t understand why anyone would want to do that to an innocent donkey,” he said.
“Dudley is unbelievably trusting and so he had probably poked his head through to say hello when it happened.”
“We give our donkeys a lot of care and attention and so it’s horrible to think that after leaving them to stretch their legs for a while, some idiots have come along and done this.”
News of the callous crime soon went viral and prompted outpourings of disbelief from animal lovers across the globe.
“It just proves how much people love and care for donkeys,” said John.
Businesses closer to home have also rallied behind John and Dudley with offers of reward money to help bring the culprits to justice.
Simon Adderley of Joe’s Beach Bar recently added £1,000 to the tally after he heard what had happened.
“I couldn’t believe anyone would do such a thing - it’s disgraceful,” he said.
John’s family has worked with donkeys for three generations, dating back to his grandfather Montague Ridlington Nutthall, who started the business sometime before World War One broke out.
John’s parents Gladys and Buster took over the family reigns, which passed to him after his mother’s death two years back
A statue of Dudley was built in Cleethorpes for Gladys’s memorial, making John all the angrier to learn that he had suffered at the vile bullies’ hands.
“If mum was alive today she would catch the blighters, I’m sure of it,” said John.
Dudley is said to have made a good recovery and John’s field is now under close surveillance by a team of devoted animal lovers.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Humberside Police on 101.