Imagine being shut in a stable inside a barn for at least six months with no access to the outside world - this had been the life for Laurel and Hardy, two donkeys, and a pony called Tim. Then one day a blue lorry turned up and took them to a place of sanctuary for life.
On Friday 24 July, our welfare officers discovered Laurel, Hardy and Tim, in a stable block following an anonymous tip-off from a concerned member of the public.
Molly Lloyd, one of our welfare officers, was shocked and distressed at the condition they were in. Not only did they have lice, their matted hair was coming away in large clumps. The conditions they were living in were atrocious.
Laurel, Hardy and Tim had not been visited by a farrier and sadly their feet are all painfully long.
Without adequate access to food and water, all three are extremely thin and slowly starving to death.
Rejected and despondent
Laurel, Hardy and Tim made no noise in the barn when our welfare officers visited them. Sadly, all three of them appeared dejected and despondent as they had no quality of life.
Intensive care and permanent protection
With the help of local police we were able to locate the owner but despite Laurel, Hardy and Tim being given food and water, none of them were given access to outdoors. Their bedding was soaked in urine and faeces and the food they were being given was not sufficient enough.
Later that day, Laurel, Hardy and Tim were signed over to us and taken to our nearest holding base to receive intensive care and permanent protection
It's going to take a great deal of effort
This is the worst case of neglect we've had this year. The donkeys are dangerously underweight and Laurel and Hardy's feet are in such a bad way that they can barely walk. When they arrived at our holding base, they went straight for the food - they were ravenously hungry. We will soon give them a full veterinary check to assess their health fully and get a farrier in to rectify their overgrown feet, which haven't been touched for over six months. It's going to take a great deal of effort to bring them back to full health but that's what we are here for.
Slow road to recovery
Over the coming weeks, you will be able to keep up to date with Laurel, Hardy and Tim's progress by reading Dawn Vincent's blog.