Romanian donkey Romika rescued from life of neglect
PRESS RELEASE from The Donkey Sanctuary
09 August 11
A 13 year old donkey named Romika, in Costanza, south east Romania, has been rescued from a life of neglect and abuse thanks to intervention from international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary.
The charity were alerted to Romika’s plight by a member of the local community, who reported that the stallion was tied up on a short chain, and was frail and thin with visible flesh wounds and very long feet. Hearing that the owner may be abusive, vets from The Donkey Sanctuary and partner charity Save The Dogs and Other Animals went immediately to the yard where Romika was being kept to assess the donkey’s condition.
Sara Turetta, President of Save the Dogs and Other Animals, describes the scene that the veterinary team were greeted with in Costanza:
“Romika was clearly distressed when the team arrived. He was tied with a short chain in a small yard, had no access to food or water and was very skinny and weak. His hooves were very long, and must have been causing him some discomfort. There were also visible flesh wounds and scars, including a deep cut on his front leg where he had been tied with a tight wire. To add to this donkey’s misery, it was also suspected that he had been beaten.”
Andrew Judge, The Donkey Sanctuary’s European Operations Manager, adds: “Luckily for Romika, the owner relinquished him to The Donkey Sanctuary, and he is now guaranteed a sanctuary from suffering at the charity’s holding base in Cernavoda. Just 24 hours after his rescue, with his wounds cleaned and treated, Romika was like a different donkey – far more active, standing better on his legs, interacting a lot with people and eating non-stop! It is so encouraging to see a donkey show such a dramatic improvement in such a short period of time, and I am pleased that The Donkey Sanctuary was able step in and give Romika a safe and happy future.”
The Donkey Sanctuary has been working in partnership with the charity Save The Dogs and Other Animals in Romania since 2007. The two charities provide outreach veterinary care for donkeys and mules working in the community, and a refuge for up to 60 rescued donkeys like Romika who have medical conditions or need specialist care.
Donkeys are still used as working animals in many of the poorer, agricultural areas of the country, and donkeys without access to veterinary care often become ill or injured, and in some cases are sold for meat when they are no longer able to work.
To find out more about the work of The Donkey Sanctuary overseas, please visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/overseas.