A SENIOR ISPCA officer has described the condition of two County Sligo donkeys as the worst case of neglect he had ever come across.
Last week, the ISPCA took the two donkeys, one aged seven and the other, two, into care.
ISPCA Inspector Kevin Mcginley organised the seizure of the donkeys in a case described by a senior equine care staff member as "by far the worst case I have seen of donkey neglect in my time at the ISPCA."
The donkeys, Hugo, a white seven year old stallion was found to be terribly lame and had what was described as "horrendous hooves." He was in very poor condition, and had severe rain scald.
Hugs, the two years old brown colt was said to be in even worse condition. He was emaciated and anaemic and also had overgrown and deformed hooves. In addition he had severe, infected rain scald leading to raw skin and subsequent bleeding.
"The infected skin condition could be smelled from a distance," said a spokesperson.
The donkeys were described as two of the most gentlest the ISPCA had ever come across. Hugo is said to be recovering well but Hugs, although getting a little stronger by the day, is not out of the woods yet and will require intense care for some time yet.
While this winter has not been as hard on animals living outdoors in comparison to the past two years, the ISPCA say it has continued to encounter widespread equine welfare issues and it is normally those vulnerable animals of less value that are most severely affected.