'It's quite a common scene throughout Ireland' - animal welfare group rescue abandoned donkey at horse fair
An animal welfare group has been applauded for rescuing a 'starving' donkey that was left abandoned at a Waterford horse fair yesterday.
The donkey, who has been since named 'Walshie', was left tied to a pole at the Tallow Horse Fair on Tuesday morning until passers-by and animal welfare groups came to his rescue.
Animal welfare charity, My Lovely Horse and the Donkey Sanctuary rushed to Walshie's assistance after noticing he had been left unattended and appeared to be a very thin animal.
Ciara O'Kelly, a veterinary nurse and donkey welfare adviser with the Donkey Sanctuary, told Independent.ie; "I wasn't surprised or shocked.
"It's quite a common scene throughout Ireland, donkeys in that condition. It's an issue.
"To be honest, the horse welfare seem to be fairly good, the conditions of the horses and other donkeys there but this little fella was very thin. He wasn't micro chipped so no one could claim him but the guards were a great help.
"The first thing I did was give a basic look at his body condition, and his overall condition. I found that he was thin, he had a body score of two which is very low. He was just about 12 months old. His coat was matted. He was dull and hanging his head a little bit.
"Him getting on that horse box change his life majorly for what it could have been," she added.
Walshie is now recovering and in the care of the Donkey Sanctuary.
A spokesperson for the Donkey Sanctuary told Independent.ie; "I can confirm he's here with us. He came in yesterday evening at about 5.30pm.
"He's thin and that kind of thing, but he seems to be a good lad so he settled last night in a stable here."
Annual Tallow Horse Fair goer and passerby Willie Daly told Independent.ie that the donkey was "in bad shape".
"I noticed there was three or four people alongside this pole, and my daughter was actually after showing me a thing on Facebook this morning about how there was one of the young donkeys after being mistreated and left tied to a pole in Tallow," he said.
"I came up upon it anyway and went over and there were two ladies there and the donkey. It was only a year old, and he was extremely thin, could hardly stand and he was moving from side to side.
"The two ladies brought water to him and hay. They moistened the hay and tried to feed him a few bits and pieces of carrots. Now he couldn't eat at all whatsoever, so he was in bad shape."