He was separated from his mother far too early.
When Pip Squeak came into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary in Cyprus, he was so tiny. He was taken from his mother at only three months old, which is far too early for a donkey. Pip Squeak, who got his name after he arrived at the Sanctuary, was abandoned by his first owner. His next owner tried to care for the little baby but something was wrong with the way his hair grew and the unstable way he walked.
By the time The Donkey Sanctuary took Pip Squeak in, he was already two years old. Judy Welsman, European welfare manager said:
"When we caught him to check him over, he was even thinner than we first thought - literally skin and bone. Despite now having a caring owner and good food, he just wasn't growing as he should. Being so small and weak, he found it difficult to get to the straw the donkeys were being fed and his owner was gravely concerned for his future."
The malnourished donkey slowly got used to the new surroundings at his new home. There were all kinds of new sounds and smells at The Donkey Sanctuary branch in Cyprus, and lots of other rescue donkeys to get to know. Because he was so much skinnier than normal, he needed a thicker blanket to wear, which was sent as a special order from the headquarters in the UK.
Pip Squeak is sometimes hard to catch, say staff at the Sanctuary, but once he started wearing his coat, he really started to like feeling so warm.
The Donkey Sanctuary resident vet monitored Pip Squeak carefully, and with a more specific diet of more vitamins and minerals he slowly started to fill out and have more of an appetite. It was found that the little donkey suffers from anemia, which was initially treated and will be monitored.
The kind staff take him on walks around the Sanctuary to improve his gait. He has even started to trot around his corral!
Since he has been living in the donkey sanctuary he's gained 55 pounds! He's a totally different donkey than when he arrived. He is braver and more curious, his coat is looking full, and the way he moves has improved.
Pip Squeak got a new lease on life and he seems to know it. The Sanctuary says the little donkey still has a long way to go but, "it's wonderful to see how much he is improving every week and although he'll never be a typical big Cypriot donkey, he's proving to have a big heart."
The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen MBE, who dedicated her life to raising champion donkeys. After seeing several little donkeys crammed into a small pen at Exeter Market in Great Britain, she decided to stop breeding donkeys and save them instead.
Now it is a huge international charity with network farms all around England, Ireland, and in mainland Europe including Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain, with their main hub as Slade House Farm near Sidmouth, south Devon. They also have local foster network farms in Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, and Mexico. The sanctuary helps rescue abused working donkeys from awful conditions while advocating for donkey welfare.
If you want to help The Donkey Sanctuary and their good work for animal welfare, check out their donation and partner program.
What do you think of Pip Squeak's story? Tell us in the comments below.
Photos by The Donkey Sanctuary
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