“The dark coloured female donkey is nothing but skin and bone; she is lying on the floor, she doesn’t move, and she has got open wounds on her back. When she tries to stand up, the dog bites her and the donkey yells in pain…” It was the desperate message sent to the NGO El Refugio del burrito in August 2015 about a donkey found in some facilities at Quart de Poblet, Valencia.
Today, 4th of October, coinciding with the World Animal Day, Rosie’s trial has been held in the Court of Valencia.
Rosie (that’s the donkey’s name) lived in very bad conditions (with no shelter, surrounded by rubbish, sharp objects and scrap) with another white male donkey and an adult German shepherd dog. The female donkey was literally being devoured alive. She had open and infected wounds all over her body, mainly due to the bites of the dog. She remained lying on the floor without being able to drink or eat, since every time she tried to get close to water or food the dog attacked her.
Her partner, the white male donkey, was luckier because he was able to defend himself from the dog’s attacks; however, he had old untreated bone fractures. A passerby alerted our organization and we hurried to provide both animals with urgent veterinary care.
After three days of struggling against the passivity of the authorities, a veterinary could eventually get to Rosie to take care of her. Rosie was extremely skinny and had numerous wounds. The most critical one was a very seriously infected wound she had on her right hindquarters that could not be treated on the site. She had to be taken immediately to a veterinary hospital. The veterinary said, “she spends most of the time lying down because of the pain. She seems to be scared of the other donkey and the dog and they won’t let her eat”.
In a desperate attempt to save the donkey’s life, Rosie was taken to the hospital San Vicente del Raspeig in Alicante. At the hospital, they confirmed that Rosie was only 16 years old and she was too skinny—she only weighted 158 k, being 250 k the normal weight for a donkey of her height. Besides, she was dehydrated and severely in pain.
Rosie spent 25 days in the hospital under intensive care. Her progress was really slow and, even if she was out of danger, she still was suffering from an intense pain and lying down most of the time.
The medical report from the hospital said: “In the external examination, the donkey presented superficial wounds all over her body, as well as deep wounds with skin and muscle tears on the right and left hindquarters. Based on the report, the animal’s clinical evidences and some additional tests undertaken, the final diagnosis was polytrauma due to dog bites.
After all wounds were cleaned, disinfected and surgically debrided, a treatment was started which consisted of anti-inflamatories (phenylbutazone), wide spectrum antibiotics (cefquinome), diet control, continuous surveillance and daily wound care”.
Apart from all the above, the donkey had scabies, which prevents the skin to heal. The donkey was discharged from hospital, but the medical treatment, the daily care of the wounds and the diet high in calories had to continue under the supervision of El Burrito.
Today, three years after, the donkey is in perfect health and enjoys her retirement with other donkeys that were once mistreated or abandoned. In the meanwhile, veterinaries and representatives of our organization are travelling to Valencia full of hope. They expect to save Rosie in the legal arena too. The defendant faces today a sentence of one year imprisonment for not taking care of the donkey and letting the dog, which also belonged to him, attack the donkey repeatedly.
The facts constitute an offense of animal abuse according to the public prosecutor of Valencia, who, apart from the sentence of one year imprisonment, claims for the defendant’s disqualification from keeping animals and from any jobs related to animals in any way.
We can only continue to rescue and care for donkeys with your help, so please continue to support the work of El Refugio del Burrito, as together, we can make a big difference.