Donkey sanctuary mourns loss of two more characters


The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary has confirmed the deaths of 2 of their much-loved animals – Nobby and Scott.

Releasing more information on the pair the donkey sanctuary said:

“We are afraid that the news we dreaded has hit us this weekend. Nobby, one of our OAPs, who was suffering from a severe dose of colic, passed away today (Friday, January 4, 2019), and later this afternoon we had no option but to put Scott to sleep. Scott’s laminitis was so severe that there was no hope of any improvement, despite all our time and effort.

“Nobby was attended to through the night on Thursday by our team of staff and his condition continued to deteriorate. By the morning, his vital organs were beginning to fail and there was no other option but to put him to sleep, attended by our farm manager Laura and our vet Anthi from Vectis Equine.

“Since the beginning of November, Scott had intermittent episodes where he picked up his legs in a very high action, and he looked uncomfortable in his back. This was investigated with blood tests and treated with painkillers. However, in late December, it became apparent that the pain had become worse and after the death of his companion Oliver, Scott suddenly seemed to be showing a lot more discomfort. In the last four days, his condition deteriorated, so that he was having long periods of time lying down and not able to put weight on his right foreleg. X-rays showed that he had severe rotation of the pedal bone to the hoof wall and showed that his bone had reabsorbed and reshaped completely. This process was irreversible and would be the cause of ongoing, severe pain. The changes in the bones meant that he would never be able to bear weight on that foot again, and the sad decision was taken by us all that our only option was to put him to sleep. Scott is back with his friend Oliver and free from all pain. We are all heartbroken.

“Nobby was a real character, beloved by all the staff, and famous for his ability to unzip staff fleeces and look into their pockets for food! Nobby was the fastest runner in the OAP group and was unsurpassed as the leader of the pack running into the fields. He was well into his forties, lived a fabulous life and thrived in the last few years, when his growing fan club visited him regularly.

“It has often been repeated over the last few months, but it is still important to say that our staff team and our volunteers are utterly bereft and distraught this morning. We have had a terrible run of luck and a nice calm year ahead would be welcome and deserved.

Whilst we could feel sorry for ourselves because of the tough time we are currently having, we would like to remind everybody of what is really happening at the moment. A number of our very old donkeys, whose background was uncertain and whose history is often unknown, are coming to the end of their lives at the same time. They have lived for a time length beyond our expectations, have had their lives extended by fabulous care and welfare but, like all of us, they eventually reach the end of their time. We have lots of animals here and times like this are going to be a fact of life, even though it is unbelievably distressing for everybody.

“This has been a torrid few months which has tested the emotions of all of us – staff, volunteers and supporters – and there are never any guarantees that all our troubles are over. However, we will stand by what we set out to do when the current team arrived at the Sanctuary in 2012: we will be as honest as we can, keep people up to date with what is happening here (good and bad) and show our appreciation and support for all the kindness we receive from people who encourage us. Because we have a lot of animals, things seem worse when we have a tough period such as the one we are enduring.

Nonetheless, we have got to remain positive because there are a lot of animals who rely on us.

There are 90+ donkeys and 25 ponies all being cared for at the moment, all of whom needed homes, and the majority of whom are thriving. There are a number of donkeys waiting to be re-homed with us. We have no doubt that new characters will emerge in the same way that Busby, Coco, Jimbob, Angel, Twinkle and Prentice have done, and all of our donkeys will continue to receive the love and care they deserve.

We are about to start work on a new stable block to provide more accommodation for our animals, alongside some additional hard standing. We hope to have this new accommodation open for Easter, and we hope that visitors and supporters will enjoy seeing the on-site improvements that their adoptions, donations, shop purchases and raffle tickets have enabled us to buy.

So, there is a lot to be positive about, even in these difficult times.

For now, we remember our friends Nobby and Scott, who enjoyed their own life and enriched the lives of the humans they worked with, visited or just came into contact with.

We will be writing individually to people, but anybody who adopts Nobby or Scott may continue to adopt in memory of their donkey, or they may transfer their adoption to another donkey. People may of course wish to contact the donkey office to cancel their adoption on 01983 852693.