Four York donkeys found in a poor condition in a field filled with dangers have been rescued by a charity.
The Donkey Sanctuary found four animals, Parsley, Sage, Saffron and Sorrel, in the field near York.
Head of welfare Hannah Bryer said their surroundings were filled with risks, including piping, nails, rusty metal and plastic wrapping.
Poisonous ragwort, which can sometimes prove fatal to animals, was also growing in the field.
A loose length of unused fencing tape was strewn across the field, which could have caused the donkeys serious injury if they became entangled as it is very strong and doesn’t break easily.
The donkeys also showed signs of poor health.
“Parsley was visually very underweight, and he was also worryingly quiet and subdued,” said Hannah. “Changes in condition and behaviour are often signs something is wrong, so my priority was to get him checked over by a vet.
“Parsley was generally in poor condition. His coat was matted and infested with lice. His feet were overgrown and in need of farriery care.”
Sage also had lice, characterised by areas of broken hairs caused by scratching and a patchy looking coat containing lice eggs.
She was overweight and had developed fatty pockets over the ribs and hindquarters. Her hooves were also overgrown, causing lameness and making turning particularly difficult.
Saffron and Sorrel both had scabbed areas of skin across their neck, shoulders and limbs and their hooves were also overgrown.
The Donkey Sanctuary worked with the RSPCA, North Yorkshire Police and a local equine vet to safeguard the donkeys’ welfare.
Later, the donkeys’ owner agreed to relinquish the four animals into the care of the charity.
Hannah said: “‘The Herbs’, as they are affectionately known, are friendly, curious donkeys who had sadly found themselves needing our help.
“They continue to be monitored from a veterinary point of view and are currently receiving training to support their behaviour and will later be assessed to see if they are suitable for rehoming.
“During their time at our holding base, they have needed lots of support to help them feel more confident when being handled and when the farrier comes to trim their feet.”
You can donate to The Donkey Sanctuary here