Social and Animal Welfare Service (SAWS) is sharing with you a story involving an abused-and now rescued--working donkey and its owner which took place in March 2017.
SAWS met a working donkey and his owner on the way to a SAWS mobile donkey clinic. The donkey was extremely thin and had many visible injuries on its back and legs. After the SAWS’ clinic team examined the donkey, they realized that the donkey needed immediate relief. Therefore, the clinic team advised the owner to take off the pulling cart and allow the donkey to heal and rest. SAWS gave the donkey owner some money to survive for the 8 days his donkey was not working. They also gave him medication and instructions on how to use the medication plus money to feed and water his donkey.
Then, on 5 March 2017, the clinic team met up again with the owner and his donkey. When the SAWS’ clinic team reexamined the donkey, they realized that the donkey still had terrible wounds and was thinner.
He was pulling 200 litres of water and straining under the load (picture above). They told him to take off the pulling cart immediately and took the donkey to the nearest police station as evidence of animal abuse (picture below).
The police chief and other police officers were genuinely infuriated and the police chief ordered for the donkey owner to be arrested. Although the donkey owner’s whereabouts is still unknown, the police chief vowed to arrest him and bring him to justice. While at the police station, SAWS treated the donkey's wounds and fed him (pictures below).
SAWS and the Attorney General will take the donkey owner to court so that this case will be deterrence to other donkey owners. This case demonstrates the inhumane condition that working donkeys endure on a daily basis in Somaliland and many other areas of the world.
One of SAWS priorities now is urgent training on making saddle packs to protect the spine of donkeys. The current ones are poorly made and badly fitted causing severe injuries to donkey's backs.
Three Days Later....
SAWS is extremely happy to inform you that the rescued donkey has made progress. Although wounds on the donkey’s body are healed and the donkey has made visible recovery, there still are injuries on almost every part of donkey's body.
The mobile team has treated, and continue to treat, the donkey on daily basis at the police station. The mobile team has also provided daily feeding and water such as maize and grass, as donkey's pictures below show.
The police have promised and assured SAWS to look after the donkey in their station until the donkey heals and regains its proper weight.
The good news is that the police has arrested the offender who abused the donkey, and currently arranging to proceed a court day (although not decided yet) in order to bring the offender to justice. They District Attorney also vowed to ask the court to incarcerate the offender as the laws of the land allows.
Dr. Ali Hassan—SAWS' Executive Director--held a press conference on Saturday 8 April 2017 for the local media and request them to report this case in order to reach the public so that people are informed and protect working animals from cruelty and abuses such as this one, committed by donkey owners. Dr. Hassan also appealed to people to contact SAWS and their local police to report any animal abuse. Also, SAWS is currently lobbying and advocating with policymakers to enact laws/legislations and policies aimed at protecting animals from abuse, neglect and cruelty and ensuring that those who harm animals are held accountable.