5 min read

Donkey Was Dying Of Exhaustion — Until Over 12,000 People Spoke Up For Him

Now he spends his days relaxing in the sun.

A completely exhausted donkey collapsed on the streets of Segorbe, Spain, earlier this month - only to be returned to his neglectful owner.

When police investigated the situation, they found that the owner also had a dog. The neglected dog was immediately confiscated and taken to a rescue organization, but the donkey had no such luck.

But a Good Samaritan knew that the donkey deserved to be rescued, too. So he called El Refugio del Burrito (RDB).

"It is frustrating that, although both animals are protected under the same law, and it is very clear on how to act when the life of an animal is at risk, we still find that authorities hesitate," Veronica Sanchez, country manager for RDB, said in a statement. "This is a negligence and omission of duty."

The case had been reported to the local department of animal welfare, but got bogged down in bureaucracy. No one realized that a life was on the line.

So, just days after the donkey had collapsed, on March 13, RBD sent an urgent request to the local court and local police. But still nothing happened.

So the animal lovers at RBD tried something else: They started a campaign on Change.org. In less than 13 hours, over 12,000 people had signed the petition.

Petition that helped save neglected donkey
Change.org

This campaign helped push the local court to take action, and on the morning of March 14, rescuers arrived for the donkey. The owner refused to hand the animal over, even though he was obviously suffering. A later veterinary exam would confirm that the donkey needed treatment for severe malnutrition, a hoof infection, multiple skin lesions caused by using inappropriate harnesses, internal and external parasites and other infections.

And this time, the law was on the donkey's side, and authorities confiscated the animal to save him.

Rescuers named the donkey Vida, which means "Life."

The donkey was immediately hydrated intravenously. He had his hooves trimmed and treated. And he's already eating well, so that he can put on some weight.

"The donkey is provisionally in a foster home in Castellon, as he is not fit to travel," Rosa Chaparro, communications and fundraising manager for RBD, told The Dodo. "As soon as he can travel he will come to our sanctuary in Fuente de Piedra, Malaga."

At his new home he will meet over 300 abandoned and formerly mistreated donkeys who found new lives at the sanctuary.

El Refugio del Burrito

Life is finally looking brighter for Vida.

To help donkeys like Vida, you can make a donation. Even just $6 can feed a donkey a week's worth of hay.