Whats going on!!!


Now that unpreceedented floodwater has subsided, its time to count the toll. We lost stockyard panels, feeders and also lost many small items that were swept away as flood water reached phenominal heights taking rakes, shovels, stainless steel bowls, every salt and mineral lick block and each of these items and morecontainers we had stored grooming brushes, halters, leads and a variety of general medical supplies - all are necessary in every paddock our donkeys occupy all over the Hunter Valley.

It was stressful enough having restrictions to the day-to-day health checks, grooming and hay and straw deliveries to feeders in paddocks due to floodwater filled gullies and causeways, swamped bridges. But one extreme stress was trying to save a little donkey from slaughter - the rescue of Herbert.

Herbert is a 2-year-old donkey colt with a deformed left foreleg and he was destined for the slaughter house. DWWH was asked for assistance to transport him to the knackery. With the floodwater cutting him off from human access we had time on our side to negotiate with his owners to allow DWWH to take him into our care. The negotiations continued as the owners wanted him slaughtered because he is 'useless' with his deformity, plus he is entire and requires an expensive castration operation. Finally it was agreed that we take him into our care and get our veterinarian to make the decision as to whether he will have a happy life with his deformity if it can be relieved and well-managed. We await the vets visit soon.

As you can see Herbert has a long, twisted left front hoof. It requires months of specialist farrier attention to simply get him comfortable on that hoof, plus he may need surgery try to straighten the lower portion of the limb. Whatever the outcome he will always require more trimming on that hoof than normal.


Herbert is young, cheeky, sociable and full of energy. He was thrilled to see near-neighbour donkeys at the ICU and he watches their every move. We will do all we can to make Herbert comfortable now and always.

None of of this would be possible without your support for Herbert and many other donkeys. DWWH is operated by unpaid volunteers and every cent you donate goes directly to the rescue, care and rehabilitation and ongoing assistance for those we place into approved foster homes.
Please donate if you can.
Sponsor donkey of the month - July 2015
ANNI is a small, grey jenny born in December 2001 on the Central Coast NSW and was sold by her breeder at 3 months of age to a novice, private owner.
Anni had never been handled and was bundled into a box trailer with a canopy to travel to her new home, where she was released to run freely on 5 eroded acres, void of any sustenance for a little donkey.
A neighbour offered to 'catch' little Anni and since there were no stockyards or pens or stables to utilise, he and a group of other neighbours bulldogged the tiny weaning to the ground, terrifying her of every human from that moment on.
Anni learned to evade the neighbour's subsequent bulldogging attempts, so she was never wormed, groomed, touched and loved. Anni became lonely, abandoned, noisy and one neighbour threatened to shoot her. Anni's owner was desperate for help and contacted DWWH in December 2003.
Sharon Grunwald and Christine Berry responded and visited the little donkey hoping to lend a hand. Once the whole story unfolded, and little Anni would not come within 5 acres of a human, the owner realised she should be the kindest person and surrender her into our care for handling. A strategic plan was devised to catch and confine Anni.
The volunteers towed a float and portable stockyards to the acreage, setting up the yards with a donkey-friendly wide opening and a portion of hay and fresh water bucket within, to entice the very hungry little Anni into the yards.
The calm containment of Anni took a week and once the yards could be closed the float was positioned so that Anni had no choice but enter it if she wanted to eat.
The closing of the float's rear door was a joyous moment, and very swift!
The opening of the door at the ICU was not! In decades of handling and catching wild and wicked donkeys, never had Sharon and Christine met one like Anni. She could instinctively kick a human through a corrugated iron wall that was not rusted. When cornered her teeth were applied to any portion of human skin or anatomy with bone crushing, vicious intent.
Having spent a very long time in ICU Anni refused to make a special friend and rehearsed her highland fling protests at every opportunity, resisting halter wearing, deworming (mind the teeth), and hoof trimming mimmicked hand grenade explosions. A grooming brush was a tool of torture or so she thought.
With all the patience and caution when entering her 'space', Anni eventually graduated from boot camp. She is shy, has gained trust in the volunteers she knows and is a loved member of our special rehabilitation group.
Anni was moved from ICU in 2014 with her donkey Anni was moved from ICU in 2014 with her dorehab-family to a property where she has shown bouts of stress via her unusual hoof growth and development patterns. Occasinally acclimatising take a year, so we were observing her religiously. Anni is not overweight and chaff is the only ration that she receives after grooming and socialising.
Perhaps Anni's problem is environmental, or a reaction to a particular favourite grass species on the land. A unanimous volunteers' decision was reached, (when the excessive growth of her hoofs and apparent abnormalities in just two weeks were discovered), that Anni return to a very dry area in the ICU which is where she is currently residing. She is responding to treatment and hoof care but these issues take many months to repair. She is enjoying her return to her first 'kind' home with DWWH.
Please help Anni if you can. Every cent you donate goes directly to the care of the donkeys.

Check out Christine's interview with the local press.



Sponsor donkey of the month - May 2015

Patrick was surrendered as a yearling with his stressed mother Jolly. Both were terrified of humans and vehicles as both pursued the pair for weeks in an attempt to put them into stockyards 'to get rid of them.'
DWWH was contacted for help and we offered Jolly a kind, gentle hand and she followed us into the stockyards bringing her terrified foal, Patrick with her. Patrick was nervous from then on until he learned from others that were loving folk. He also has a visual problem that causes him stress when anything unusual occurs. So we keep to routine matters around him and he remains content.