A badly-neglected donkey that was on her way to slaughter has been saved by a Crawley animal sanctuary.
And the little donkey, who was little more than skin and bone is now being nursed back to health - with the help of jam sandwiches.
The donkey has been dubbed Charity by staff at the Kilmarnock Horse Rescue charity who are now caring for her at their centre in Ifield.
Centre owner Carol Jackson said: “This little girl had been going for meat, but I don’t know how as there was nothing on her.
“She was very poorly, there was no weight on her at all. She had lost her fur and her feet had curled up.
“There was not an ounce of fat on her, her hip bones were sticking out, she was full of sores and she has an ulcer at the top of her tail.
“Even my vet was pretty horrified. We couldn’t give her antibiotic injections because we couldn’t see any muscle.
“I’m now giving her jam sandwiches with antibiotics in them and she’s eating those.”
Carol thinks Charity may have a chest infection and be missing a mate “but she’s so weak she can’t even bray.”
Now Carol is hoping that she can nurse Charity back to health so that she can join the eight other rescue donkeys - and 20 horses - she has at the centre.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if she was in foal,” said Carol, “although it’s hard to tell. The majority of neglected donkeys are in foal because of irresponsible owners.”
Charity was originally saved when she was discovered in a meat market at a horse sale.
She was taken to an animal ‘safe house’ that works closely with Kilmarnock Horse Rescue before being taken in to the Ifield centre for nursing and rehab.
Carol thinks that Charity is six years old “although she looks about 90.”
Once well, she will join the centre’s other donkeys out in the fields.
Kilmarnock was started by Carol in the year 2000 and aims “to care for and rehome as many abandoned and mistreated animals as we can.”
Since then the centre has grown steadily.
Carol and her team of helpers have now cared for more than 100 neglected animals.
The rescue is run solely on support from sponsors and donations and is always in need of help.
Apart from monetary donations, food and old tack as well as wood and materials to build more stables and shelters are needed.