Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys (EST).
We are delighted to provide veterinary care for the donkeys at the Elisabeth Svendsen Centre- our next door neighbours at Filham Park.
Two of our patients here to collect their medicine
EST is a sister charity to The Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth and its mission is to provide riding therapy and the companionship of donkeys for disadvantaged children from local schools. The mission statement for EST can be found on their website www.elisabethsvendsentrust.org.uk
At EST Filham Park there are 16 donkeys. These are relatively young and fit animals as they are used for riding and driving and are drawn from the large community of rescued donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary's other centres.
The Filham Park Centre has a strong and dedicated staff including two senior instructresses and a strong body of grooms and volunteers. The welfare of the donkeys is paramount and feeding and husbandry is meticulous. The donkeys are weighed at our clinic each month and we perform routine visits to monitor their health and to prevent problems from arising. Routine blood and dung samples are analysed and with the help of local farrier David Oxenham we keep their feet in good shape. Donkey's feet are adapted to the hot dry countries of the Middle East and so are prone to Laminitis and other foot related problems when kept in our wet temperate climate.
No effort or expense is spared to ensure that the animals are in tip-top condition. This makes our involvement an enjoyable and special experience.
Donkeys have very different traits and personalities to horses and ponies. They are stoical, patient and, it has to be said, occasionally obstinate. However they are fascinating animals and it is most rewarding to get to know them all personally.
Whilst working donkeys have to endure many hardships and much neglect around the world those at Filham Park have a great life and in turn provide much joy for those around them.