08 April 2011

Donkey awarded for saving sheep from attacking dog

Oscar and Felix. Lucy and Ethel. These are some of history’s greatest pairings.

And now Dotty and Stanley join those ranks, as the two friends proved their amazing bond in an act so heroic, it should prompt anyone who has ever doubted that animals are capable of emotional connections to reconsider that view.

Stanley the sheep was being viciously attacked by a dog when Dotty the donkey came to Stanley’s aid, pinning the dog down until he released Stanley. While Stanley lost two teeth and suffered facial paralysis, he would have been in much more critical condition without Dotty’s intervention.

"Dotty was so brave that day,” said Ann Rogers, 63, who rescued a weak and thin Dotty after finding her tethered to the side of the road, and a needy Stanley after he was orphaned as a newborn lamb. “She saw her friend Stanley in distress and charged down the field to rescue him from the dog's jaws. I am so proud of Dotty and so pleased that her bravery is being recognized by PDSA."

Dotty and Stanley have spent the past two years by each other’s side on Rogers’ Row Brow Farm in Throxenby, England, which they share with other rescues including rabbits, goats, peacocks, and llamas. Not only do Dotty and Stanley share the same field, they sleep in the same stable.

Dotty is now being honored with a Certificate for Animal Bravery from PDSA animal charity, and is pleased to break new ground as the first non-canine recipient.

"Donkeys are very stoical and protective animals, said PDSA senior vet Elaine Pendlebury. “Often when faced with a threat they will rise up to face their enemy, in this case an aggressive dog. Dotty showed herself to be a true protector of the animals she sees as her family and her bravery saved Stanley from further harm, and possibly death."

Jaya Bhumitra | Facebook
Jaya is the Los Angeles Outreach Director for nonprofit farmed animal protection organization Compassion Over Killing (COK). To learn more about COK events, campaigns, and volunteer opportunities, sign up for the eNewsletter or find COK on Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/hddod