Brave donkey honoured for saving sheep from dog attack

Dotty the donkey with Stanley the sheep and owner Ann Rogers
Dotty the donkey with Stanley the sheep and owner Ann Rogers
 Dotty the donkey from Scarborough has received a coveted bravery award for galloping in to save her friend Stanley, the sheep, from being savaged by a dog.   

The presentation of the PDSA Certificate for Animal Bravery took place on the farm in Throxenby today (Tuesday 5 April) where Dotty and Stanley were accompanied by their owner Ann Rogers (63) who was delighted with the award. She said: “Dotty was so brave on the day of the attack. 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 has been recognised by PDSA.” 

Presenting the PDSA Certificate for Animal Bravery, PDSA Trustee John Murphy said: “When Dotty was faced with her moment of truth, her ultimate test of character, this brave rescue donkey did not shy away.  And even if she felt fear, she did not show it for a second.

“We are not sure how donkeys think. But we know Dotty saw her friend Stanley, the sheep, being viciously attacked by a dog and was compelled to gallop to his rescue. Dotty saved her friend with, it seemed, no thought of the obvious danger to herself.  Today, it is PDSA’s turn to recognise Dotty for her bravery and her overwhelming need to protect her friend.”
Brave Dotty’s deed took place on 18 April 2009 when a dog being walked close to the animals’ paddock launched a frenzied attack on defenceless Stanley. Seeing the sheep’s plight, the heroic donkey intervened and pinned the dog to the ground until it let go of Stanley. As a result of the attack, the terrified sheep lost two teeth and suffered facial paralysis. Nearly two years on, Stanley is now fully recovered and never far from his rescuer – even sharing the same stable at night.

Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, says Dotty’s behaviour was outstanding: “Donkeys are very stoical and protective animals.  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.”

Ann Rogers rescued Dotty three years ago when she saw the skinny and frail donkey tethered on the side of the road. She is stable mate to Stanley (five years old) who was orphaned as a newborn lamb.  They share the fields around Row Brow Farm with a menagerie of pets and rescued animals including rabbits, goats, peacocks and llamas. Since the attack on Stanley, Dotty, who is the only donkey on the farm, has remained very protective of her ‘family’ especially around dogs.

The PDSA Certificate for Animal Bravery was instituted in 2001and Dotty is the tenth recipient alongside nine dogs. Each story is a unique account of inspiring bravery.
For more details about the PDSA Awards programme including the PDSA Dickin Medal, PDSA Gold Medal and Certificate for Animal Bravery and Devotion recipients go to www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards
 

05/04/2011

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