A COUNTY woman has welcomed two new additions to her family – donkeys Boris and Henry.
Susan Thomas, who lives in Ivington with her husband Ian, has been unable to forget the donkeys that she encountered on a trip to Santorini aged 18.
Tasked with carrying tourists up a steep hill into the town centre, donkeys on the Greek island have long been the subject of a campaign by the Donkey Sanctuary – which is calling for urgent improvement to animal welfare there.
And for Mrs Thomas, who is originally from London, moving to Herefordshire seven years ago was the perfect opportunity to foster two new four-legged friends.
"It wasn’t until we moved to the county seven years ago and had some land that we thought we could rescue some donkeys," explained Mrs Thomas.
"Ian had brand new stables built just for the donkeys and then we started the process of getting them. The Donkey Sanctuary is very strict and make sure you know what you’re doing before you get them.
"We had to go to donkey school in Wales where we learnt the basics such as how to groom them and how to clean their feet."
After all the preparation, Mrs Thomas finally welcomed three-year-old Boris and seven-year-old Henry from the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon to the family earlier this month.
The sanctuary is an international animal welfare charity and aims to protect donkeys and mules and promote their welfare worldwide.
"I wanted donkeys that needed looking after rather than just buying them," Mrs Thomas said.
"It’s lovely and feels fantastic – I was so excited when they arrived."
But two is enough for now, with the average cost of keeping a donkey around £700 a year.
Boris and Henry join Harvey the dog, five geese, two cats and chickens at their new home in North Herefordshire.