A SCARBOROUGH donkey has become the first in the country to receive a special bravery award from an animal charity.
Twelve year old Dotty, who lives at Row Brow Farm, off Lady Edith’s Drive, has been honoured by the PDSA after saving her friend Stanley the sheep from being savaged by a dog.
The incident happened two years ago when owner Ann Rogers, who witnessed the frenzied attack, saw Dotty pin the dog to the ground until it let go of Stanley.
The pair have been inseparable ever since and always share the same stable at night. Stanley suffered facial paralysis and lost two teeth as a result of the attack, but has now made a full recovery.
Mrs Rogers said: “Dotty was so brave on the day of the attack. She saw Stanley in distress and charged down the field to rescue him from the dog’s jaws.
“I’m so proud of Dotty and so pleased that her bravery has been recognised by the PDSA.”
Mrs Rogers, 63, added that she has had Dotty for three years after taking her in as a rescue donkey.
Stanley, who is now five, was orphaned as a newborn lamb and has been raised as a pet sheep on the farm.
On presenting the certificate, PDSA trustee John Murphy said: “When Dotty was faced with her moment of truth, her ultimate test of character, this brave rescue donkey didn’t shy away.
“And even if she felt fear she did not show it for a second.”
He continued: “We are not sure how donkeys think, but we know Dotty saw her friend being viciously attacked by a dog and was compelled to gallop to his rescue.
“Dotty saved her friend with, it seemed, no thought of obvious danger to herself. Today it is the PDSA’s turn to recognise Dotty for her bravery and her overwhelming need to protect her friend.”
Senior PDSA veterinary surgeon Elaine Pendlebury, who also attended the presentation, said Dotty was an “inspiration”.
She said: “Dotty didn’t walk away when somebody was in trouble, which shows that we can learn a lot from animals.
“This award is important because it acknowledges the fact that she did something really exceptional.”
Chris Cundall, of Cundall and Duffy vets in Falsgrave where Stanley was treated, said: “His injuries were quite serious, so it’s really nice to see him fully recovered.”
Dotty is the tenth PDSA bravery award recipient since they began in 2001 and all the other winners have been dogs.