Sapphire came to the sanctuary when a young girl of just 17, who lived at an assistance center for teenagers with issues ranging from family abuse to alcohol and drug problems, had lost interest in her.
This assistance center was buying up ponies, horses, and donkeys, and kept them at local riding schools. The aim was to give the teenagers a chance to have something to focus on and care for, and for them to have daily interaction with the animals.
Sadly, this rarely happens. More often than not, the animal gets a lot of attention at first, but often after just a few weeks, the teenagers lose interest.
The animal is left alone in a stable or small enclosure while center tries to get rid of him or her.
Sapphire found herself in just such a situation, and she only had company once a week. She spent her lonely days in a barren enclosure next to a busy road.
Now Sapphire is safe here at Fields of Freedom, and she enjoys being around other donkeys again for the first time in a very long time.
Sapphire is nearly two years old and she is a real character. She may be one of youngest and smallest of the 14 donkeys at Fields of Freedom, but she is one of the bossiest. Sapphire can often be heard grunting and flicking her heels at any of the other donkeys who might try to nibble at her hay pile or apple treats.