Abused donkey turns out to be a false alarm
A plastic donkey has sparked a false alarm after animal inspectors received reports it was being mistreated.
The neglected mule turned out to be fibreglass owned by a minister which had been previously used in Nativity plays
A concerned member of the public called the Scottish SPCA believing the donkey, which was tied to a fence, was being mistreated.
After receiving a visit from the welfare charity, owner Reverend Georgie Baxendale, who calls it Joshua, saw the funny side.
She said: "This is the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life. I used to have two donkeys and bought Joshua as a reminder.
"He's very eye-catching and has appeared in many nativity plays over the years.
"I think this could have been a joke or maybe the person who reported it just doesn't know donkeys very well as real ones don't stand as still as Joshua!"
Senior Inspector Bill Little said: "The caller stated the donkey was kept in the back garden of a house in Airdrie and tied to a fence without any shelter.
"When I arrived, the owner asked me if I wanted a laugh and when she showed me the ornamental donkey it certainly gave me a chuckle.
"He used to be kept at the side of the house and could be seen by people walking by so it's possible someone called us as a practical joke.”
Although the incident was a false alarm, the Scottish SPCA said it encourages anyone with concerns about an animal to call its helpline on 03000 999 999.