An abandoned donkey which was rescued by Mid Ulster District Council in Castledawson has been re-homed after the local authority secured a court order today under the animal welfare legislation.
Local people had mounted a campaign on social media over the summer to help rescue the donkey which they named 'Bella'.
Some villagers had taken pity on the animal and were cleaning and feeding it for a few months.
Magherafelt Magistrates Court heard that the donkey was found on lands to the rear of Main Street, Castledawson.
A solicitor for Mid Ulster Council said they had been unable to identify the owner and acknowledged the role played by members of the community in helping the animal.
The court heard the alleged owner denied ever having a donkey and was given a form which was never filled in and returned to the council.
District Judge Oonagh Mullan granted the order which will enable 'Bella' to be re-homed at a Donkey Sanctuary.