A woman who admits to picking up a missing Leduc County donkey says she thought the animal was abandoned.

J. Maxwell found the miniature donkey named Eeyore near a worksite earlier this month. She put the donkey in her vehicle and took it home.

Eeyore

Eeyore was home with his owner Tim Lessing on Tuesday night. (CBC)

“In no way, shape or form was this donkey stolen,” she said. “And in no way shape or form was this donkey on private property.”

The owner of the donkey told the RCMP that Eeyore was stolen. Maxwell says she learned this only after taking it the donkey to the veterinarian.

She called the SPCA who then came out to investigate.

“I did what I felt was right, in the best interest of the donkey,” she said.

Eeyore was returned to owner Tim Lessing on Tuesday but an investigation continues.

“There were some injuries that were of concern,” said SPCA spokesman Roland Lines. “The hooves were a bit overgrown.”

Lessing says Eeyore was well cared for and calls allegations of neglect “preposterous.”

“We look after him just as well as a member of the family,” he said.

Maxwell says she was questioned by the RCMP. The SPCA expects to conclude its investigation this week.