As a loyal and valued supporter, your generosity through 2021 has positively impacted the lives of many donkeys and mules. Rediscover some of this year's most heart-warming stories.

Marian and Max the donkeys standing together

Heartache leads to true friendship for Max and Marian

Max, a 24-year-old male donkey, was left forlorn and lonely after the friend he had lived with for many years sadly passed away due to colic. Our teams stepped in and introduced him to Marian, a 20-year-old mare, and the pair have since become inseparable.

Find out more about Max and Marian's story

Rolo's eye being inspected by Jamie Forrest and Polly Vogel

Rolo recovers from eye ulcer

Rolo, the mule, is a much-loved member of the herd at Shelter 3 at our Sidmouth Visitor Centre in Devon. After being alerted to Rolo's inflamed eyes, our Veterinary Department diagnosed him with a corneal ulcer and started treatment to help him recover.

Find out more about Rolo's treatment

Lisa Coles with Abbie's foal

Quick-thinking groom helps to deliver donkey’s foal

When groom Lisa Coles checked in on Abbie, a pregnant mare in labour, she quickly realised that one of the foal's front legs had become stuck. Thinking on her feet, Lisa freed the foal's leg and helped Abbie deliver her baby safely.

Find out more about Lisa's quick-thinking intervention

Faith and Lily the donkeys looking over their barn door

Lily's remarkable recovery

Following a call from a concerned member of the public, eleven-year-old Lily was discovered living in a field overweight and struggling to walk due to severe lameness. A year on, Lily is thriving with new companions at our Paccombe Farm and has bonded with a miniature donkey named Faith.

Find out more about Lily's recovery

Judith Crockford with lots of Neddies and a donkey in the background

Talking Neddies with Judith Crockford

Judith Crockford's crocheted donkeys, or 'Neddies', are a huge hit with donkey lovers worldwide. We had a chat with Judith about where she finds the inspiration to make her wonderful creations.

Find out more about what goes into making a Neddy

Donkey in marshland, County Galway.

A new life for a marshland donkey

After hearing reports about an abandoned donkey along a river Corrib in Co. Galway, Ireland, our Irish welfare team investigated. After weeks of building trust with the donkey, he was safely transported to a better life in an environment suited to his welfare needs.

Find out more about the marshland donkey's story

Could you be part of their story?

Meet our adoption donkeys

Sanctuary From Your Sofa: Bringing the story into your living room

It wasn't always possible to come and visit us in 2021, so we made it easier for our donkeys and staff to visit you at home instead and share stories from The Donkey Sanctuary.

We also went behind the scenes at some of our farms that aren't open to the public, sharing stories from the resident donkeys, mules and grooms.

Whether it's your first viewing or you've joined us LIVE for each event, now is the perfect time to sit back, relax and enjoy another virtual day out at the sanctuary from the comfort of your sofa.

Help continue the story