We need your help
Abandoned and alone
Poor James was found abandoned in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. He had painfully long, twisted and cracked hooves but thankfully we were able to rescue him.
Our farrier trimmed hooves trimmed allowing him to walk more easily and it took several more visits before James regained an ideal walking posture. James gained in confidence and while in our care, formed a loving bond with a donkey called Bobby. Sadly, after more than a year in the Sanctuary’s happy and peaceful surroundings, James died from liver damage.
On the road to recovery
Laurel and Hardy were rescued from years of neglect. They were severely malnourished and in great discomfort with painfully long feet and matted, lice-infested coats.
They were brought to our holding base in Derbyshire where they were nursed back to health with the tireless help of our grooms, vets, farrier and dentist. They now live at our main Sanctuary in Devon where they are guaranteed a safe and happy future.
Abandoned and dumped
Cold, wet and hungry, April and three other female donkeys had been abandoned - dumped in a stranger’s field and left to fend for themselves.
It was a heartbreaking scene. April’s hooves were so badly disfigured that bits of hoof had broken off and she was left to pull herself along on three feet; the pain must have been excruciating. At only four years old, April was emotionally and physically exhausted, hanging her head in utter misery. Her donkey companions, Easter, Scarlet and young foal Mulberry, were also suffering with poor feet and neglected teeth and were unusually quiet and nervous.
They desperately needed a lifeline and thankfully, with the help of kind supporters like you, we were able to provide one for them.
Safe in our care
As soon as she was safe in our care, April was given an urgent health check by the vet, who immediately prescribed pain killers to provide instant comfort. April’s hooves were x-rayed to determine the severity of their neglect and the level of expert treatment needed to make them better. Finally, back in the safety of our sanctuary, a deep straw bed was made up for her to make her feel as comfortable as possible, taking the pressure off her hooves and helping her to settle into her new surroundings.
We still need your support to rescue more donkeys like April and her friends from neglect and abandonment. This year alone over 540 donkeys have arrived at our door, many needing urgent, life-saving care and compassion. And further afield, in 27 countries overseas, our expert teams continue to reach over one million hard-working donkeys every year, alleviating the suffering of sick and injured donkeys and offering these animals and their families hope for the future.
How you can help us
Here at The Donkey Sanctuary we give life-long care and love to donkeys that have nowhere left to turn.
- Donating £5 today can rescue abandoned and neglected donkeys just like Laurel and Hardy from terrible conditions by helping to keep our emergency rescue vehicles on the road.
- Donating £16 today can give two abandoned donkeys the nutrition they need to start their recovery to good health. Many of the donkeys we rescue are malnourished and underweight and need a carefully managed diet to help them build up their strength and set them on the road to recovery.
- Donating £30 today can give an abandoned donkey relief from painful hooves. Donkeys’ hooves need to be checked and trimmed regularly by the farrier to ensure they are in good condition and free from pain.
- Donating £40 today can provide rescued donkeys with comfort from painful teeth. Many abandoned donkeys suffer with poor teeth, making it difficult for them to eat and stay healthy. A visit to the equine dentist can turn their lives around, enabling them to eat in comfort.
- The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen. Sadly, she passed away in 2011 but her memory lives on in our work, as does her eternal motto that, in everything we do, donkeys will always come first, second and third.
- The Donkey Sanctuary’s vision is a world where donkeys live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued.
- There is estimated to be 50 million donkeys in the world. By 2018 we aim to double our reach to two million donkeys in 40 countries.
- Our aims include: never to turn away from donkey and mules in need and to provide lifelong care for them in the UK and Ireland; to reduce the suffering of domestic and working donkeys due to neglect, ill-treatment, illness, ignorance and injury; and to improve the lives of both donkeys and people through positive human donkey interactions.
- We currently work in 34 countries worldwide through major projects and collaborations. These projects mean we were in reach of 1.6million donkeys, and we directly treated almost a quarter of a million donkeys and mules in 2015.
- Since commencement of the charity in 1969 over 18,800 donkeys and mules have been provided with a sanctuary for life. 6,600 donkeys and mules are currently in our care at our sanctuaries, holding bases and through our Rehoming Scheme in the UK, Ireland and Europe. This includes the 960 donkeys and mules we rescued in 2015.
- We seek to analyse, understand and respond to emerging donkey welfare problems and to advocate on behalf of donkeys and bring their welfare issues to the forefront - at local, national and international levels.
- In our efforts to reach the world’s population of donkeys and mules, we work hard to impart our knowledge on the care and welfare of donkeys through training and education programmes.
- The Donkey Sanctuary is a registered charity and we rely entirely on donations and legacy gifts to fulfil our worldwide work with donkeys and mules. You can help the Sanctuary today by donating, fundraising, volunteering, adopting and rehoming.
- Our Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon, is our international headquarters and is open to the public 365 days a year.