Donkeys can provide their foster owners with endless entertainment and express such love and kindness, magical donkey traits that are so very welcomed in one home in particular that cares for deaf children with additional needs.
The small group of children who live here have not had a great start in life and Henry and Cocoa the donkeys have changed these children's lives by being their best friends and by showing them love and kindness. Henry and Cocoa are very sensitive to the young peoples’ emotions and are always there to supply them with that magical donkey hug. One resident thought that the donkeys looked a little sad one day so decided he would make them toys to cheer them up. All the children got together to research and make the donkeys toys to entertain them. The children are very much tuned in to the donkeys’ needs and Henry and Cocoa have given them a purpose.
The staff here told me that they have never had to ask the young people to go and muck out and feed the donkeys, it is something they all want to do.
Ben Carey-Residential Carer at the home told me: "Since Henry and Cocoa arrived they have brought great joy to the residential home for deaf young people in Somerset. After a period of settling in the staff and young people have worked hard to learn all the various aspects of looking after donkeys and have gone above and beyond to make sure they are happy in their new home. The young people have built relationships with the donkey and are now able to get cuddles and spend time scratching and grooming the donkeys as a way of gaining love and acceptance. The donkeys are very forgiving of strange noises they can make and are always happy to see the young people. It brings me great happiness to see the young people talking to the donkeys and seeing them as friends not pets. My thanks goes out to The Donkey Sanctuary for all they have done for us and I look forward to this working relationship continuing in the future".
Henry and Cocoa are very lucky boys to be getting such nurturing love from these special carers and I’m really proud of this lovely pair of donkeys for providing these young people with such love and kindness.
If you would like to find out more about fostering donkeys, please visit the foster a donkey section.
Alternatively, if you don't have the space or time, have you considered adopting a donkey?