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Birmingham Assisted Therapy's blog

Crazy little thing called love

Have you ever walked into a shop and looked at a pair of shoes and thought “I like those” and you then look at the price tag and think “no that’s too much”?

I do, quite regularly and my husband will always say “oh just buy them if you want them” but still you walk out of the shop empty handed.

You may be thinking what my point is. Well, look down at the pair of wellies or yard boots you are a wearing and tell me how much they cost... thought as much.

Amber provides some cover from the rain

Overcoming barriers to learning

Drive down a winding country lane in rural Warwickshire and you will find the idyllic setting of Northleigh House School. The school, based in a country house, was established in 2012 for children who cannot study in a mainstream setting. Those who have experienced bullying, anxiety or have been unable to cope in larger school settings can learn in this safe, calm and creative environment. The staff at Northleigh are dedicated to encouraging learning and development in their students in as many ways as possible – including meeting two of Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham’s fantastic donkeys!

Staff and students pulling silly faces with Jimmy and Skittles.

Spicing things up

One of the fundamental aims of any animal charity will be upholding the ‘5 freedoms’; these are the 5 aspects of animal welfare that determine how animals should be treated. These are: Freedom from hunger and thirst; Freedom from pain, injury or disease; Freedom from discomfort; Freedom from fear and distress and lastly, Freedom to express natural behaviour. It is the last of these, for species to be able to display behaviours that they would in the wild, that has got staff at the Sanctuary in Birmingham thinking of new ways to encourage natural behaviours in their 21 lovely donkeys.

Zebedee smelling the paprika

Amber's animal hero

When Amber and her twin sister, Hope, were born 26 weeks premature, Amber was rushed to hospital for an emergency tracheostomy. Their parents, Julian and Tracy, were given the devastating news that Amber was unlikely to ever walk or talk, followed by a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.


The science behind the smile

One of the jobs of the staff at our farms and Donkey Assisted Therapy centres is that of informing and entertaining the public with stories and photographs of the lovely donkeys in our care. Here at the Birmingham centre we have Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages where people can enjoy the anecdotes and pictures of the day-to-day lives of our donkeys. For those who don’t have social media accounts, we print off as many pictures as we can to display around our centre.


The magic of the donkey comes to life

Life can be hard enough for a young boy journeying towards being a teenager but being diagnosed with autism can be especially difficult. Mahkai was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, an aspect of autism that means he finds socialising and following instructions difficult. Things grew harder for Mahkai and mom Marlica when they realised that his school was not able to support Mahkai’s emotional needs – reluctantly Marlica withdrew her son from school, hoping to find ways to build Mahkai’s self-esteem and tackle his increasing withdrawal from social situations.

Mahkai donkey interaction


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