The feature of The Donkey Sanctuary’s work which I’ve always found the most inspiring is their work with working equids, improving the lives of those dependent upon them financially, and giving a quality of life and security of health to these hard-working “beasts of burden”. In Spain, I have had the pleasure of exploring another side of their work; sanctuary work. Dona Rosa is the larger of the two Sanctuaries in Spain. Whilst it is always difficult to hear stories of abuse, I am astounded once more by the work of The Donkey Sanctuary in alleviating suffering in animals.
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Most tourists visit Bahir Dar for its setting on the southern shores of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia and the source of the Blue Nile, and because the town makes for a convenient base to explore the monasteries and churches on the lake’s islands and shores. I’ve chosen instead to spend a few days observing the incredible work of The Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia (DSE).
Growing up in Ireland, the image conjured when someone says ‘donkey’ is, like the majority of the population, that of a sweet, soggy donkey in a field of luscious grass, who has evidently enjoyed one-too-many carrots in their time. Here, the donkeys I met were lean, with hard feet and no real abscess problem to speak of.
Last Wednesday, 16 trainee RSPCA Inspectors visited The Donkey Sanctuary for a day of donkey care, behaviour, and welfare-related training. This is currently the only day that Inspectors receive during their training which is entirely dedicated to donkeys so it’s vital that we maximise this opportunity to help raise their awareness of the needs of donkeys, to inform them of our work here at the Sanctuary, and to let them know that we are always here to help.
On the 30th anniversary of the story of a donkey who changed Fleet Street, we've been sent an eyewitness account of the day that the press went to war over who could claim the rescue of Blackie Star from a Spanish Festival.
Memories of a day when reporters and photographers mingled with heavy-duty bodyguards and the dockyard echoed to the tune of scuffles, broken ribs, cameras crashing onto the concrete and quite a bit of shouting!
My name is Paula and I've worked within the charity for over 8 years now and I love it. I’ve always been an animal lover and adore donkeys and mules. I’m always telling my family stories of what we’re up to at the Sanctuary, and with the recent focus on ‘animals at war’, particularly the role of the mule, I was surprised to hear that my Grandad had his own story to tell.
Grandad, Norman Aldridge, is from Plymouth and in 1950 carried out National Service in Eritrea, East Africa. Now at the age of 85, he talks about his time out on patrol and the mules that accompanied them.