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Blackie Star and the Red Tops

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!

Richard Lappas

Remembering animals in war

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.

Norman with his mule

Mules, mountains and memories

Tewsday Herbert is a Relief Groom for The Donkey Sanctuary. She previously worked on the Sanctuary’s Farm, Town Barton where she specialised in mule behaviour. Earlier this year she spent time at our Sanctuary in Italy, Il Rifugio degli Asinelli, with another colleague Abi.

Mules, mountains and memories

Tewsday with an Italian mule friend

It feels like they have always been with us

A year after Mark and Jill welcomed Rosie and Daisy into their home they wrote an update for The Donkey Sanctuary Welfare Team, and their Donkey Welfare Adviser Sue Field.

If it wasn’t for the wonder of Facebook “reminding” us of the event one year ago when our donkeys arrived we may well have forgotten. The girls have become so much a part of our lives that it feels like they have always been with us.

Rosie and Daisy

Burrito was a complete gentleman

I am fortunate in my role as HR Adviser - Europe to have the opportunity to visit some of the European projects. This is mainly to meet the teams and to ensure that we are legally compliant and all working from the same hymn book when it comes to processes. Recently I visited Cordoba Zoo in Spain where our rescue centre El Refugio del Burrito runs a project providing donkey assisted interactions for children with additional needs. What an amazing experience!

Sue Griffin with Burrito at Cordoba Zoo

A busy team going the extra mile

The Adoptions Supporter Services team deal with the day to day enquiries of The Donkey Sanctuary’s Adoption Donkeys and the supporter adoption maintenance.

With the recent reveal of three new Adoption Donkeys, we got out to spend some one on one time with the new donkeys we will be representing. Having new additions to the Adoption Scheme fills our supporters with great excitement.

Who can blame them really? Our adoption scheme is the perfect way to get your daily dose of donkey capers, and you'll be part of our donkeys' lives forever.

Adoption team with Timothy


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