We want to keep you informed about our response to the coronavirus outbreak. Here are the answers to some of the most common FAQs we receive.
Our Sidmouth sanctuary has now reopened. The remainder of our UK sanctuaries will remain temporarily closed while we continue to focus our efforts on ensuring our resident donkeys receive the highest level of care.
While we are excited to welcome you back, we have introduced new measures to ensure we keep in line with Covid-19 prevention guidelines. A new one-way loop around the sanctuary has been implemented and we are encouraging social distancing when on-site.
We are continuing to monitor the latest government advice regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important to safeguard the health of our visitors, staff and donkeys and this is an overriding factor in our decision making regarding the continued closure of the remainder of our UK sanctuaries. We will never be distracted from our core mission of putting donkeys first, second and third in everything we do.
Frequently asked questions
Can I still call if I am concerned about the welfare of a donkey?
As we adapt to the situation and most recent government guidance we have had to make significant changes to the way we work to keep each other safe and still reach donkeys most in need of our help.
Our welfare office team is now working from home but we are still on hand to provide advice and discuss any donkey welfare concerns you may have.
Our team of Donkey Welfare Advisers will review any welfare concerns reported to us and respond accordingly.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a donkey or mule in England, Scotland or Wales please get in touch.
You can complete our online checklist or alternatively, call our welfare advice line on 01395 578222 Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm to speak to our experienced welfare team.
If your concern is an emergency and falls outside our normal office hours you will be directed to our emergency help line.
Advice for donkey owners and Donkey Guardians
If you are a donkey owner or Donkey Guardian worried about caring for your animals during the Covid-19 outbreak, we are still here for you. Please read our specific guidance on what you can do to help your donkeys and mules if you self-isolate or become unwell.
Visiting our sanctuaries
Do I need to pre-book a visit to your Sidmouth sanctuary?
We have introduced free ticketing between 24 October and 1 November to help us control visitor numbers during the half-term holidays.
You’ll need to choose a 30-minute arrival time between 9.30am – 2.30pm for the day you want to visit. This timeslot is for your arrival time only and you are free to stay until closing time.
How long will your sanctuaries remain closed?
Aside from our Sidmouth sanctuary, the remainder of The Donkey Sanctuary UK sanctuaries (Belfast, Birmingham, Ivybridge, Leeds, Manchester) will remain temporarily closed while we continue to focus our efforts on ensuring our resident donkeys receive the highest level of care by our dedicated grooms who continue to work as normal.
We'll keep you updated with any changes on our website and social media channels.
Will staff still have access to sanctuaries?
Currently, only essential staff (grooms, for example) still have access to our closed sanctuaries. We are welcoming more staff back to work at our Sidmouth sanctuary, and the rest of our workforce is working from home where possible. Our sanctuaries (The Donkey Sanctuary Ivybridge, The Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham, The Donkey Sanctuary Manchester, The Donkey Sanctuary Leeds, and The Donkey Sanctuary Belfast) are closed to visitors and service users.
What is the situation with your sanctuaries in Ireland, Italy and Spain?
What happens to your donkeys while your sanctuaries are closed?
Our resident donkeys will continue to receive the highest level of care by our dedicated grooms who continue to work as normal.
How many donkeys do you have in total at your sanctuaries?
We have 7,000 donkeys and mules in our care across the UK and Europe.
Can people catch coronavirus from donkeys?
There is no evidence that people can catch coronavirus from donkeys.
Can donkeys catch coronavirus from people?
There is no evidence that donkeys can catch coronavirus from people.
Adopt a Donkey
If I adopt a donkey, will I still get my adoption pack in the post?
Yes. Thank you so much for adopting a donkey, you will still receive your adoption pack in the post. We aim to get this to you within 14 days of receiving your order.
Will I still receive updates about my Adoption donkey?
I’ve just renewed my adoption; will I still receive my new portraits?
Yes. Thank you so much for renewing your adoption for another year. We are still able to send you your new portraits. We aim to get these to you within 14 days.
I pay for my adoption by Direct Debit, will I still receive my new portraits on my anniversary?
Yes. Thank you so much for adopting a donkey by Direct Debit. We are still able to send you your new portraits following the anniversary of your adoption. We aim to get these to you within 14 days.
I paid for my adoption with a one off payment, will I still receive a reminder when it’s time to renew my adoption?
Yes. Thank you so much for adopting a donkey. If you paid for your adoption with a one off payment we will send you a reminder to renew when your adoption is due to expire. Don't forget you can always renew your adoption online.
Can I still visit my adopted donkey?
If your adoption donkey lives at our Sidmouth sanctuary then yes you are able to visit your adopted donkey. However, due to Covid-19 our regional sanctuaries in Birmingham, Belfast, Manchester, Leeds and Ivybridge will remain temporarily closed to visitors and service users.
Will you be processing my recent postal donation?
Yes. Postal donations will be processed, however, we have a smaller than usual team onsite, so there may be a delay in the processing.
We kindly ask that you consider donating online for the time being. This will mean that the money reaches us straight away and it will not need to be manually processed.
(Updated: 20/10/20, 16:06 GMT)