This week, the Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary has launched an appeal for new fosterers across the UK to give a home to rescued donkeys.
With the numbers of donkeys being rescued or relinquished to the Sanctuary almost doubling since 2008, the current global economic problems have had a serious effect on the animal charity. The significantly increased intake figures have seen the charity’s seven farms in Devon and Dorset fill to near capacity.
The charity’s foster scheme is not ordinarily promoted due to its overwhelming popularity; however, with numbers of donkeys arriving at the Sanctuary continually rising, the charity wishes to hear from people who would like to offer a home to a pair of donkeys.
Dawn Vincent from the Sanctuary’s press office says: “Taking in more donkeys has an obvious impact on our resources and therefore fostering a pair of donkeys is a great way of directly helping both the animals and the charity.
We foster out donkeys that would benefit from the individual attention a home can provide. It also means we have more time to care for donkeys who are elderly or require expert veterinary care.”
The Sanctuary’s Head of Welfare, Martin Taggart, says: “We are looking for people who are very serious about looking after a pair of our donkeys. They take a great deal of time, money and commitment but we will be on hand to give support and advice to our foster owners. By giving donkeys a loving, caring home we promise you will soon find out what lovely characters they are and superb company to have around!”
The Minimum Fostering Requirements:
- Donkeys in the UK are normally companion animals and bond very closely (but not as companions to other equines). For that reason they are always sent as pairs or small groups.
- At least an acre of grazing
- A stable and field shelter
- Hard standing area
- External perimeter fencing must be permanent, secure and well maintained, in order to safely contain the donkeys at all times.
All prospective foster owners are invited to attend a Donkey Care Induction Day, held throughout the country. Once the application process is completed, and suitable donkeys become available, The Donkey Sanctuary delivers the donkeys to your door free of charge and a Welfare Officer will visit every 3-4 months to check the donkeys and provide any help or support needed. The charity asks all ‘foster homes’ to take on all costs of the donkeys, including feed, farriery and veterinary costs.