Today’s Guardian newspaper reports that the British public has given more to a ‘Devon donkey sanctuary’ than to prominent charities combating violence and abuse against women in the article titled “Charity should begin with worthiness league table, says philanthropy adviser” by Robert Booth.
The Donkey Sanctuary feels that the broadness and scope of its work worldwide is not well represented by this report and is concerned about the negative impact that such misconceptions can have on public perception of its cause and their consequent willingness to give their support.
The charity, based near Sidmouth in Devon, is the largest of its kind in the world and protects and promotes the welfare of donkeys and mules worldwide. The scale of its work is wide and far reaching; from rescuing donkeys throughout the UK, Ireland and Mainland Europe, to its work to alleviate the suffering of working donkeys that are relied upon by some of the world’s poorest individuals and communities all over the developing world.
Senior public relations officer Dawn Vincent, who has worked at The Donkey Sanctuary for more than 14 years, says: “Making a judgement about the worthiness of any charity is surely a personal decision, and the British public are free to make their own choices about who they wish to support.
I believe that The Donkey Sanctuary has a unique transparency and dedication; we have a clear mission that we and our supporters believe in and we use their donations effectively and responsibly.”
Dawn, who is also the granddaughter of Sanctuary founder Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE, continues: “We are not merely a Devon donkey sanctuary with just a few hundred donkeys to care for. We are reaching out to millions of these humble creatures worldwide and have been for the past 40 years. Our work makes a huge difference to both the donkeys we care for and the communities that depend on them worldwide. Visit our Sanctuary or website, or pick up the phone, we’d love to show you what we really do, Robert Booth included.”
The Donkey Sanctuary’s work includes:
- Caring for 5,000 donkeys and mules at its Sanctuaries, holding bases and foster homes in the UK, Ireland and Mainland Europe.
- Providing more than 400,000 treatments each year to alleviate the suffering of sick or injured donkeys through veterinary work and education in India, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Mexico.
- Working in 28 countries worldwide.
- Being a worldwide centre of excellence for donkey and mule care.
The Donkey Sanctuary, which has provided a sanctuary for life to over 14,500 donkeys and mules since 1969, strongly believes that supporters have the right to see how their donations are spent so its main headquarters and intake centre in Sidmouth is therefore open freely to the public 365 days of the year, as are its Sanctuaries in Cyprus, Ireland, Italy and Spain.