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Rehoming scheme

The Wearnes

Jo Cordell

The Snelsons


Don't have the space to rehome?
Find out more...

Have you got what it takes?

Donkeys are very sociable animals and make fantastic companions. In return, they need your time, love and attention.

Your own life will be transformed too - the joy and fulfilment of living with donkeys is hard to beat.

Join a community of Donkey Guardians in the UK and embrace new challenges and adventures.

Play a valued role in the work of The Donkey Sanctuary - we have over 6,000 rescued donkeys in our care.

Donkey Guardians are essential to us, they help free-up vital space on our farms and provide dedicated care to our donkeys.

As a Donkey Guardian you’ll earn our unending gratitude - and complete support.

Apply online today

Guardian checklist

There are a few things that all Donkey Guardians should have before they can rehome a pair of donkeys. Don’t worry if you don’t have all this in place yet - we’ll support you every step of the way.

  • Approximately one acre of safe land for a pair of donkeys.
  • An area of hard standing to help protect your donkey’s feet.
  • Access to shelter or a stable to protect your donkeys from the elements.
  • Robust fencing to stop your donkeys from escaping.
  • Time and commitment to allow your donkeys to become a big part of your life.
  • Provide for their daily needs, including food and bedding.
  • The means to cover routine health care, including dental, farriery and other veterinary costs, for your donkeys.
  • A big heart to give your donkeys all the love and attention they deserve!

Frequently asked questions

My horse is looking for a friend. Can you help?

Because donkeys form such strong bonds we would not recommend keeping them with horses as they can get very upset if the horse goes out riding without them. If you already have horses you can still rehome donkeys, but please house them separately to keep them all happy.

I have a lonely donkey. Should I get another one?

Yes, because donkeys prefer companions of their own species. We'll do our best to provide a single donkey as a companion to your own, after we've discussed all the details with you.

I don't have a stable. Is this a problem?

Donkeys don't have waterproof coats like horses and they need shade from the sun. For these reasons, they always need access to a shelter or stable.

How much does it cost to keep a donkey?

Your donkeys will be delivered to your door free of charge. As a general guide, keeping a pair of donkeys costs around £1,400 a year. Unexpected vet bills can be expensive, so it's also worth having equine insurance or a contingency fund to cover any additional costs.

How much time do I need to commit?

Keeping donkeys is a lifestyle choice. They are sociable animals and will thrive on as much attention as you can give them. As a minimum, you should visit them twice daily to pick out feet, groom, muck out and check that all is well.

What type of home are you looking for?

Every donkey that we provide sanctuary to is guaranteed a life of expert care and attention. Therefore, we rehome donkeys where we know they will be loved and cared for by our Donkey Guardians. This includes all types of homes, from private residences to inner-city farms, nursing homes and schools. The donkeys not only transform the lives of our Donkey Guardians, but all the people that surround them.

How much space does a donkey need?

A pair of donkeys need about one acre of land, and an area of hard standing.

How long do donkeys live?

Donkeys in the UK live, on average, live into their late twenties, though it is not uncommon for donkeys to live into their forties.