It's the first visit to the Sanctuary by Véronique Crombé and her friend Marie-Christine Duflos n a week's holiday in Devon.
Their first stop was to meet the donkeys on the Main Yard where they spent some time cuddling Ben and Wimble, with an extra cuddle for Jubilee, a 32 year old donkey who has recently lost his best friend.
Both Véronique and Marie-Christine live in Paris, France so were keen to see our Poitou group which they found on Walk C. These gentle giants towered above them as they stood and groomed their coats.
Before enjoying lunch in the Hayloft Restaurant, Véronique and Marie-Christine took another walk around the Sanctuary to see Torrent, the only Poitou stallion here at the Sanctuary. Further round on the walk, they were amazed to see our blind group of donkeys and were delighted when a little donkey, wearing a padded helmet, made his way over to see them. This special group live at Shelter 3 and have familiarised themselves with their surroundings extremely well.
Although this is the first visit for Véronique to the Sanctuary here in Devon, last year she went to see our work in Ireland and is planning a further trip later in the year.
Véronique started adopting animals in 2005, her first being a young seal from a Sanctuary in Scotland which releases injured seals back into the wild. The following year, Véronique heard about our Sanctuary in Ireland so decided to make a visit. She said: "I rushed into the visitors' centre and the first thing I said was ... I want to adopt a donkey!"
Marie-Christine was astonished at how large the Sanctuary was and how well kept the grounds are. She said "People love the donkeys and they are very well cared for. I didn't expect to get close to the donkeys until we went down on to the Main Yard to see them and be with them."