Who survived against the odds, thanks to our love and care
Spring is in the air for two lucky donkeys
Safe in our care
This spring, donkeys like Zena and Baxter, both born in 2009, have a bright future, safe in our care, with all the love and attention they deserve for the rest of their lives. Thanks to your support, The Donkey Sanctuary gave newborn Zena the specialist treatment she needed to save her life, and rescued Baxter from an uncertain future.
In 2014 many pregnant mares arrived at our door, rescued from appalling conditions, and a record 14 foals were born into our care. We have a non-breeding policy but we never turn away a donkey in need and our beautiful mothers and foals are guaranteed a safe and loving home for the rest of their lives.
You may recall reading about Zena who was born prematurely early one morning and found curled up in the corner of a stable, lying motionless in the straw. Her doting mother, Flora, was watching over her as she lay quietly, too weak to move. Poor Zena couldn’t stand and wasn’t even strong enough to feed. Without urgent, life-saving treatment from our expert team, she would have died.
The early hours of Zena’s life were crucial and our teams, led by our vet, Elena Barrio, worked around the clock to save her. They carefully and meticulously fed her by bottle to build her strength and they bandaged her legs to give them support. They gently encouraged her to feed from her mother by holding her up on wobbly legs and, with time, she learnt what to do and began to suckle.
Vet Elena diagnosed a potentially fatal condition found in new-born foals, which restricts movement in their joints. Luckily, we reached her just in time and our team carried out several blood tests and x-rays to diagnose the severity of the problem. We gave Zena regular physiotherapy to extend and strengthen her legs and, thanks to the total devotion and expertise of our team, she slowly improved, becoming stronger day by day.
Thankfully, little Zena continued to make remarkable progress and now nearly six years later, she is the picture of health and a delightful character, full of fun.
She is often seen charging around the field at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth with her friend Mr Khan - a total joy to watch given her fragile start in life.
Frightened and alone
And what of Baxter the foal? Just before Christmas, as festive celebrations were underway, we rescued another little donkey whom we named Baxter. At just five months old, he had been separated from his mum and dumped at a horse fair in Ireland. Frightened and alone, he had been left fighting for his life. Fortunately, we reached him in time and gave
him the love and kindness he urgently needed. Now safe in our care at our Sanctuary in Ireland, he is on the way to recovering from his traumatic ordeal.
And this is all thanks to our many supporters just like you! Your support allows us to continue creating these happy endings for donkeys like Zena and Baxter.
However, we still need your help to give more desperate donkeys all the love and kindness they deserve for the rest of their lives. Please help us again today so that our team of experts will be able to give more donkeys the exceptional, life-saving care they need.
Every donation you feel able to give, no matter how small, will be gratefully received and will make a difference.
You can choose to give a regular gift, which allows us to plan for the future, or to give a single donation. To donate today, please telephone us on 01395 579128.
Thank you for caring. The donkeys we help owe so much to your kindness.
Help us reach more donkeys
Sadly, their story is not an isolated one and the recent, widespread economic pressures continue to impact on the number of homeless and abandoned donkeys arriving at our farms. The Donkey Sanctuary receives no government aid and is entirely dependent upon the generosity of our supporters to give donkeys in distress a new life, free from pain and suffering.
Over 15,500 donkeys have been taken into our care here in the UK since The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen. In overseas countries, we help hundreds of thousands of working donkeys every year who endure gruelling, physical labour carrying heavy loads. The Donkey Sanctuary gives them relief from harness sores, overgrown hooves and other painful conditions through expert veterinary care.
Please help The Donkey Sanctuary today. A regular gift by Direct Debit will help us to plan for the future and have essential, life-saving resources available when we need them most; alternatively, you might prefer to make a single online donation.
if you prefer to make a donation by telephone, please call +44 (0) 1395 579128 during office hours (Monday to Friday, 8.30am - 4.30pm).
Thank you - your support will help to give abandoned and rescued donkeys the chance of a future, free from pain and cruelty.
How you can help us
Here at The Donkey Sanctuary we give life-long care and love to donkeys that have nowhere left to turn.
- Donating £3 today can cover the cost of looking after one rescued donkey at our Sanctuary in Sidmouth for half a day.
- Donating £5 today can rescue abandoned and neglected donkeys from terrible conditions by helping to keep our emergency rescue vehicles on the road.
- Donating £16 today can give two abandoned donkeys the nutrition they need to start their recovery to good health. Many of the donkeys we rescue are malnourished and underweight and need a carefully managed diet to help them build up their strength and set them on the road to recovery.
- Donating £20today can pay for one visit from the farrier to trim long and painful hooves and treat uncomfortable foot conditions.
- Donating £30 today can give an abandoned donkey relief from painful hooves. Donkeys’ hooves need to be checked and trimmed regularly by the farrier to ensure they are in good condition and free from pain.
- Donating £40 today can provide rescued donkeys with comfort from painful teeth. Many abandoned donkeys suffer with poor teeth, making it difficult for them to eat and stay healthy. A visit to the equine dentist can turn their lives around, enabling them to eat in comfort.
- Donating £50 today can stock our medical supplies for one day to treat sick and injured donkeys overseas.
- The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen. Sadly, she passed away in 2011 but her memory lives on in our work, as does her eternal motto that, in everything we do, donkeys will always come first, second and third.
- The Donkey Sanctuary’s vision is a world where donkeys live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued.
- There is estimated to be 50 million donkeys in the world. By 2018 we aim to double our reach to two million donkeys in 40 countries.
- Our aims include: never to turn away from donkey and mules in need and to provide lifelong care for them in the UK and Ireland; to reduce the suffering of domestic and working donkeys due to neglect, ill-treatment, illness, ignorance and injury; and to improve the lives of both donkeys and people through positive human donkey interactions.
- We currently work in 34 countries worldwide through major projects and collaborations. These projects mean we were in reach of 1.6million donkeys, and we directly treated almost a quarter of a million donkeys and mules in 2015.
- Since commencement of the charity in 1969 over 18,800 donkeys and mules have been provided with a sanctuary for life. 6,600 donkeys and mules are currently in our care at our sanctuaries, holding bases and through our Rehoming Scheme in the UK, Ireland and Europe. This includes the 960 donkeys and mules we rescued in 2015.
- We seek to analyse, understand and respond to emerging donkey welfare problems and to advocate on behalf of donkeys and bring their welfare issues to the forefront - at local, national and international levels.
- In our efforts to reach the world’s population of donkeys and mules, we work hard to impart our knowledge on the care and welfare of donkeys through training and education programmes.
- The Donkey Sanctuary is a registered charity and we rely entirely on donations and legacy gifts to fulfil our worldwide work with donkeys and mules. You can help the Sanctuary today by donating, fundraising, volunteering, adopting and rehoming.
- Our Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon, is our international headquarters and is open to the public 365 days a year.