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Donkey Welfare

We provide support, help and advice to anyone involved in caring for or thinking of caring for donkeys and mules. As well as a team based at the main Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon, there is a network of welfare advisers throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe who are there to provide direct help and support to donkeys in need and to donkey owners both from our foster scheme or from private homes and organisations.

We help organise the relinquishment of donkeys and mules into the Sanctuary's care as well as oversee the fostering scheme. We are also the team to help if you see a donkey or mule in trouble.

Advice, help and support on caring for your donkeys is provided by our welfare team by calling 022 49013, Monday-Friday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm (answerphone service outside of these hours).

All calls are strictly confidential.

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Update on Bevan

Bevan who was rescued in pitiful conditions in 2013 by The Donkey Sanctuary has had a long recovery process. He suffered terrible neglect and found it difficult to trust people at first but he gained confidence through his friend Craig. Craig and Bevan are the best of friends and are never apart!

Thank you most sincerely for your continued support and compassion. Without you we would not be able to continue, from everyone at The Donkey Sanctuary we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude.

Craig and Bevan

Happy ending for Colin and Ronnie

Padre Pio Nursing Home in Churchtown, Co. Cork recently fostered two beautiful donkeys Colin and Ronnie. The donkeys' arrival was highly anticipated and they were welcomed by a large committee of senior citizens and staff.

Colin and Ronnie are thrilled to have a home to call their own. They receive a great deal of love and attention from everyone there and have been a great addition. The two donkeys enjoyed their first Christmas in Churchtown where they were greeted by Santa Clause and received treats for being so well behaved!

Colin and Ronnie enjoying their new surroundings

Split hooves and old scars

A donkey with a seriously open wound and painfully overgrown hooves greeted one of our welfare officers when she visited two donkeys in Co. Mayo. Left there in December 2013, Liam and Bartley were in significant pain.

Three year old Bartley had long and split hooves and old scars on his face, while two year old Liam had an open wound on his rear flank.

We sprang into action and calls were made to a vet and farrier to deal with their immediate needs before transferring them both to our Sanctuary.

Bartley and Liam

Protecting the sick and unwanted

Sometimes we have to rescue donkeys despite the love they receive from their owners. On a cold and wet January morning Eugene Butler, our lorry driver, was at a motorway service station in Co. Kildare when he was approached by another truck driver. He was gravely concerned about six donkeys he'd spotted on his journey from Bandon in Co. Cork. With flood waters rising fast, these donkeys were in real trouble.

Ennis and Kayleigh

Animals left out in the cold

Animal welfare groups across Ireland have called for micro-chipping, neutering and vaccinating of pets to become mandatory.

Albert Kleyn, co-founder of the Cork Animal Care Society, explains the importance of these procedures, and says they need become a requirement for pet owners, sooner rather than later. He also said that the recently introduced Protection of Animals Act 2012 is too weak and missed out on the neutering and micro-chipping requirement.

Donkey walkway


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