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Valentine's Gift

If you are looking to surprise your loved one with something a little different this Valentine’s Day, adopting a donkey is just what you are looking for!

Our donkeys are all adorable so are guaranteed to make the heart melt; and as our charity relies entirely on donations, the gift you choose will have great meaning as it enables us to protect donkeys from cruelty and neglect and to provide homes for those that are in need of protective care and those that can no longer be cared for by their owners.

For just €20 you could make a real difference and you will also receive:

Sycamore related atypical myopathy - information for donkey owners

Atypical myopathy (AM) is a potentially fatal metabolic disease affecting the muscles. Cases have only been reported in horses so far but donkeys could also be affected. The disease has been reported in the UK, Northern Europe and North America. In Europe it is thought to be caused by a toxin in the 'helicopter' like seeds from the sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) whereas in the USA, seeds from the box elder (Acer negundo) have been implicated.

Helicopter-like seed from a Sycamore tree

Fond farewell to founder of The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland

The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland is celebrating the career of its founder, Paddy Barrett, as he retires following decades of devotion to donkey welfare in Ireland.

Paddy first worked as an animal welfare inspector before taking over his father’s donkey rescue centre which he merged with The Donkey Sanctuary in the UK to found The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland in 1987.

Since then it has rescued over 4,200 donkeys and grown to be the largest equine charity in Ireland.

Paddy Barrett with some of the donkeys he so loves

Rehoming donkeys

We have seen unprecedented levels of donkeys and mules coming in our care. With the recent influx of donkeys we are now reaching full capacity on our farms and are in desperate need for space to create room for more donkeys that are in need of rescue.

Patch and Spikey

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

Goodbye dear friend

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Daisy O. At the grand old age of 53, Daisy was one of our oldest donkey residents and was hugely loved by all who knew her from farm staff to the vets and visitors.

A beautiful white donkey, Daisy will be remembered as being a gentle donkey with a real cheeky streak. She would do anything to secure an extra feed, often standing at the gate braying loudly to make sure our farm staff knew she was hungry and wanted her feed.

Goodbye Daisy

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