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Sooty shines on Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, The Donkey Sanctuary responded to a request from two churches to attend two services in Belfast.

‘Sooty’ the donkey attended and was greeted with much adoration from the congregation in both parishes. Sooty was on hand to meet and greet everyone in the church hall and then made his way to the altar where he stood quietly as the Palm Sunday observation was read.

Sooty has come a long way since facing euthanasia as an unwanted donkey at an equine pound. It is hoped that having recently joined our re-homing scheme that he will find a loving guardian home.

Sooty surrounded by children on Psalm Sunday

European Commission welcomes clear and simple guidelines to assess welfare of equidae for transport

The European Commission has welcomed the publication of practical guidelines on assessing the fitness for transport of equidae (horses, ponies, donkeys and their hybrids), an essential resource for anyone involved in the transport process, which was produced through a collaboration of agri-food, transport, veterinary organisations and animal welfare groups supported by the European Commission.

Eli Dipsy and Cecil rescued in March 2013

Walkways reopened and treasure hunt underway

The recent dry weather has enabled us to open up the walkways to our visitors. There are restrictions in certain areas but you are free to walk around, meet our donkeys, participate in the treasure hunt, grab a coffee or donkey gift in the Visitor Centre and enjoy a picnic in the picnic area and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

The treasure hunt is just €2 per child and the staff in the Visitor Centre will tell you all you need to know.

When visiting please wear appropriate footwear.

Admission and parking are free but donations are gratefully received.

Our walkings overlooking the donkeys

the interesting life of mule foal Stig

Stig has led quite an interesting life for a one year old Mule! He was found as a stray and taken into the horse pound facility with his miniature Shetland pony mother called Arabella. They made their way into the security of our Sanctuary where Stig was gradually weaned and Arabella was rehomed through the ISPCA.

Stig went on to become best friends with orphan foal Robbie Cub and he is renowned for his cheeky but lovable antics!

Stig and Arabella

Donkey owner receives lifetime ban from owning animals

Mr James Steele from Glenavy was recently found guilty of two charges under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011. The Donkey Sanctuary is now caring for the two remaining donkeys.

These charges related to Mr Steele’s failure to make adequate provision for the welfare of six donkeys and causing unnecessary suffering to the donkeys, which ultimately had to be euthanized.

Mr Steele pleaded guilty to the offences and as a result, the Court ordered he pay costs of £1,059.98 and £166. Mr Steele also received a six months suspended sentence.

The two remaining donkeys

Spellbound's incredible story of survival

A routine trip to a council horse pound facility changed the fortune of this stunning mule.
Abandoned in a field in county Meath, she was picked up by the pound staff and put in with horses in a holding pen.

Donkey Welfare Adviser Cathy arrived to assess two donkeys that the pound manager had requested we take into our care. While Cathy was making friends with Binks, a lovely skewbald mare, and her young son Chewbacca, something bright caught her eye.

Spellbound saved in time

Do you know what a mule is?

Here at The Donkey Sanctuary we are celebrating ‘mules’ and everything about them! A mule is the offspring of a donkey and a horse (strictly, a male donkey and a female horse).

A horse has 64 chromosomes, and a donkey has 62. The mule ends up with 63. Mules can be either male or female, but, because of the odd number of chromosomes, they cannot reproduce (99% of the time).

Dinky the mule.


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