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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.

Adopt a donkey for your Valentine

Don’t forget ladies and gents that Valentines is only around the corner. Why not be adventurous and extra thoughtful this year by adopting a donkey for a loved one or for yourself.

How does adopting a donkey help?

Your adoption of €20 will last 1 year. By adopting one of these six donkeys, you will be helping us in our work of improving the lives of countless donkeys throughout Ireland.

For this you will receive:

Adopt a donkey for Valentines

Quality Time Volunteer Inspiration

We are indebted to our amazing, inspiring volunteers who make their way to the Sanctuary, as Lynn says below 'come rain, hail or shine!'

We are lucky enough to have a team of amazing ladies and gentlemen that are always willing to help out with the donkeys and assist the farm staff. The volunteers love to groom and spend time with the donkeys and the donkeys love all of the fuss and attention.

QTV Angelique giving special TLC to our older donkeys

Mule education and appreciation

Are we experiencing an increase in mule numbers in Ireland?

Or are we simply reaching more mules in need? Perhaps people are more aware now of the work we do rescuing and rehabilitating these unique animals? Whatever the answer, we can safely say that in the past 29 years on the frontline of equine welfare in Ireland we have never had to deal with so many mules and hinnies as we have in the last year. All shapes, sizes, ages and colours but all with the same need; a safe haven.

Mule Louisianna and Pippa

A big week for blind donkey Bocelli

In January 2015 the Sanctuary received a call from the public regarding three donkeys who had been abandoned illegally in county Louth. The weather was inclement and the donkeys had no feed or shelter so our Welfare team prioritized this case and removed the donkeys from this situation immediately. The Gardaí assisted with the relinquishment of the donkeys and were very helpful. The donkeys began their rehabilitation process in the comfort and warmth of the Sanctuary in Liscarroll.

Eren and Bocelli in July 2015

Edith and Mini look forward to Spring

Donkeys Edith and Mini were taken into the care of The Sanctuary in July 2015. Their owners could no longer care for them and made the responsible decision to contact us and ask for assistance. Our Welfare team sprung into action and before long these two donkeys were settling into life in Liscarroll.

The donkeys were in good condition, they were assessed by our Veterinary team and tests proved that Edith was in foal. A donkeys gestation period can last between 10-14 months and she was not very far gone so we anticipate that she will have her foal in the Spring/Summer months.

Edith and Mini peer out from their cosy home


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