It is with deep sorrow that international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary, and its sister charity the Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys, today announces the death of its founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE.
Dr Svendsen founded the charity in 1969 out of her deep love and compassion for abused, neglected and abandoned donkeys everywhere, after finding seven donkeys in a terribly poor state crammed in a small pen at Exeter market. She tried to buy the donkey in the worst condition, without success, and from that moment on, decided that she would dedicate her life to saving donkeys in distress.
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Since that day over 40 years ago, through her tireless devotion and endeavour, The Donkey Sanctuary has given over 14,500 donkeys and mules in need lifelong care and love in UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. Dr Svendsen’s passionate leadership also led to the development of the charity’s work overseas, helping donkeys working in desperate conditions in some of the most impoverished communities on the planet.