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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.

Seven foals rescued just in time

When we were alerted about a group of donkeys outdoors during a cold snap, we responded to help guarantee their well being.

In January, we received a call from a concerned member of the public about a group of donkeys in Kerry described as ‘underfed and miserable’. With a yellow
weather warning already in place for snow and ice, welfare adviser Ciara O’Kelly responded quickly.

Seven foals brought into our care

Tootsie, our beloved mule

It is with sadness we inform you that our wonderful 56 year old mule, Tootsie has passed away. Tootsie, who came to our sanctuary in 1992 was always a lively character who was first to the trough and took no nonsense from other donkeys and mules. In the past few years, Tootsie lived in our elderly donkey group at Hannigans Farm.

Tootsie the mule

Eddie, back on his hooves

Our vet team worked hard to ensure that Eddie, a donkey with a bleak future received all the treatment he needed to turn his life around.

Late last year, a man requested help with his donkey Eddie who had difficulty standing in his field. The donkey’s hooves were extremely long and misshapen and he was suffering from severe laminitis (a cripplingly painful foot disease).

Eddie's daily massage

Learning to live again

With no access to water or food for some time, Amelia, Romily and Jazz were discovered living alongside the carcasses of two donkeys. Thankfully we were alerted to the plight of these donkeys earlier this year and because of your generosity we were able to respond.

Early this year, welfare adviser Jane Bruce responded to a concern around some donkeys in Co. Antrim. On arrival at a patch of waste ground, Jane was shocked to discover three emaciated donkeys living among the carcasses of two other donkeys.

Amelia

Concrete Islands

When we were snowed in for a week recently I cleared an area on my concrete yard where I could let my donkeys out when the weather improved. The snow has at last gone but we have had plenty of rain of late. My yard is part concreted and part (supposedly) a hard gravel surface. However like so many Guardian homes I have visited in the last few weeks once you step off the concrete you are into sloppy muck area or worse! The photo shows four donkeys being led around my concrete by participants during my most recent Donkey Care Course (10th March).

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