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The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland 2020 Calendar

The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland 2020 Calendar is now available. It's filled with pictures of donkeys from our farms around Liscarroll. We can send calendars anywhere in the world, simply click on the button below to order your calendar now. Price includes post and packaging.
Note: If you would like to order more than three calendars, please contact us on 00 353 22 48398 or to arrange delivery.

Donkeys return to the fields in April

Young donkey found abandoned at horse fair

Last week Chief Veterinary Advisor, Joe Collins and Donkey Welfare Adviser, Ciara O’Kelly attended Tallow Horse Fair on behalf of The Donkey Sanctuary. Ciara quickly located a thin, young donkey that Gardaí at the fair were concerned for. The donkey was abandoned, tied to a pole with no owner in sight. Ciara knew instantly that he needed our help. Meanwhile, members of the public and other welfare groups also voiced concern for the donkey.

Walshie was found alone and tied to a pole

Helping a solitary donkey called Dylan

Earlier this year the owners of a donkey named Dylan reached out to us for help as they were having difficulty handling and managing him. Welfare adviser Ciara O’Kelly responded and found that Dylan had lived as a solitary donkey for the past three years. Dylan had developed behavioural habits commonly seen when young male donkeys are kept without a suitable companion. Ciara recognised that Dylan would benefit from donkey company and appropriate human interaction and recommended that he come into our care.

Dylan with Eugene

How Donkeys Differ - they are not small horses with big ears!

Although donkeys share ancestral origins with horses, they have evolved differently over millions of years and are different. Domestication has done little yet to dull their natural instincts. Dullness (in the sense of apparent despondency) in donkeys is as serious as colic or long-bone fracture in horses: the dull donkey may already be suffering (but hiding) a terminal illness. We sometimes mistake 'stoicism' for indifference. The ‘stoic’ donkey will often mask severe signs of disease – it is not that he is not suffering. It is more that he doesn’t wish to show weakness to the world, as the latter is not a good survival strategy in the wild.

Chief Veterinary Adviser, Joe Collins

Indiscriminate breeding and the DWIS castration programme

The Donkey Sanctuary remains at the forefront of donkey welfare issues, promoting responsible ownership, health care and addressing the over production of donkeys in Ireland. We identified a worrying trend from the beginning of 2019 of unwanted donkey foals of which 12 alone this year have been relinquished into our care.

Baxter the foal was rescued after he was tied to a skip and abandoned

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

Janus' Story

On an ordinary day in January, welfare adviser Ian Colton received an urgent call about a donkey that needed our help. Shortly afterwards, the donkey we called Janus came into our care. This is his story.

Janus found it difficult and painful to stand due to the length of his hooves.

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

A new home for Shimna

Shimna was rehomed as a single donkey to Julie in Monahan who already had a donkey called Liam. Liam’s previous donkey companion sadly passed away and thankfully The Donkey Sanctuary was in a position to swiftly identify a new friend.


Faith, Hope and Charity find their forever home with ‘Lord of The Dance’

Just before Christmas 2017, The Donkey Sanctuary highlighted the plight of three abandoned mares named Faith, Hope and Charity to the general public. The plight of the donkeys received widespread coverage in the Belfast Telegraph newspaper and UTV (Ulster Television). The publicity attracted a lot of support and interest from the general public both keen to support our work and expressing an interest in our rehoming scheme.

Faith, Hope and Charity

Hold a Coffee Morning Fundraiser

Hold a Coffee Morning for The Donkey Sanctuary to help raise much needed funds to help us look after our wonderful donkeys. Since we opened our gates 31 years ago we have loved and cared for over 5,600 donkeys. Right now, we are at capacity with 1800 donkeys in our care. Thanks to your ongoing generosity we can continue to look after them all.

Beautiful Bella

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).

Donkey Hoof Care

This year to date 67 donkeys in need have been taken in by The Donkey Sanctuary in Cork.

Many of these donkeys struggled to walk due to pain caused by overgrown hooves. Neeson is one such donkey who came to us in February from Kerry. As the pictures show, Neeson had painfully long hooves which made it difficult to walk. The structure of a donkey’s hooves can be altered when they are overgrown which can lead to incorrect balance and subsequently tendon and joint problems.

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A new home for Shimna

After a long day on the road I opened my emails and found myself simply smiling at the wonderful photos that new Guardian carer Julie sent through of Shimna in his new home in Monaghan.

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