You are here

Latest news

Visiting Foley and Fergus

In September we visited donkeys Foley and Fergus who were rehomed in 2016 to the 'Garden Project' at the Central Mental Hospital. The Garden Project comprises beautifully tended gardens, polytunnels, animal enclosures and paddocks at the 30 acre hospital site in Dundrum.

Foley and Fergus have settled well into their new home

Caring for Parsley

In 2019 a group of 14 donkeys from County Cork came into our care. Parsley was one of the youngest donkeys in this group. Unused to being handled, he was nervous and frightened. Parsley was thin and his lice infested coat was dirty and matted. Our Veterinary Team gently clipped his coat and cared for him with tenderness and love.

Over time, the young donkey settled and began to trust our grooms in New Arrivals. Parsley now lives in the Buffalo Shed Group on Hannigans Farm with his friend BeeBee and some other young donkeys.

Parsley settled in New Arrivals

The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland 2020 Calendar

The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland 2020 Calendar is still 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.

2020 Calendar

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

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 32 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.

Roisin and 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).