World Donkey Day



It’s World Donkey Day today and a chance to raise awareness of the incredible work donkey charities are doing for these ever-so-gentle animals. 

Donkeys put up with a lot, such as:

  • tourists riding on their backs, especially when they are clearly too heavy,
  • donkeys carrying or pulling very heavy loads in extreme temperatures without shade or water
  • donkeys being killed for their skin
  • being abandoned when their owners no want to care for them anymore
  • helping take vital supplies to villages in mountainous regions, especially after natural disasters such as earthquakes
  • being right in the middle of war zones
  • owners who have little or no knowledge of donkey care – how to look after their donkeys – and no access to veterinary care


The donkeys at Safe Haven for Donkeys stayed in the barn during the heavy rains...
The charity urgently need to raise £50,000 to fund food and veterinary medicines,
as well as our new mobile team treating sick and injured donkeys in Gaza.
Please donate here.

What donkey charities are doing to help donkeys?  Some of the things include:

  • They know that it’s vital to educate owners in donkey and welfare
  • It’s vital to educate tourists about donkey welfare when they are used as taxis
  • Many run veterinary clinics and mobile units so that they can treat as many donkeys as possible
  • They work with local communities including children to raise awareness of the importance of looking after your donkey
  • A number of donkey charities have sanctuaries where donkeys are cared for, for the rest of their lives.  Some of these charities have foster schemes whereby you can adopt a couple of donkeys to come up with you so that you look after the donkeys for the charity.
  • Some look after donkeys at their charity centres and sanctuaries as well as other animals.
  • They are campaigning for donkeys.  For example, as a result of campaigns to end the donkey skin trade, the African Union has opted to ban this trade and export of donkeys which will save 32 million donkeys.  Find out more here  And they work with governments to improve donkey welfare.


What can you do to help?

Please take a look at the donkey charities websites and look at their Get Involved pages, How to Help pages, those pages which show you what you can do to help donkeys.

They all particularly need help with donations and people willing to fundraise for them, so that they can continue their invaluable work helping donkeys.   There are all sorts of ways to help, including knitting for SPANA, joining a local fundraising group for the Brooke, giving two donkeys a home (Donkey Sanctuary’s Donkey Guardian scheme) and donating to appeals. 

It is worth bearing in mind that these charities work in some of the poorest countries in the world where without a healthy donkey, it would be impossible for people to earn a living and therefore feed a family.  And they are often working in very isolated communities, where mobile veterinary help is the only way to get help and education to them.

  • Safe Haven for Donkeys – works to help donkeys on the West Bank.  They have an Emergency Appeal for Gaza
  • The Donkey Sanctuary – has cared for and cares for 15,000 donkeys at several locations in the UK and it also has a subsidiary in Spain called El Refugio del Burrito, not far from Malaga.  They do have a Donkey Guardian scheme, if you’ve got space and a lifestyle to suit donkeys. 
  • SPANA looks after working animals such as donkeys, horses, camels and elephants
  • The Brooke also helps working animals such as donkeys and horses. 
  • Network for Animals work to uplift donkeys, rescuing them from terrible situations, helping to feed and care for abused donkeys, and striving to end their suffering. 
  • NEDDI (the New European Distressed Donkey Initiative) offers care and safety to donkeys in Britain and Europe at risk from neglect, cruelty or mal-treatment.  They are based in Cornwall and in France – as are their donkeys (Questrecques near Boulogne)!
  • Down near Murcia in Spain, there's the Jacobs Ridge Animal Sanctuary (their You Tube videos are very funny) and they have a number of donkeys