The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen, MBE, who dedicated her life to championing donkeys. The Donkey Sanctuary is an international animal welfare charity that aims to protect and promote the welfare of donkeys and mules worldwide. It works in thirty-eight countries worldwide through major projects and collaborations and has given more than 18,800 donkeys and mules a home since it was founded.

The Donkey Sanctuary works to relieve donkey suffering directly through the hands-on care of its project teams worldwide. It also trains and advises others to do the same, helping them to build welfare infrastructures. For example, in Ethiopia, The Donkey Sanctuary provides training to para-vets at its project in Alage, giving them new skills that benefit donkeys. In India, it teaches families how to make back protectors for donkeys who carry loads at the brick kilns.

A 2017 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported The Donkey Sanctuary's Palestine project. The Donkey Sanctuary is helping its partner, Palestine Wildlife Society (PWLS) to improve the welfare of donkeys in ten villages in the Bethlehem area of Palestine. The local population is mainly farmers and there is a lack of knowledge of donkeys’ basic needs and welfare. PWLS provides free veterinary treatment and conducts donkey care and welfare education sessions with donkey owners and families during their visits to the villages. Each village is provided with a first aid box and a member of the community is trained to provide ongoing first aid care. Donkeys will benefit in the short term from veterinary treatment and in the longer term by a change in donkey owners’ behavior towards their donkeys, supported by ongoing first aid care by the community.

A 2016 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the Sanctuary's work in India, one of the regions where donkeys suffer from serious welfare issues and work long hours in brick kilns or on building sites. The Sanctuary works to improve donkey welfare in brick kilns. Those donkeys often suffer from overloading, beating, poor food, and painful harnesses.

A 2015 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the Sanctuary's work on the islands of Lamu and Manda in Kenya, where donkeys are used in agriculture and to carry household provisions and building materials. The sanctuary in Lamu provides treatment to donkeys free of charge, including deworming and emergency medical care. The center also provides trainings for donkey users and trainings for owners, with a goal to empower them in donkey care, donkey behavior, and enable them to prevent wounds caused by harness and cart problems using local resources.







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