One day, while checking my twitter feed, I noticed an adorable picture of a donkey and decided to follow The Donkey Sanctuary, an organization that “makes the world a better place for donkeys and mules and improves the lives of those who rely on them or come into contact with them from all over the world.”
I started following them and every day feel that warm and fuzzy feeling overtake me when I see their tweets—the photos and their mission just overwhelm me with a sense of hope and joy.
Founded by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE in 1969, The Donkey Sanctuary has given over 15,500 donkeys and mules in need lifelong care in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. I never really thought about it before but we call the donkey, “the beast of burden,” such a terrible nickname for a creature that is so patient and hardworking…and so often taken advantage of.
The Donkey Sanctuary is involved in five key areas:
- Worldwide support – international veterinary care and training to make life better for working donkeys and mules and life-long care to unwanted and unloved donkeys.
- Donkey health and welfare education – teaching owners how to properly care for their donkeys
- Research – facilitating and carrying out non-invasive research to improve the health and welfare of donkeys and mules worldwide.
- Wild sanctuary – exploring ways in which they can combine donkey welfare with improving and protecting habitats for wildlife.
- Donkey Assisted Therapy
I reached out to the sanctuary to find out more about their assisted therapy and Suzy Cretney responded by saying:
We have six UK centres with purpose built donkey assisted therapy plus a number of projects where our donkeys visit key locations to give riding therapy on an outreach basis. I’ve seen children with a wide range of additional needs including autism benefit enormously from the positive physical and emotional effects of donkey assisted therapy.
The therapy sessions are a win-win—emotional and physical benefits for the children and the donkeys love the warmth and affection. Their outreach programs include visits to hospices and residential homes for dementia care.
This short film shows their donkey assisted therapy in Bucharest for one precious little girl. It highlights some of the positive effects and the importance of what their donkeys do. (have tissues nearby).
The Donkey Sanctuary continues to be one of my favorite follows on twitter and after learning more about them, I’m heading over to their website to make a donation as my way of showing donkey love!
Find out more about The Donkey Sanctuary on: