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the donkey sanctuary

by greenrabbitdesigns


As most of you know by now, animals are very close to my heart, they touch a part of me that nothing else can. I support a few animals charities one of which is The Donkey Sanctuary, an organisation which does amazing work to protect these gentle, beautiful creatures.

Up until yesterday we had never visited our local shelter, The Donkey Sanctuary, Belfast, but yesterday morning as the sun was shining my husband decided he would take the day off work and we would pay them a little visit.

What an amazing place, spotlessly clean and tidy with 17 very happy little donkeys. This shelter is very different to most though as they use the rescued donkeys in an assisted therapy centre for children with special needs. They have a fantastic indoor area where the children can ride and interact with the donkeys with quite remarkable results. There are also therapy rooms and play areas for the children to enjoy too.

I think its wonderful that these lovely animals who themselves have had difficult lives before being rescued can help children who have challenges in life too.

The sanctuary can take up to 20 donkeys and those that are suitable for this kind of work are brought to them from the main shelter at Devon. It does break my heart to hear the cruelty that these animals have suffered, one thing that struck me when talking to the amazing lady who runs the shelter is that donkeys can only support 7 stone in weight which rules out most adults, there are quite a lot of them carrying weights a lot heavier than that! Some are left hungry, some are beaten, some left in pain with overgrown hooves, just horrendous cruelty.

Thank goodness there are places like this.

When we arrived the donkeys had just been put out for a run while their yard was being cleaned, they were having such fun chasing each other and playing with one another, just pure joy!









It was such an enjoyable visit and such a very worthwhile cause!!!


Thanks for dropping by, happy Tuesday! 🙂

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Helen Coulter February 11, 2014 - 2:54 pm

What a coincidence – on Saturday night I agreed to sponsor one of their donkeys ! Have never been there though H

Sent from my iPhone


Helen Philipps February 11, 2014 - 3:08 pm

Such lovely pictures of the donkeys, especially the top one! We support the Donkey Sanctuary too, my hb joined it a few years ago 🙂 They are such lovely creatures, and have often been so mistreated, it is lovely that so many people are supporting them.
Wishing you a happy week, Vivienne……hope the sun is shining for you.
Helen xx

Liz in Missouri, USA February 11, 2014 - 3:27 pm

Awwww – How can you not love those sweet little faces? They are such smart animals, and very loving when well treated. I’m so happy there is such a place for them.

Marigold Jam February 11, 2014 - 3:47 pm

I love donkeys their lovely faces and their velvety ears and all. I visited the parent sanctuary at Sidmouth last summer whilst on my bus pass trip and fully intend to go again one day. Lovely photos and how wonderful to know that the donkeys are doing such useful work.

Jill February 11, 2014 - 4:30 pm

My all time favourite animal. Thank you so much for posting such beautiful photos of them. Sounds like a great place to visit, and the work they’re doing is amazing, both for the donkeys and the children. Thoroughly enjoyed this post Vivienne :0) xxxx

Gill February 11, 2014 - 6:40 pm

Ah arent they lovely!! It’s so good that there are these sanctuaries now, and that the donkeys are well looked after, having fun, and playing an imporatnt role helping children.
The photos are brilliant, they all look so happy – I love their sweet faces.
Thanks for sharing this Vivienne!x
Gill x

Simone February 11, 2014 - 6:53 pm

When I saw the huge ears at the top of the post I thought it was a rabbit at first until I scrolled down! I really don’t know how people can be cruel to animals and the donkeys look so gentle and defenceless. Thanks for sharing Vivienne. I will check out the links. x

mynestofyarnandbuttons February 11, 2014 - 8:51 pm

Hi Vivienne, Oh the Donkeys are so cute! What a lovely facility for the care and wellbeing of these donkeys. I never knew something like this existed. I wonder if we have the same in the US. Thank you for sharing, people really are amazing in their dedication to abused animals whether cats, dogs, horses or donkeys. Three cheers for all these wonderful people and those who support them.

Stephanie February 11, 2014 - 9:05 pm

Beautiful, gentle donkeys! The world is a much better place with such a sanctuary. Hurrah for the team of caring people and sponsors who take such great care of them!

Wonderful pictures, Vivienne!

Jane February 11, 2014 - 10:39 pm

Aww what sweet souls they are Vivienne and I agree how wonderful it is that these places exist. What a happy life they now have ;0) x

alisonb2 February 11, 2014 - 10:40 pm

They have such beautiful and peaceful faces. I love your first one especially. Thank you for taking the time to upload so many. 🙂

Elizabeth February 12, 2014 - 8:16 am

I am so glad you care about animals Vivienne. You are right this is a worthwhile cause. Wonderful the children benefit too. Thank you for the lovely pictures. Elizabeth x x

Susan February 13, 2014 - 2:36 pm

Such a wonderful heart warming post Vivienne!…Your pics are just beautiful too… We are great supporters of animal charities and I know that lovely gentil donkeys have such a hard time in many places around the world and it’s very upsetting to read.
It’s wonderful to see the results of such kindness here today,
Happy Thursday dear Vivienne!
Susan x

Susan February 13, 2014 - 2:41 pm

P.S It should say ‘gentle’ Vivienne…I’ve just been reading a French message…how funny!!!…x

Anne D.T. February 13, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Very touching post, dear Vivienne. Very good to know there is a safe place and caring people to help out these donkeys. (And helping children, too)
My husband likes donkeys and I’ll share your photos with him.

Happy St Valentine’s Day to you, my friend.
Anne xxxx

Patty February 14, 2014 - 8:41 am

What a brilliant place, donkeys are such characters aren’t they. Such a lovely idea to visit them and find out more, you know I didn’t realise they should only carry up to 7 st, you see the poor things stacked up with things in some countries. Hooray for the donkey sanctuaries. 🙂

Julie February 14, 2014 - 10:59 am

what a wonderful place! I wish we were closer to it as I’m currently trying to find somewhere for Toby to go riding – he used to do it with school but since he’s moved into the senior school part he doesn’t get to go anymore which is really sad as he loves the horses. Anyway, hopefully we’ll find somewhere as lovely as this where the animals are as well loved and get to enjoy the rest of their lives. Thanks for sharing x

Mia February 14, 2014 - 7:27 pm

Hello Vivienne,

What a heart-warming post, those little donkeys are adorable, and I am so happy you were able to meet them! I am also so so very happy that this place supports children with special needs too, they’re ever so close to my heart!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend soon!


knitsofacto February 14, 2014 - 10:15 pm

Oh, how wonderful! Growing up in Somerset we had a family friend who kept a sanctuary for retired seaside donkeys from Weston Super Mare. Such delightful animals. I always swore I’d keep donkeys and goats one day but so far it hasn’t happened.

Chris February 15, 2014 - 1:42 am

I just adore them. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing.

Margaret February 18, 2014 - 7:57 pm

I feel a bit choked to see these dear little donkey’s knowing that they’ve endured being ill treated.
They look so sweet and gentle. So glad they are bringing happiness to the children and that they are now in a place of safety.
Margaret x

Mitzi Hanson February 22, 2014 - 5:53 pm

Its such a wonderful job these sanctuaries do for these donkeys, such a shame that they are a necessity. .


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