Around the Sanctuary Farm there is generally an atmosphere of calm and peacefulness upon which visitors comment frequently.  It is just one of the dimensions of the animals’ world.  For the next little while, however, things will be very different.

Yesterday morning, bright and early, heavy machinery was brought in to be used to complete the first phase of our Donkey House and Drainage Project.  Literally thousands of tons of earth and gravel will be added or moved around in coming days in order that our severe drainage problems can become a worry of the past.  After that, the actual construction of the building will take place. 

Now, this is all very exciting and it has been much anticipated.  Nevertheless, I am finding that the noise from the machinery itself is truly shocking.  To step outside right now is to feel viscerally the vibrations from the sound waves generated by the earth movers.  One cannot imagine what it must be like for the donkeys whose ears are a thousand times more sensitive than those of us humans.

Oh well, the day will arrive soon enough when we can stand with the donkeys in their new light-filled, airy home – one where peace and quiet will pervade once again.  This is not the first time that I have been reminded that human creations are a mixed blessing.

Sandra Pady, Executive Director


Sunday, October 2, 2011, 1 pm

World Animal Day will be celebrated here at the Sanctuary Farm on Sunday, October 2nd.  At 1 pm we will hold a special service, ‘A Time to Remember’, on the west side of the pond in front of Memorial Hill.

The other creatures on this planet make possible human life as we know it: working animals, companion animals and, of course, those that give their lives for human food – all deserve our respect, our praise.  “A Time to Remember” will give us an opportunity to express  gratitude to them for all that they do for us.  Mark your calendars now and come to share the celebration.

Sandra Pady, Executive Director

Donkey Holiday Continued

The first two days of our Donkey Holiday have flown past!  The donkeys, of course, are the centre of everyone’s attention.  It is beautiful to watch the participants interact with the animals.

Yesterday, we went to Faye and Jim Staple’s amazing farm outside Tillsonburg.  The Staples have rescued many animals: sheep, goats, ducks, chickens and also they are a DSC Foster Farm for three of our donkeys.  Faye and Jim have created a postive, supportive environment for all of the creatures and our Holidayers were enchanted.

This morning will be busy with farrier and dental demonstrations.  Then, in the afternoon, there will be a guided tour of the Ontario Veterinary College’s Large Animal Clinic.  Before and after, though, will be lots of time to just sit and enjoy the Sanctuary.  We are having a wonderful time!

Sandra Pady, Executive Director


Our Donkey Holiday Begins:

We have been waiting for this day for months: the beginning of our first ever Donkey Holiday.  Participants from Alberta, Manitoba, Pennsylvania and many parts of Ontario are arriving and will gather for wine and cheese at 7:30 this evening.  Thursday will be busy/calm with several events.   There is a feeling abuzz here at the DSC Farm that something special is going to happen. 

The tents are up (no rain, please), the gift bags are filled and the donkeys are at their summer sleekest and best.  We will be very busy from now until Saturday afternoon and we fully expect that many new friendships will be made.  It will be a donkey lover’s festival.  We wish you were here! 

 I will keep you posted, Sandra Pady, Executive Director

A Matter of Choice

As I have written before, one important condition that should be present in an animal’s environment is the matter of choice.  Creatures know their own minds to a much greater degree than we realize generally and they should have the option at all times to remove themselves from situations that are stressful or painful.

Here at the Sanctuary, we have made a recent addition to the donkeys’ environment, particularly those who are in the barnyard along with our visitors.  Now there are two areas, aside from any closed paddocks that are already in use, where the donkeys can go to eat and to rest.  Only those donkeys that enjoy to mingle with people are ever in the barnyard on Open Days and it is those donkeys who need places where they can go in order to be apart from human enthusiasm.

 It has been interesting to watch the flow back and forth to the Donkeys Only areas on this Open Day as the donkeys have combined time with the visitors with time on their own.