The DSC’s Enhanced Education Program

LC Aug2014 (9)

In late 2013 we were  fortunate to receive a $10,000 grant from the Sandra Bond Foundation.  This grant was and is in aid of the second part of the DSC Mission, to promote the responsible stewardship of all animals through humane education.

The grant helped us in several ways.  We were able to hire Stephanie Smith (pictured) this summer who for several years had been a part time DSC animal care provider.  That experience served her well in this new education role where she worked alongside Terri Morris, our Humane Educator.  They developed permanent display cases, information boards and new interactive activities which enhance the teaching presentations that Terri and Stephanie give throughout Open Days.  Stephanie found that, ” Our new materials in the Learning Centre (and in its neighbouring Wetlands Centre) make everything so accessible and enable independent learning.  They also encourage more dialogue and communication.”  Terri, who is a retired Special Needs teacher,  adds, “We have become an even better education resource at the DSC – for children, the public, and potential donkey owners.  I know we are making a difference.”

We are grateful to the Sandra Bond Foundation for helping us to make these improvements to the DSC Education Program.

Sandra Pady, Founder



Elyse July 2014 (49)

Summer is the oldest donkey at the DSC.  She was born in 1970 and she has lived at the Sanctuary since 2002.   Over the years, this most gentle of donkeys has endeared herself to one and all.  On Open Days we can always be sure that Summer will pass much of the afternoon moving around the barnyard, greeting visitors, standing very still while little hands brush her coat.

A few days ago, a girl named Elyse came to visit the donkeys and she brought with her a special gift.  You see, Elyse had just celebrated her 4th birthday and at her party she had asked her friends to donate to help the donkeys instead of buying presents.  All of the money collected was put into a big plastic jar.

On the day of her visit Elyse  walked into the barnyard, with jar in hand, looking for year old Ruby, the donkey, whom she  intended to sponsor.  Ruby, however, was  in a playful mood, preferring the company of  her other equine companions in the ‘Donkeys Only’ area.

Elyse was somewhat crestfallen at this turn of events until she looked up to see Summer approaching slowly from the other side of the barnyard. It was as if the donkey were saying, “I am here, instead.”  Elyse was thrilled.  She gave Summer a big hug and decided on the spot that this beautiful grey donkey would be perfect to sponsor.  And just at that moment we were able to capture in a photo their mutual admiration.

Thank you for helping us to take care of Summer, Elyse.

Sandra Pady, Founder


There are 72 donkeys and mules residing currently at the DSC.  Cheryl Woodman, a volunteer, with the help of Sarah Straughan, a member of our barn staff, has compiled a descriptive list of each animal.  As I read it, I was reminded anew of the uniqueness of every one.

geldings Angus M eyes more slanted than other grey duns; pointy rump grey dun
geldings Apollo M largest grey dun Standard donkey; large head; stocky build grey dun
geldings Bentley M small; all brown Standard; short tail brown
geldings Cargo M white on forehead to muzzle; left ear is bent over grey dun
geldings Chaplin M least spotted pinto; left ear brown and right ear white pinto
geldings Chullo M very light brown in colour; brown on sides of face and white from forehead to nose; white on legs and belly; left back foot is white, all others are dark brown
geldings Cocoa M dark brown, tall Mammoth with white on muzzle and around eyes; big head; Roman nose; hind quarters are taller than withers brown
geldings Da Vinci M dappled, dark grey fur; crest fallen to the right dappled grey
geldings Don Quixote M white face grey dun
geldings Eeyore M large; lightest dappled grey Standard with ears and nose darker than face and body; long shaggy hair dappled grey
geldings Hershey M small, Standard donkey; dark brown fur; white nose and eyes; inward curving ears; long hair in ears brown
geldings Jace M huge head, all white; partial pink around eye white
geldings Jasper M roaning on face; white under jaw; brownish tone; young son of Diamond grey dun
geldings Johnny M three pencil dots on pink area of nose above the left nostril white
geldings Joker M mostly brown pinto; all brown leg pinto
geldings Meegers M dark grey Standard; crest fallen left; chubby on sides grey dun
geldings Nugget M light brown Standard; no white under his neck; chubby;mane sticks up brown
geldings Odin M slender, with big spots on his nose; ears curve inwards slightly; thinnest and smallest white donkey white
geldings Panne M dark brown Mammoth; scar on left front hock dark brown
geldings Sam M small Standard; dark grey; hair whirl under right eye grey dun
geldings Sergeant M very large neck; light, almost white dapple grey dappled grey
geldings Tengen M long tufts of hair on his side and under his chin, white back feet white



jennys Abby F light brown spots under her eyes; big grey spot under her left nostril pinto
jennys Apache F largest fallen crest, to her left; brown and white patches pinto
jennys Becky (Rebecca) F chocolate brown Standard with a narrow chest, short face; white on nose, jaw and belly; dish head brown
jennys Bob Ray M dark brown Standard; square body at the top of his back; white muzzle and eyes; more reddish than other brown donkeys; slight crest fallen right brown
jennys Cora F slim, same height as Sam; more grey than brown grey dun mini
jennys Daisy F dark brown fur; white flecks on face and white belly; darker fur than her look-alike daughter, Sunshine’s;ears curled at tips; smaller than Sunshine brown
jennys Dolly F distinctive black cross to her shoulders; crest tips to the left;  often with Lady grey dun
jennys Gemini M very dark nose; mane stands straight up grey dun mini
jennys Joey M reddish tone to coat; in his thirties red dun
jennys Juanita F large lump on left side; pink around right eye; large brown spot over her back; white face pinto
jennys Juliet F light in colour; light around her eyes; right ear shorter than the left grey dun
jennys Kylie F red/brown with white belly; roan face markings in a triangle from forehead to nose brown/roan
jennys Lady F white on nose, legs and belly; cross comes far down, almost to her legs; often with Dolly grey dun
jennys Luna F grey dun; tallest of minis; very dainty; friend of Sam grey dun mini
jennys Marci F chubbiest of Peter’s group; big fuzzy forelock; crest half fallen right grey dun mini
jennys Misty F very pink skin around eyes and three big dots on her nose white
jennys Monte M black cross on his back; small lump on right side of his neck; 36 inches at withers grey dun mini
jennys Pearl F grey dun; sometimes runs along fence line with her brother, Jasper, in the geldings paddock grey dun
jennys Sophie F very long tail; white muzzle; short pennant shaped dorsal stripe, wide at the cross grey dun
jennys Speckle F red roan fur; large brown spot on her forehead; small white dot on her left haunch;  often with her daughter, Juanita red roan
jennys Sunshine F lighter and larger than her mother, Daisy; medium dark red brown fur brown/roan
jennys Uma F large, dark brown Standard; very soft fur brown



barnyard Amigo M grey on the forehead and between the eyes, front feet concave; greyer than other brown donkeys brown
barnyard Austin M small; brown Standard with white muzzle; very short tail brown
barnyard Buffy F light grey colour; wart on her nose grey dun
barnyard Danny Boy M white fur; skinny white mule
barnyard Earl Grey M light coloured circles under the eyes are muted compared to other grey dun donkeys grey dun
barnyard Franco M large; very dark brown spots; large, dark brown patches on his cheeks; darkest brown spots of any pinto dark brown and white pinto
barnyard Juno F very furry, even in summer; large brown eyes with white mask; white belly and legs grey dun
barnyard Katy F grey dun colour; largest fallen crest of any mini, falling left; consort of Peter grey dun mini
barnyard Pansy F grey dun; chubby; crest fallen right; often with Sable grey dun mini
barnyard Ruby F younger daughter of Diamond grey dun
barnyard Sable` F split left ear; lovely coat grey dun mini
barnyard Sabrina F quite chubby, crest fallen to the left brown and white pinto
barnyard Summer F all grey muzzle; black stripes under her eyes grey dun
barnyard Tibet F small Standard with very shaggy, long fine fur; wears front shoes dappled grey
barnyard Trooper M white scars on his right hip, nose and over his right eye; tallest white donkey white



PADDOCK NAME GENDER These hinnies and mules are in the garden and orchard paddock to help manage their special needs COLOUR
south side Ginger F solid brown fur with reddish tint brown mule
south side Hummer M dark, almost black; tallest mule very dark brown
south side Miss Jenny F black fur with no white; small; chubby black mule
south side Molly F white fur with black hairs on her back; very chubby; smallest white mule white mule
south side Reno M bay; reddish body; black mane and tail; white muzzle bay mule
south side Terra F buckskin; caramel colour; dark mane buckskin
PADDOCK NAME GENDER This paddock is used for donkeys and mules in need of recovery, integration development or treatment COLOUR
recovery Chico M smallest grey dun mini; nub of tail grey dun mini
recovery Dylan M darker than other minis dark mini
recovery Jimmy M tallest white mule white mule
recovery Sadie F very lean grey dun standard
recovery Sydney F large eyes grey dun mini
PADDOCK NAME GENDER This paddock had been used for mules COLOUR
PADDOCK NAME GENDER Halfway Haven is the quarantine paddock, used for accommodating newly arrived donkeys or those needing isolation for other reasons COLOUR
halfway haven Diamond F long, fine mane; wispy chin hair white
halfwayhaven Flint M foal of Diamond, large white patch on most of his face pinto

 Sandra Pady, Founder

OPEN DAYS – the essential volunteer and staff contribution

As many of you are aware, we have a limited number of days each year when the Sanctuary Farm is open to the public (Wednesdays and Sundays, May – October, as well as 4 Sundays in December).  In their own way, though, every one is a mini Donkey Day what with the hundreds of visitors and the joyful atmosphere.

On any given afternoon there are donkeys mingling with visitors in the barnyard and in the Learning Centre Paddock, while still others greet the public from their locations in the Donkey House Paddock, the Mules Paddock and the Garden Paddocks.  It is always so enjoyable to walk around and listen to the appreciative murmurs from younger and older alike.

Integral to the peaceful atmosphere  that the hundreds experience on every Open Day, though,  is the contribution being made by our personable, dedicated volunteers and staff.  They circulate quietly as the hours go by,  always ready to answer a question, acknowledge a smile or to relate to the listener a donkey’s particular story.  At the same time, volunteers and staff are watching carefully, making certain that there are not too many in the barnyard at any one time  (too much human attention can be stressful), or that a little hand is not too close to a donkey’s mouth.

In this quiet environment that is the animals’ world  volunteers and staff  encourage a great deal of learning, too.  Whether it takes place at a Donkey Talk, in the Learning Centre, in the Treatment area,  or over a fence, it is hoped that visitors will become better informed about the donkeys: their behaviour, their contribution to the human experience and their ongoing welfare in contemporary society.

During Open Days at The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, we are fond of saying that the donkeys are the stars – and that is true.  At the same time, though, the combined efforts of volunteers and staff make an essential contribution to the visitor experience and we are so grateful for everything that they do.

Sandra Pady, Founder