In our twenty-first Century, urban society celebrations are too few and far between. Intensity is the mood of the day; we work so hard, all of the time. As a result, when a date that is noteworthy arrives in our lives, we are often taken by surprise. “Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday!”.
And so it was that the weeks passed in their usual flurry until this month arrived when, on Wednesday (and all week for that matter) we looked up long enough to celebrate 25 years in the life of the community that is The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada (DSC). And there is so much to celebrate!
Back in 1992 when we began our work, people were often incredulous that we had established an animal sanctuary – and a donkey sanctuary at that. Many found it hard to believe that the animals were that important. In the intervening years, attitudes have begun to change in so many quarters, though; it is common now for people to acknowledge that animals matter. We understand more than ever before that the other animals on this planet (humans being just one group) make tremendous impact on our lives in myriad, positive ways. Our existence is made fuller by their presence.
Over the years, the DSC has come to be seen as a model. We have set the bar very high when it comes to standards of animal care and these are conveyed in the example that is set here at the Farm on a day to day basis. The 225+ donkeys and mules that we have admitted have been able to live full, complete lives in an environment where their basic needs are met at all times, with freedom to roam and to make individual choices.
At the same time that this outstanding care is being provided, we hold the matter of animal welfare education to be equally important. Through our on site Education Centre, newsletters, website, foster farm program, and social media we are here to inform, to provide guidance and best practices when it comes to animal care. Thousands of people benefit and learn from our message every year.
Although pages could be filled with particular memories of events over the years, it is more important, I think, to acknowledge and express gratitude to the hundreds of people who, in the past and the present, have comprised the DSC community. The members of our animal care staff, those who work in education, those who administrate, raising the funds that are required for all of this work, and those who volunteer their skills and time – every single person has contributed to the whole, making The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada the effective, much-admired organization that it is.
Finally, as we acknowledge our collective achievement, we open our arms even wider to include our donors. It is through your generosity that we have been able to operate, mature and affect so many precious, animal lives.
Thank you one and all. You have every reason to be proud.
Sandra Pady, Founder