Volunteers Are So Important!

Volunteer Appreciation Week is a great pleasure to celebrate each year.  Below you will find a copy of our most recent Volunteer Newsletter which gives indication of the countless ways that these women and men contribute to the work of the DSC.  On behalf of the animals, thank you so very much.  Sandra Pady, Founder


The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada

Volunteer Newsletter

April 9, 2017


To all our wonderful volunteers:

Last year, 8000 hours were logged by our barn volunteers who help clean, feed, and groom our donkeys, in addition to educating the public at our Open Days. We cannot thank you enough. Your time and energy is greatly appreciated by staff and donkeys alike!




Donkey and Farm

It was with very heavy hearts that we said goodbye to our beloved Meegers on March 22nd. Due to a rapidly progressing neurological condition it was decided that his quality of life was not what it should be. We all miss his antics and laid-back attitude.

The vets have decided that the lump under Katy’s chin has drained as much as it is going to and will likely remain the size it is now. Our veterinary team and barn staff will continue to monitor its status.

We are happy to report that the treatment plan for the inflammation along Hannah’s GI tract has helped her condition. She is now off sweet feed, is enthusiastically eating her wet food, and  has gained 15kg. Way to go, Hannah! Hannah, Josh, and Sage continue to be managing okay with the separation from each other.

DaVinci has adjusted to his gapped grin and the incisions from his tooth extractions have all healed. All meds and treatment are now complete.

Providing Burrito with access to free choice hay has helped him gain some weight. He has been cut back to a once per day grain feeding, as well as a cut back on added roughage. Our vet team and barn staff will continue to monitor Burrito for suspected stomach ulcers. We are happy to see him improving.

Apollo was also moved down to the barnyard to help him gain weight. In the barnyard he has access to free choice hay and it seems to be helping. Barn staff will monitor his progress.

On March 29, Nibbles had a farrier trim and unfortunately, she received a small nick. She seemed a bit lame following the incident, but nothing was found to be wrong with the leg. If she continues to limp, a possible regiment of pain medication will be considered.

On Thursday, our vet/farrier team determined that Archie has a severe case of white line disease in his front hooves. On the left hoof, especially, the farrier had to cut back the hoof so much that a small cast was placed over the hoof as the tissue slowly grows back. White line disease is caused by an anaerobic bacteria, so cutting into the hoof and exposing the tissue to the air, helps kill the bacteria. The hooves are sore and Archie is a bit lame, and he is being watched closely. We are confident that it will be resolved over the next few days.

The vet team is suspicious that Shirley has a respiratory infection. She has been placed on a course of antibiotics and her temperature is being monitored for fever. At present she is in quarantine as she could be contagious to the other donkeys. She is being closely monitored.

We are happy to report that Fergus has had some success on his weight loss program. If you are wondering if he could have more food, as sometimes the pigeons eat it, please first check with staff to see whether or not he has had his daily ration.


Donkey Training

Staff continue to make great headway with their new weekly training routine and there have been great improvements in many of the animals that they are working with. As a gentle reminder, Hollie, Petunia, and Kingston remain on the “No Touch” training list, however, it is hoped that by the time Open Days begin, Petunia will be off the list.

Petunia has made great progress with her training. Kayla and Adam have been working together to replicate the farrier experience for her. They are using old farrier tools to help Petunia get used to the sound and feel of them on her hooves and Adam is wearing the farrier chaps to get her used to the sight of a new person in farrier gear. They are now able to pick up all four of her feet with minimal issues. She is on the right path to getting her first sober trim. Way to go Petunia!




Volunteer Appreciation Day

We are truly grateful for everything you do as a volunteer. To say thank you, we have planned a special Potluck Lunch and Round Table “Get to Know DSC Staff” for Saturday, April 21st from 12pm to 2pm in the DSC Dining Room.
In addition to our lunch and “Get to Know DSC Staff”, there will be a Donkey Groom-a-thon from 10am to 12pm and then again after lunch from 2pm to 3:30pm.
Grooming is an important part of donkey care as it allows for 1:1 interaction by someone who can check for and spot lumps, scrapes, and illnesses. We hope our Groom-a-thon will allow volunteers to brush up on their skills.
We hope to see you there with grooming brush in hand and a hungry tummy to fill with a scrumptious potluck lunch.


DSC Paint Night
A few DSC volunteers and staff have organized a fun Paint Night fundraiser that will take place on Thursday May 24th. Unleash your creative side and paint this adorable donkey image made just for the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada by Dactyl Art Co. A Change of Pace restaurant in Morriston will be our hosts. Start time will be 6:30pm sharp, but please arrive 15 minutes early to get set up with your paint supplies and perhaps a beverage. Tara will be our artistic guide in helping us create our one of a kind donkey. The cost is $45/person , but as this is a fundraiser, $15 per participant will be donated to the DSC.
Tickets must be purchased in advance as there is limited space available. To reserve your ticket now, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/paint-night-benefiting-the-donkey-sanctuary-of-canada-tickets-43891025238?aff=es2
If enough people are interested, we could meet at A Change of Pace restaurant prior to the start of the art class for a light dinner. If you are interested in doing so, please let Lesley Daufenbach know at barn@thedonkeysanctuary.ca


Spring Volunteer Work Days

Spring Volunteer Work Days, which are open to the public, will be Saturday April 28 & Sunday April 29 from 10am to 2pm (or longer, as needed).
Help prepare the Sanctuary Farm for our Open Day season! If you like to work outside and get your hands dirty, we have the jobs – cleaning windows, taking down snow fences, cleaning up trail areas and more. Snacks and drinks will be provided and please bring your own lunch. We have basic tools and work gloves. Children 8 or older, accompanied by adults, are welcome. Come enjoy some fun on the farm!


Donor Appreciation Day
Donor Appreciation Day allows all of us at the DSC to say a big thank you to all the donors who support the ongoing care of donkeys and mules residing at the DSC. However, we need your help to make this day a success!
Donor Appreciation Day will be on Saturday May 26th from 11:00am to 4:00pm (this includes set-up time).
There are many roles available to be filled by our generous volunteers including parking, donkey encounters, marketplace, and registration, etc.
To register online to volunteer for one of the many positions, please click here, or contact volunteer@thedonkeysanctuary.ca


Open Day Donkey Encounters
Another Open Day season is fast approaching. If you are interested in volunteering for Open Days please sign up using the SignUp Genius link:
or on the sign-up sheet in the barn office.
We would like to request that you consider volunteering for a Parking position or Ponds/Trails position at least once throughout the season so that the jobs get evenly shared by all.
Please remember that you must have your Donkey Training in order to volunteer for a Donkey Encounter position.




Open Day Parking

To all of our Open Day volunteers, we kindly ask that during Open Days you drive your vehicle down behind Elizabeth’s cottage and then park up towards the coverall. This will keep the top area near the boutique cleared for visitors. Do keep in mind, however, that  Sundays are Elizabeth’s day off, so to maintain her privacy, we ask that volunteers park closer to the coverall than her private residence. Directional signage will be in place to offer further guidance.


Call for Volunteers

Handmade Washcloths
We are looking for volunteers who would like to share their knitting talents with the Sanctuary. As part of the upcoming Open Day season we would like to sell handmade washcloths that feature our favourite animal – the Donkey!
If you are interested in participating and donating your creation back to the Sanctuary, then we want to hear from you.
To receive your pattern, contact Lyse at: lyse@thedonkeysanctuary.ca. Please be advised that all cloths must be made with cotton yarn to withstand water.


Volunteer Sweaters

Volunteer sweaters will be arriving later this month at the boutique. If you are interested in purchasing one, please visit the boutique this coming May. The cost is estimated to be between $30-$40/ sweater.



As the spring draws near, we want to remind all volunteers to please use caution when driving along Concession Road 4, as well as along the DSC lane-way. We will begin to see re-emerging wildlife, including many turtles from our wetlands.
If you do come across a distressed or injured animal, please contact the Guelph Humane Society at 519-824-3091.



Please keep in mind that the DSC now recycles! Labelled blue bins have been placed in the Sun Room and in the Barn. When disposing of bags of waste, please note that the large dumpster in the parking lot with the orange band is for recycling only. All bags of recycling MUST be clear.




Thank You

The DSC would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Heartland Farm Mutual and the iHeartCommunity Fund. Their generous grant in support of the DSC’s Education Program will help provide training to animal care professionals and donkey owners alike. We are truly grateful for their support!


DSC Job Posting

We are hiring a new Manager, Events and Communications. If you know of someone who would be a good fit for this job, please ask her/him to apply to info@thedonkeysanctuary.ca and/or direct her/him to the posting at: https://charityvillage.com/app/job-listings/79ce1839-812b-e811-80d2-14187768272a?search=true


Volunteer Questions and Comment Box:




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