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Since 1992, The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada has been a refuge for donkeys, mules and hinnies who have been neglected or abused, or who can no longer be cared for by their owners. The Sanctuary rescues the donkey with hooves so long it lives in constant pain and cannot walk. It saves a terrified mule shivering in a pen in a slaughterhouse. It offers a home to a much-loved donkey whose aging owners can no longer provide adequte care. At the Sanctuary, the animals are provided a welcome and often life-saving peaceful haven after years of suffering and neglect.

The Sanctuary is 100 acres of tranquility, in which we strive to live in peaceful harmony with the animals we have rescued. It is our heartfelt mission to ensure the animals who come to live out the remainder of their lives with us are surrounded by love, dignity, and the respect they so richly deserve. The Sanctuary Farm, and our satellite Foster Farms, have provided a safe home for rescued animals for more than 17 years. We are a not-for-profit charity, funded entirely by private donations. At present, 61 equines (donkeys, mules and hinnies belong to the equine family, for those who may not know) reside at our main farm, and 40 are in care at our foster farms. We feel very fortunate to be in proximity to such gentle souls day after day. We’re also advocates for humane education, and provide a number of education programs to all elementary and high school grade levels.

One of the questions we very often get, from visitors, from people in conversation, indeed, even from our friends and family, is: why donkeys? We often provide a simple answer to this question – ‘Because it’s necessary’. And indeed, it is necessary because, as one of our staff members puts it, the donkey is the forgotten equine, too often a subject of ridicule, and too often as well considered disposable at the end of its working life. Donkeys are often abused and neglected, and, once no longer wanted, placed into an equine auction. Then, if a buyer is not available at the moment of sale, the animal is sold to a slaughterhouse. Whenever possible, we put an end to this inhumane cycle in which equines are bred, bought and sold over and over, and then disposed of callously. We provide a sanctuary for these animals, where they may live out their lives naturally, in peace, and without obligation to humans. Because we believe in the value of animal life, and because in particular at our Sanctuary – we believe in the value of the lives of the no-longer-forgotten equine. That is why donkeys.

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