By Dionne Meehan
WITH an upturn of unwanted donkeys expected after the festive season, Donegal Donkey Sanctuary has desperately begun making space.
With over one hundred donkeys in their care at the moment, Sanctuary Manager, Danny Curran said they are the ones left “tidying up” the mistakes of people who buy donkeys as Christmas presents.
Set up 14 years ago, the sanctuary has rehomed over eight hundred donkeys since they opened their doors.
However, with no room at the inn this Christmas and a waiting list of 34 donkeys, Danny has urged those wishing to buy a donkey as a gift to think hard about their decision.
“If you are thinking about getting a donkey, come to the sanctuary and talk to us so you know what’s required. If you buy a pup at Christmas, maybe mum or dad will look after it and have time to look after it, but if you buy a horse or a donkey that is a huge thing to go and do.
“We always get a few people ringing us up to say they will take one for their daughter or son, but we don’t rehome in December for that reason,” he said.
Expecting to see an upturn of donkeys in the New Year, Danny spoke of the expense involved.
“When I see a stallion coming in here, what I look at is his feet, which are probably in a bad condition so that could be €50/60 to sort that out.
“If he has never been wormed that costs more money, he then needs to be castrated and then microchipped.
“Someone is handing me a stallion donkey they bought for €25 and I can see a €600 bill for us.
“Vets, feed, farriers and microchipping, that all costs money and people don’t get that,” he said.
With the price of hay and meal increasing this year too, Danny described the input prices as being “shocking”.
“We were paying €30 for a bale of hay last year and I bought hay last week at €45 a bale.
“I have already been told from now on it will be over €50. The straw has become impossible to get and meal has gone up as well.
“A bag of meal was €7 but it is now €11 and we have to buy it,” he said.
With the Donkey Sanctuary running entirely from donations, now more than ever they need your help.
If you are interested in donating you can do so on www.donegaldonkeysanctuary.ie or via PayPal @firstname.lastname@example.org.