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Increase in abandoned donkeys due to Covid crisis

It began when Danny and Sandra Curran took in a starving donkey which a friend had found tied to an old car in a bog and grew into a sanctuary which now cares for almost a hundred donkeys at Castledooey near Raphoe in Donegal.

However, Covid-19 has hit the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary a double blow and “on the brink of a financial crisis”.

Forced to close its gates to visitors, the sanctuary has no income to feed and care for the animals.

On top of that, the Currans say, there has been an increase recently in the number of donkeys they have had to rescue.

In the past fortnight they have taken in seven donkeys whose owners had to let them go due to straitened circumstances brought on by Covid-19.

“The present situation is forcing some people to give up their donkeys or worse still abandon them”, says Danny.

In the past seven years the sanctuary has re-homed 700 donkeys.

The cost of looking after the ones they have on the farm can be up to €3,000 a week, particularly in winter time, taking in the cost of feed and other bills like vets and farriers.

With no income from visitors, thousands of whom visit every year from Ireland and across the world, Danny says they are facing into a bleak winter and will have to cut back on their level of rescues if they can’t raise enough money to keep going.

They have set up an online fundraising drive in the hope that people will help raise the money needed to keep the sanctuary going and “continue to provide much needed shelter for these beautiful, vulnerable creatures”.

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RTE / 26th May 2020