The Donkey Sanctuary is one of the largest animal charities in the UK. With its headquarters based in Sidmouth, Devon, the charity offers care and protection to donkeys and mules worldwide. We have a number of staff based at projects in the UK, Ireland and Europe as well as internationally in Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Mexico.
OUR MISSION To transform the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships.
MOVING FORWARD AS ONE During the last 45 years, The Donkey Sanctuary has made a profound difference to the lives of donkeys and people all over the world. This is down to the drive and belief of our wonderful Founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, MBE, our staff and volunteers, and of course our fantastic supporters and partners worldwide.
However, there is still much to do. By 2018 we want to be able to give a helping hand to two million donkeys each year in 40 countries, to double the number of donkeys in foster care to 3,000 and to expand our donkey assisted therapy programme in the United Kingdom and internationally. This strategy introduces these and many more of our ambitious new objectives, along with the charity’s exciting new vision and mission statements and the core values that we embody as we move towards achieving our goals.
We look forward to working together to make the world a better place for donkeys and mules and to improve the lives of those who rely on them or come into contact with them from all over the world.
OUR VISION A world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering, and their contribution to humanity is fully valued.
OUR VALUES Compassion, collaboration and creativity are The Donkey Sanctuary values. They are the key to our journey as they represent what we stand for and what we measure ourselves against.
COMPASSION The Donkey Sanctuary is above all else compassionate. We never turn away from a donkey in need. Donkeys and the people who rely on them for their livelihoods or to help them cope with physical, mental and emotional challenges, lie at the heart of everything we do. We act as a global driving force for caring, both for suffering donkeys and mules, and for all those people whose lives they touch - generating understanding, compassion and support all over the world.
COLLABORATION The Donkey Sanctuary is collaborative in all its activities, working through a worldwide network of partner organisations, communities and individuals. We work inclusively with people frequently marginalised within their own countries and communities, whether due to poverty, ignorance, race, gender or disabilities. We treat every interaction as a two-way opportunity to learn and to teach. We know that it is only together that we can help donkey owners and carers become donkey welfare ambassadors wherever they live and work.
CREATIVITY The Donkey Sanctuary’s goals are ambitious, but its resources are finite – which means that we must exercise creativity to meet the ambitious goals we set ourselves. Whether this be in adapting locally available materials for donkey-friendly harness across projects that span four different continents, in developing donkey assisted therapy activities tailored to the unique challenges of a child with additional needs, or reaching donkey owning communities in the midst of man-made or natural disasters - creative thinking underpins everything we do.