Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A visit to The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth

As you may know we are great supporters of the Donkey Sanctuary and visit whenever we can. A few weeks ago (which was ages ago and I forgot to publish this post) we went over towards Sidmouth for a day out and spent a couple of hours at the sanctuary.

Inside the big barn at the sanctuary



Lots to see and do

Donkeys arriving



Outside in the fields

One of the donation boxes

You might like this brilliant story of donkeys working in Kenya in the drought of 2011. Click here to read the short story and watch a 5 minute video from the women who used the donkeys to carry supplies and water.

The visitor center with the yard and big barn to the right


These two were a very frisky and noisy pair, just mucking about when I went over to see them. They very kindly stayed still enough to allow me a photo as you can see.



The collars are colour coded and also have their name, age and a serial number. The different colours mean they can be identified easily. Some have blindness, some are on timed feeds, or medication. This red collar indicates he is a make donkey.




There is a great article in the blog section on mules in WW1 which you might enjoy reading, click here to find out more.


Above is the memorial walk. I think it's a lovely idea and all the money goes to the sanctuary of course. Whilst walking around, the trees were full of birds, and I even saw rabbits in some of the fields.





Just a little bit shy I think


In the hospital area (above and below)


Wildlife at the sanctuary is important and I looked up to see a pair of crows attending their nest-you can just make out the black tail.


The gardens are beautiful and well worth a look if you get the chance to visit.





The planters all along this wall are filled with topiary in the shape of hens.


One of the information boards next to the donation boxes.



Now that you have hopefully enjoyed a happy visit to the sanctuary and are feeling full of love for these incredible beasts, would you kind folks mind taking a look at a current urgent petition from the Donkey sanctuary about the welfare of donkeys and mules working as holiday taxis on the Greek Island of Santorini. I have put a link to it on the right hand side under animal welfare petitions. Many thanks.

If I don't press publish now, it'll never get done!

Until next time
SeagullSuzie

25 comments:

  1. I was once on a holiday trip involving a ride on mules up a mountain valley. I got off and refused to go any further because the animals were being beaten for just losing their footing. An empty gesture I know, there were many less caring tourists willing to pay to do the same trip. It is good to know that organisations such as this are trying to do something to help them.

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    1. Well done Jessica, I hope more people become aware that it's just not OK, if the animals have not been looked after. The Donkey Sanctuary don't want to stop anyone using animals but they want to educate the public and the business owners alike. They are doing great work all across the world now.

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  2. It is wonderful that there is a place like this. Your photos are very special. I have always loved the donkey. Thanks for the links. I will go check them out right now.

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    1. Thanks Denise, this charity are spreading the word about the lives of these animals. If we know and are aware we can change things for the better. I'd love to have a couple of donkeys.

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  3. Lovely donks! The pic of the old wall with the doorway would make a nice card :o)

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    1. Lovely grounds and gardens here. The entire original plant collection was a donation to the sanctuary in a will (as money), what a fabulous idea.

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  4. What a lovely post Suzie. I would love to be able to visit them. I had some of their raffle tickets today, so will see if I can raise a little money for them locally, they do such sterling work.

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    1. They do have sanctuaries across the country, but Sidmouth is the headquarters and fully geared towards visitors. We are leaving them money in our will, but I wish I could do more now.

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  5. They all look so very happy and content in their special new home which is so good after a hard life to come to somewhere to retire and be happy. A lovely place to visit I am sure. xx

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    1. Hi Amy, they keep the donkeys for life, so they will always be safe even if they are fostered. So if you ever see donkeys that look like they are in trouble, anywhere, just let the sanctuary know and they will check it out and that's the word we need to pass on.

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  6. I remember trying to help one of my granddaughters with a donkey project, and we got totally confused between what is a donkey as opposed to a mule, a burro or an ass.
    They do sterling work at the Donkey Sanctuary and I must try and visit in the future.
    As a youngster I always remember feeling sad for the donkeys standing around on the beaches and then having to trot up and down with squealing children on their backs all day long. I am pleased that you don't see that happening today.

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    1. Hi Rosemary, the Donkey Sanctuary visit all seaside donkey ride businesses and encourage them to join their welfare scheme. Paignton seaside donkey rides have won awards for their animal care as have Weymouth. We always go over to say hello to these donkeys when they are out (and secretly just check they look OK too).

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  7. Lovely post Suzie with some wonderful photos. It brought back many happy memories of our visit there a few years ago. The donkey sanctuaries really do some wonderful work. Off now to check the Kenya video and sign the petition.

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    1. Thanks for signing. We must spread the word too about these types of rides abroad. I love all the work they are doing across the world now, but some of the stories make me cry.

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  8. I have just come home from a lovely week in Bridport, from where I was able to call in at one of my favourite places - The Donkey Sanctuary!! Also managed my other favourite day out, a trip along the Axe Estuary on the Tram from Seaton!! Back to norm now!!!

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    1. I'd love to try the tram at Seaton. Sounds like you had a great time too.

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  9. Great to see the donkeys living out their lives in a nice environment (I'm sure I saw a few ex-members of the Southampton football team grazing there!) I will check out the petition.

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    1. Thanks Jeremy, a lot of the stories of rescue are very sad, I don't understand why people will hide their troubles and abandon these incredible animals. leaving them to suffer. Spreading the word about the Donkey Sanctuary will I hope help people to keep an eye out when they are travelling just in case they see something that is not quite right.

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  10. What a lovely place it is. I'd dearly love the land to have Trigger with a donkey friend. Maybe one day.

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    1. Hi Em, I said that for ages, if we could get some land I'd have a couple of donkeys, but moving to the seaside, land became too expensive and it just didn't work out. Still I get my fix at the Donkey Sanctuary!

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  11. That 's one of our favourite places and hopefully we will be able to visit it more often now we live closer. Sarah x

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    1. Hi Sarah, it's the Autumn Fair this Sunday from 10-4pm. We are hoping to go if the weather is ok.

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  12. Hi Suzie, love those Donkeys. Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comments.
    Um!.Whats wrong with Celine Dion.?{:))

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    1. Hi Roy, we went again on Sunday to the Autumn Fair and they had moved the donkeys closer so we got to say hello to a whole variety of donkeys, it was lovely.
      I don't know what it is about her voice, something about it sounds almost out of tune, like nails on a blackboard to me...terrible thing to say for such a wonderful singer I know..it just sounds all wrong!

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  13. Thank you I have always wondered where things are there as I watch the webcams daily as I can't visit. Is shelter 1 first then beach boxes then main hard etc?

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Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment. I read them all. At the moment I'm struggling for time making it difficult to reply individually to each comment, but I'll do my best.