If you've ever wanted to get up close and personal with a donkey, this weekend you have the chance.
Visitors to the Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary in Glen William are invited to “Picnic in the paddock” to celebrate world animal week.
The annual open day on Sunday, October 1 is one of the charity’s major fundraisers for the year.
Bookings are essential and you can either bring your own picnic or buy lunch with your entry ticket. There will be guided tours of the sanctuary on the day allowing your to meet the “residents”.
The Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary (GSDS) was established in 1990 by Jo-Anne Kokas OAM to care for rescued donkeys.
It offers shelter, food, refuge and care for abandoned, neglected, mistreated or ill donkeys.
It also offers a home for donkeys that are unable to be cared for by their owners due to sickness or simply moving to an unsuitable location.
Most of these donkeys come to the attention of the GSDS via the public, RSPCA, police or rangers.
The property covers 300 acres which is divided into paddocks that offering both hilly and flat grazing land. A specialist Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is located on the property which includes stalls and equipment to cater for the needs of very sick donkeys that need constant care. The herd fluctuates between 70 and 150 donkeys with up to 12 in the ICU.
In addition to the herd, a further 100 donkeys are currently in foster homes, mostly as companion animals and occasionally as work animals – donkeys can be used as guardians to protect herds of sheep and goats from wild dogs. These fostered donkeys always remain the property of the GSDS so they can be returned to the Sanctuary should their living or health circumstances change.
The Sanctuary recently hosted 143 Students from the Hunter TAFE who are studying Certificates in Animal Care and all keen to learn more about caring for large animals.
“The students were thrilled to meet our most recent rescue donkey, Blinky,” said Sanctuary Manager Annie Atkins.
“This sweet little jenny was found on a 2000 acre property and had never had human contact or basic care such as hoof trimming.”
You can follow Blinky's progress on the Sanctuary’s Facebook page.
Bookings for the open day can be made via the website www.donkeyrescue.org.au
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