Help needed to keep Donegal Donkey Sanctuary open as Covid-19 crisis leads to serious financial hit

The sanctuary relies on visitors and gift shop purchases to keep going

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

This is Blue, one of the many animals in desperate need of Donegal Donkey Sanctuary care

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary has had to close to the public due to the Covid-19 crisis. And while the owners appreciate that this was necessary, the move has virtually eradicated the funding source that allows them to care for the donkeys to which they have given sanctuary.

They are now appealing to people to make a donation via their Covid 19 Emergency Appeal gofundme page.

Sandra Curran who owns the sanctuary said: "From Easter until Halloween we normally welcome visitors from all over the world. These visitors browse in our gift shop, enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and make critically important donations towards our welfare work. Also and of equal importance we have the opportunity to meet new people and forge friendships which result in ongoing financial support for the donkeys from afar. In short visitors to the sanctuary are a lifeline for the donkeys in our care.

"With some level of restrictions likely to apply post lockdown and having effectively missed the busiest part of the year we see very little prospect of being able to return to normal levels of income for the rest of this year and beyond.  Travel restrictions in the governments phased plan will see people having to remain within a 20 km lockdown for some considerable time to come with visitors from abroad an unlikely possibility this summer.

"So we find ourselves in the middle of a situation that is not of our making which is putting the future of Donegal Donkey Sanctuary in doubt."

Furthermore, the sanctuary is taking in an unprecedented number of animals at the moment as people struggle to cope financially with job losses and economic hardship.

"If we are to buy more time to give the sanctuary the space to overcome income losses then we must ask our supporters to donate whatever they can no matter how small to give the sanctuary a fighting chance of surviving and securing the future of our current residents and the many donkeys that will need our help in the future," said Ms Curran. "As a small sanctuary we unfortunately always teeter on the edge of crisis and our supporters have come through in previous situations and we thank you each and every one."

Anyone who wishes to donate can do so on the sanctuary's Covid 19 Emergency Appeal gofundme page 

More information on the work of Donegal Donkey Sanctuary and the animals in their care can be found on the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary Facebook page 

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