The PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary

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World Animal Day

Posted by PrimRose on October 4, 2017 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

On Sunday we celebrated World Animal Day at the sanctuary. This day is commemorated world wide to bring awareness to improving the lives of animals everywhere. The mission of this movement is to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilizing it into a global force to make the world a better place for animals. It’s celebrated in different ways in different countries, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or politicalideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create aworld where animals are always recognized as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.

The mission at the sanctuary is no donkey will be turned away and there are over 40 rescued donkeys, mules and hinnies. There are also numerous cats, 3 pigs, 3 goats and a sheep.

The celebration Sunday here was a great success with many visitors learning about our animals and donating generously. Thank you to all.

Pictured below is our refreshement table. 


Volunteers at PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary

Posted by PrimRose on September 28, 2017 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Volunteers are very important at the sanctuary and there are many ways to help out. There are about 40 members on the list and 20 who are very active. Activities include mucking out, grooming, helping with feeding and watering, and giving tours on Thursdays and Sundays. There are building opportunities too as the fences, shelters and barn always need repairs. The barn is often painted and the chandeliers dusted!

There are also special event days where there are specific tasks such as making tea and lemonade, giving tours or greeting visitors as they arrive. Some volunteers make greeting cards or paintings that are sold to raise money for the animals.

Visit the sanctuary on open to visitor days Thursdays and Sundays 1-4pm to meet Sheila and talk about volunteering or email Sheila at [email protected] 


Sarah Rose and Lily

Posted by PrimRose on September 14, 2017 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (1)

This is a Sarah Rose (blue halter) and her daughter Lily. They're large standard donkeys. Sara Rose is 46 years old, the oldest donkey at the sanctuary. Lily is 5 years old and is a very friendly sweet girl. Lily loves being groomed and cranes her neck around and quivers her lips to show how much she's enjoying being brushed. She also has gone through some naughty periods where she would stand in the middle of an open gate so it could not be closed.

Having a foal at 41 is very old for a donkey to be reproducing. Jennets (female donkeys) never stop going into heat so it is up to their owners to prevent them from mating. Jennets also carry for 12 months, as anyone who has ever been pregnant knows, that sounds long! Sara Rose has few teeth left and needs a large bowl of mush (fit and fibre and water) for breakfast and dinner to get her nutrients. She loves being groomed like her daughter and would love to see visitors on Thursday and Sunday from 1-4pm.


Beautiful Patsy

Posted by PrimRose on September 14, 2017 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

This is Patsy a large standard donkey, 21 years old who is blind. When hay is harvested and rolled too tightly or if it is wet the centre can go mouldy, not good for donkeys at all. This is what happened with Patsy, she got an eye infection as a result and lost her eye sight. She has had 2 self appointed seeing eye donkeys: Amos and Jonathon Cupcake who have both passed away.

After Patsy lost her eye sight the vet said she had to have her eye balls removed to prevent further infection. We had a fundraising event at the sanctuary to raise money and from the financial help of all our visitors enough was raised to pay for Patsy's surgery. Off Patsy, Jonathon Cupcake and Sheila went to get the surgerydone. Patsy recovered nicely.

Due to her blindness her hearing is very good and she is constantly swivelling her huge ears around to catch what is going on. Patsy has the loudest bray of any donkey at the sanctuary, more of a bellow really to let everyone know when it is feeding time, when she wants to leave her stall to go out to graze or when someone needs to lead her back to the barn to her stall. In this photo Patsy's nostrils are flared to get enough air to give her huge bray, it takes a lot of energy.

On visiting days Patsy is in her stall to greet all the guests.



Sheyore and Marble

Posted by PrimRose on September 5, 2017 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Sheyore and Marble are two elderly donkeys who came together to the sanctuary. (Earl is in the background) As a donkey's age is determined by the wearing down of the teeth, it is difficult to determine their ages as they have no teeth. They are probably in their forties. It is also difficult for Sheyore and Marble to eat hay or graze, so Sheila mixes pellet feed with boiling water and makes mush for breakfast and dinner. Sheyore has a very noticeable sway back. As the donkey has not been at the sanctuary for long it is difficult to know what caused the sway back but there are two types. One is when the tissue supporting the back weakens over time and the weight of the belly pulls on the spinal column. This can be caused by repeated pregnancies although older geldings can also have this condition. The animals appear to be in no pain. Sway backs can also occur in juvenile animals due to malformations in the spine. This would likely prevent the donkey from being a working animal.

As all donkeys at the sanctuary are officially retired Sheyore and Marble will live the rest of their lives in peace at PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary. Come visit Thursday and Sunday from 1-4pm and meet these two calm, friendly donkeys.




Sheyore and Marble with Earl in background

Cheerio miniature horse

Posted by PrimRose on August 29, 2017 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This is Cheerio a miniature horse. She is at the sanctuary temporarily while waiting to find a new home. Cheerio was surrendered to the sanctuary as she was acting aggressively to the donkeys at the farm where she lived. She is with several miniature donkeys who definitely keep their distance from her. She is very friendly to humans and enjoys human companionship. Miniature horses are often interbred in order to produce the small stature. This can produce defects such as bowed legs or heart issues and can cause the animal to have a short life. I hope Cheerio finds a new forever home soon.


PrimRose's Birthday Party and Donkey Care

Posted by PrimRose on August 22, 2017 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

PrimRoses's party was a great success; lots of visitors meeting the donkeys and other animals at the sanctuary. Money is raised at these events held periodically to buy hay and help care for animals. It costs $700 per year for a healthy donkey which includes hoof trimming, floating of teeth, vaccinations, hay and bedding. All donations are gratefully accepted at the sanctuary and go directly to the animals; there are no paid staff or overhead costs.

Keep an eye on the website to read about upcoming events such as Donkey Education Day and Carolling With The Donkeys. And remember no treats for the donkeys as many are on a special diet. Carrots and apples are veryhigh in sugar and as donkeys have very efficient digestive systems theycan become overweight very easily.


Primrose Herself is Having a Party

Posted by PrimRose on August 16, 2017 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This is PrimRose Sheila's first rescued donkey. PrimRose pulled a cart at Black Creek Pioneer Village for the first years of her life and was then a guard donkey at a few different farms. At 21 years old PrimRose and her daughter Jilly were unwanted. Sheila adopted PrimRose and there began many years of rescuing donkeys and the establishment of PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary. Jilly became a companion for a race horse and PrimRose became Sheila's confidante. Primrose is an ambassador for the sanctuary going to fundraising events, walking in parades and visiting seniors' homes. PrimRose is going to be 43 years and on August 20th 2017 there will be a birthday party at the sanctuary from 1-4pm. All are invited, there will be baked goods and tours offered. Donations are always greatly accepted.


Donkey Vocabulary

Posted by PrimRose on August 9, 2017 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

These are some Donkey words and definitions

Colt is a male donkey less then four years old

Filly is a female donkey less then four years old

Yearling is a male or female of one to two years old

Foal is a male or female up to one year old

Gelding is a castrated male

Mare is a female

Stallion is a male donkey not castrated

Jack is a male donkey

Jenny or jennet is a female donkey

Other related words are

Molly is a female mule

Mule has donkey father and a horse mother

Hinny has a donkey mother and a horse father


Wilson the Hinny

Posted by PrimRose on August 7, 2017 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Wilson is a hinny having a donkey for a mother and a horse for dad. In certain light a faint cross is visible along his spine. Wilson lives with his good friend Gordon hinny, Austin mule and Sheema miniature horse. These four friends do not mix with the donkeys well: Wilson loves to chase and nip at them creating havoc. He is territorial even when donkeys come near the fence. As a result they are kept on their own with hay, salt, shelter and water. Here Wilson is rolling in the dirt to prevent fly bites. He's craning his neck to see what I am doing behind him because one of the other animals, in particular Gordon, might be getting attention or food that Wilson feels entitled to! Guaranteed he would have to get up if that were the case!