The PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary

Donkey Tails Blog

Donkey Tails blog is a well written, informative and very interesting blog by volunteer Vivian about PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary and their animals at the wonderful donkey sanctuary in the Roseneath Ontario area. 

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Susie Q

Posted by PrimRose on June 19, 2018 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Susie Q miniature donkey came all the way from Alberta on a transport truck with her mother and siblings. Susie’s owner was going to set up a farm in Ontario. It took several months for the owner to relocate and she decided on Nova Scotia. Susie’s mother Charisma was too old to travel to Nova Scotia. It is difficult to stay standing for many hours when elderly so Charisma had to stay in Ontario. Susie Q being the eldest offspring stayed as well. The others are now on a farm in NS. Charisma passed away from old age this past Christmas: she was in her forties. Susie Q is happy at the sanctuary and has many friends there.


Yoga with the Donkeys

Posted by PrimRose on June 4, 2018 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The sanctuary is always looking for fundraising ideas and yesterday Francesca from Karma Lifestyle held the second annual Yoga With the Donkeys. The donkeys cooperated nicely braying at regular intervals. Francesca led us through many poses such as butterfly, porpoise, eagle, downward dog and donkey kicks. There are also many rescued cats at the sanctuary and a few were fascinated by my yoga mat rolling and playing and attempting to unsuccessfully sharpen their claws which caused many holes to form on the surface.Thank you to all who came out. If anyone has more fun ideas for activities at the sanctuary contact Sheila.

See you next year.


Jessie Mule and Carlos Hinny.

Posted by PrimRose on May 29, 2018 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Jessie mule was on a horse farm before coming to the sanctuary and has been here for a few years. She is wonderful gentle mule who can sometimes act a bit like a diva: demanding attention and flattening her ears at the donkeys. Most donkeys realize the flat ears don’t mean muchand don’t get too worried about it! Jessie has also been adopted as a nursemaid by a couple of other hinnies rescued at the sanctuary. The latest is Carlos. Carlos comes from a very abusive situation and is always close to Jessie. If she is out of sight he whinnies loudly. While most equines come to trust humans again after leaving abusive situations and coming to the sanctuary Carlos is still very cautious and keeps his distance. He is in a safe place now and stays with Jessie.

Jessie and Carlos grazing

Jessie mule

Carlos staying out of the hot sun


Yoga at the Sanctuary

Posted by PrimRose on May 24, 2018 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Last year a very successful yoga session was held at the sanctuary to help raise funds to care for the donkey,hinnies, mules, goats, sheep, pigs and cats. This year the yoga session will be held on June 2nd from 11:30-12:30. Bring your mat and come out for a great class lead by Francesca. Water will be available. In honour of downward donkey here is Rosie showing how flexible she is.



Posted by PrimRose on May 15, 2018 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

North American donkeys are all descendants of the African Wild Ass. There are 2 subspecies: the Nubian Wild Ass and the Somali Wild Ass. The Nubian Asses are extinct. The Somali Asses are critically endangered. A few are found in zoos around the world and in small numbers in countries in Africa such as Eritrea and Ethiopia. I like to explain this ancestry in the tours I give (Sundays from 1-4pm). The proof is shown here on Oliver’s leg: there are remnants of the stripe that is very noticeable on the leg of the Somali Wild Ass in the photo below.

Oliver’s rear leg

Somali Wild Ass


Daisies for Donkeys

Posted by PrimRose on May 6, 2018 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The sanctuary had another very successful annual event. Donkey related crafts and daisies were sold to raise money for Donkey care, feed, barn, fence and shelter repairs.

These are the daisies graciously supplied to us by Quinn's Blooms & Greenery. They sold that went very quickly.

There were also baked goods, lemonade, Coffee and apple cider to try. These amazing treats looked like cheeseburgers but were actually cupcakes, brownies and icing . Yum!! Thanks to all the visitors who came to view the amazing animals at the sanctuary and for their kind donations. Thank you to PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary volunteers, we couldn't have done this without you!


Donkeys and Grief

Posted by PrimRose on April 30, 2018 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

This is Sadie a miniature donkey who was recently welcomed to PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary. Her equine friend at the farm she came from passed away and it was felt that other donkey companionship might be good for her at the sanctuary. She is still finding her way and seems despondent at times.

Donkeys are very loyal animals and when they lose a beloved company it is important the donkey is allowed to sniff their companion after they have passed away. If the donkey does not have this closure they can continue to grieve indefinitely and may never recover.

With the patient loving care Sadie receives at the sanctuary I am sure she will begin to mend.




Volunteer Projects at the Sanctuary

Posted by PrimRose on April 24, 2018 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Sheila is always looking for volunteers at the sanctuary. In particular need right now is Saturday mucking out, please email Sheila if you can help. There are many different volunteer opportunities at the farm. Mucking out, giving tours on Thursdays and Sundays, grooming, helping during feeding time and replenishing water are frequent duties. There are volunteers who bake,paint, crochet or take photos of the donkeys. Onevent days there are volunteers who make coffee/tea or help with set up and take down. There are volunteers who repair fences and fix gates or walls of the barn. The barn is frequently painted. There are volunteers who make runs to the dump or drive the trailer to pick up rescued donkeys.This photo shows a project recently completed by volunteer Elliot. This is a hay rack with a roof to keep the rain/snow off the hay as this can cause the hay to rot.

Here's the link to more information on volunteering at PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary:

If you'd like to help, please visit the sanctuary on one of our open days Thursdays or Sundays 1-4pm and speak to Sheila who is the owner of the sanctuary. Alternately you may send an email to


Portraits and Personality

Posted by PrimRose on April 17, 2018 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (0)

It is interesting to observe the donkeys and mules; their personalities and behaviour are quite different. This series of equine photos also demonstrates their personalities. This is Austin, he is a mule having a donkey for a father and a horse for a mother. He looks positively regal in this picture. Austin is cautious with strangers and prefers not to be pet which can seem standoffish. After he lost his good friend Sheema he did enjoy neck scratches. When good friends Wilson and Gordon get frisky he walks away and avoids any trouble.

This is Wilson hinny. He had a donkey for a mother and horse for a father. Hinnies are physically different then mules in that there is a slight cross on their back. The dark line on Wilson’s spine can be seen in this photo. Wilson can also seem standoffish similar to Austin. He prefers not to be pet and can be cautious around new people. Wilson is territorial and can be bossy with donkeys which is why he is kept separate from the donkeys. Here he is with his mouth full as is usually the case, ears perked and nostrils flared. He is checking if there are treats around.

This is Gordon also a hinny. His personality is similar to Wilson’s: prefers not to be touched, territorial and cautious around strangers. However Gordon is quite curious and smart. One day a gate was left open and instead of going to eat the hay on the porch he stood at the window of the house to see what Sheila was doing. When Gordon gets his photo taken he always acts nonchalant or maybe slightly embarrassed: lookingcasually right and left.

And then there are the donkeys! Donkeys are similar to dogs: they follow you around, are loyal, love a good scratch and treat and are smart and curious. It is often difficult to get a good photo as they stand so close and follow as you back up to get a good shot. Here is Charlie mini donkey doing exactly that as I try to get a good shot!

I also tried crouching but that brought Charlie too close for a photo.