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The different ways to help Donkey Dreamland

become a patron of donkey dreamland

Although Donkey Dreamland receives no Government or Local Authority funding and relies upon generosity of visitors and supporters, the plan has always been to offer events and activities which allow people to participate in donkey related experiences which turn provide the funding which is so vital to keep the sanctuary running. We want to keep doing this, so that we can generate as much of the required monthly income through providing enjoyable experiences. One such experience is ….

Walk with The Donkeys and Share Their Love

 

Join Donkey Dreamland rescue centre in their daily activities taking care of the rescued donkeys.

 

Guests will arrive at the sanctuary where their host will introduce themselves and tell some of the story of Donkey Dreamland’s formation and speak about the experiences of some of the donkeys. You will also have the opportunity to experience the life of the volunteers, looking after the donkeys. This will include feeding, cleaning their stables and paddocks, grooming, applying cures.

Once the basics of donkey handling have been explained, you will take a walk with the donkeys, enjoying the company of these amazing creatures as well as experiencing the amazing countryside surrounding the sanctuary. There will also be a traditional Andalucian brunch of local organic virgin olive oil on fresh bread with tomato and a selection of cheeses, plus orange juice or mimosas. Surrounded by beautiful wildlife and olive trees, you will find it hard to believe that you are just 5 minutes drive from the beach, except that for the most part you will have an enticing view of the sea, when you are not gazing into the loving eyes of the donkeys.

Become a Friend of Donkey Dreamland

 

However, we are often asked if there are other ways of helping with the santuary finances on a more regular basis. In the vast majority of  “western” countries, there is only a need for rescue sanctuaries in situations where the owners have become too old and frail to take care of their dokeys or perhaps serious illness or financial distress has caused a massive change in circumstances. For example, in the UK, there are a number of donkey sanctuaries, but few rescue centres. There isn’t the need and that allows the charities to focus their rescue work in other less “aware” countries, and they are able to do this due to the amazing support and generosity of many supporters. One such donkey charity has annual income in excess of £37 million (yes, you have read that correctly!) but unfortunately their sanctuary in Spain is closed to new rescues.

 

For as long as we have sufficient funds, we will never turn away a donkey that is in urgent need of help, but sometimes, in order to do that, we need to plead for financial assistance through one-off fundraising campaigns (for example the recent case of Olivia). Were we able to build a sustainable monthly income of just €5,000 we would be able to focus on the donkeys and spend less time fundraising.

 

The donkey walks are amazing and generate good income – and during the coming weeks we will be adding Donkey Walks in the evenings, with a picnic instead of the brunch. We’re sure they will be popular too. But there is a limit to how many we can do, so ultimately the income potential is capped. Can you help by either becoming a Best Friend, a Patron, or by sponsoring a donkey?

rescue, recuperate rehome - it's what we do!

Donkey News

Lucky - (well, he's now an honary donkey)

You may recall that when we first took Lucky the horse, he was almost totally blind. At best he could make out blurred shadows in one eye. However, after weeks of a healthy diet and loads of love and attention, there is no doubting that his sight has improved.

Whenever someone walks down to his paddock, no matter how silently we approach, he immediately walks straight towards us, looking directly at us. 

 

It is so heart warming and another justification (as if any were needed) for Amaya’s decision to take a horse in to the Donkey Sanctuary. He may never be rehomed, (although we live in hope that a true horse lover may take him on) but at least his remaining days, however long or short that may be, will be more enjoyable and full of love.

olivia

To each and every one of you who contributed to Olivia’s fundrasing campaign: THANK YOU. She is a different donkey from the poor beat up girl that first arrived at the sanctuary. It would have been so easy to decide that she couldn’t be saved and put her out of her misery, but with your amazing support we have again been taught to never give up. Just NEVER say NEVER.

 

She has the freedom of the sanctuary (except when she over indulges and has to be locked in her stable for her own protection) and the fact that she chooses to go up and down the steep rugged tracks demonstrates that although her walking will never be perfect, she is much improved and with only limited pain. Yes, after over doing it, she will have a lie down for a rest and then be very stiff when she gets up again, but she is happy and content.

 

Her character has come through and shows what an amazingly loveable donkey Olivia is. She is not afraid to let us know what SHE wants and for those of you who follow us on Facebook will know, she is not averse to escaping to our terrace and helping herself to oranges and bananas – and smashing a few bowls up whilst she is doing so!

 

We haven’t quite reached our initial target with the fundraising and there’s always pressure on the finances when any of the donkeys need regular medication as she does, but no-one said running a donkey sanctuary would be easy. If you can help fund the sanctuary running costs there are a number of ways listed below and as always we will be forever grateful, as will Olivia all the Donkey Tribe. Obviously Olivia will never be able to be rehomed due to her unique situation, but she is now very much part of our donket tribe and that is all down to your support. Thank you for giving here that chance. 

Carlos and lucero

You may recall that Carlos came to our attention due to a lovely lady from Germany named Marianne, who was staying near Velez Malaga for a few weeks. Although he had been kept in atrocious conditions, it was due to ignorance rather than intentional neglect and abuse – as it demonstrated by his fantastic character.

 

Lucero was a similar story, in that he was taken from his Mother at just one month old, to be a “pet”. He had no time to learn anything from his Mum – especially that he was actually a donkey, not a dog or a child’s plaything!

 

He came to Donkey Dreamland on a temporary basis to interact with other donkeys and learn “donkey stuff”. He and Carlos have bonded in such a way that they will not be separated. They are quite simply BEST FRIENDS. So when it is time for Lucero to go back to his owners, Carlos will be going too. We will miss them both, not just because they are both amazing and loveable donkeys, but because they have been the ones to go out to the hotel kids camps! The children simply adore them and they are so well behave despite often having to put up with a bunch of over excited kids!

 

But that’s in the future still. Despite his size, Lucero is six months old and he still has much to learn, so we he will be at the sanctuary for a while longer, so there is still time to come and visit them both at the sanctuary. You can’t deny that they are both simply ADORABLE. 

 

Who knows, Lucero may soon be ready to come on a donkey walk with visitors. Wouldn’t that be something special?

As you may be aware, Donkey Dreamland receives no government funding and relies totally on visitors and supporters to meet the monthly running costs. If you would like to help support the rescued donkeys, there are a number of ways you could assist:

HELPING TO EDUCATE THE NEXT GENERATION

Hotel kids camps

As part of our programme to reach out and educate thenext generation, we have been delighted to collaberate with The Marbella Club Hotel who have welcomed our donkeys to their “Kids Camp”. We have now made three visits with more planned over the Summer. 

Of course the intention is for the children to have a fun time interacting with our donkeys,  but at the same time learning a little about animal welfare so that we can deduce the needs for rescue centres. 

 

At the same time we get to spread the word about Donkey Dreamland far and wide, given the nature of the mutli-nation clientele of The Marbella Club Hotel.

school trips

We are also working with local schools, although we still need to pread the word further. The British International School of Marbella have visited and by all accounts the students had a lovely time interacting with the donkeys and learning about their welfare. In addition, the children organised a fundraising event (a charity cinema in school) and raised an incredible €1035.40 for Donkey Dreamland.

Before the month is out we have two further school visits booked, this time from local state schools and it is really satisfying that these schools have decided to use a visit to Donkey Dreamland as part of their “out of school” educational visits. With a bit of luck these visits will become annual events, meaning new children get to experience the donkeys and learn abaout animal wlefare in an interactive environment. We hope that other schools get in touch too.

Much has been happening at Donkey Dreamland

happy easter to everyone

ENTERTAIN YOUR CHILDREN WITH A VISIT TO DONKEY DREAMLAND OVER EASTER.

 

In addition to adults and children experiencing a tour of the sanctuary and interacting with our beautiful rescue donkeys, there will be an Easter Egg hunt and artwork shop for the children. Come and spend a few hours at donkey dreamland and let your children enjoy the great outdoors, interacting with our donkeys, learning about them as well as enjoying a supervised Easter Egg hunt and Art Workshop.

 

All proceeds go towards helping the existing donkeys rescued donkeys as well as providing funds to finance new rescues. Thank you for your support.

private event on 12th april

Donkey dreamland rescues a horse?

We heard about a horse who had a mini stroke (or something similar) and went blind as a result. His owner had no further interest in him and he was left in a stable for three weeks and he was going to be put down. Even though we are a donkey rescue centre, we could not ignore this – especially as we currently have spare capacity and shelter. A rooster had become his companion and never left his side, so we took the rooster too!

 

They have both settled in well and the rooster gets upset if he can’t see the horse (sometimes we have taken him to a bigger paddock with some grass, so that he can experience walking around again, and this paddock is out of the eye line of the rooster!)

 

We felt they both needed a name and after assessing loads of suggestions, the volunteers settled with Lucky and Luke after a childhood comic series Amaya was very fond of: Lucky Luke. So we have Lucky, the horse and Luke, the rooster.

olivia update

Our vet is very happy and we thank him for his skill and experience. We wanted to show you a video of her almost running, but we also wanted to show you our vet, Jose Maria telling us that he is very happy. To see her almost running, visit our YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/shorts/5YFplKFRyU4?feature=share
and see how well she is recovering! That is thanks to everyone who has donated to her GoFundMe Appeal. It has been a long and expensive process, but TOTALLY worth it. Now that she has minimal pain, her real character is coming through – and what character she has! She has obviously become used to being the centre of attention because now she demands attention whenever she feels she is not getting enough!

 

There is still some minor work to be done on her front hooves and this has to be done gradually by the farrier which involves filing down the heal so that it is at the correct angle for her new (correct) posture. Every donation has helped Olivia and further donations will continue to help with her recovery and recuperation. Please share the GoFundMe Appeal link so that we have a chance of reaching our target which will help reduce the financial pressure the sanctuary faces.

 

 

In the next edition...

You may recall the separate stories of Carlos and Lucero. Carlos was in need of rescuing, but Lucero was not badly treated or neglected – he just needed to interact with donkeys so that he could remember that he is a DONKEY!

 

Well Carlos has taken Lucero under his wing and as well as teaching him how to behave, they have bonded and are most likely to be inseparable.

 

They have also been out to visit a top five star hotel in Marbella to help to introduce young children at the Kids Club to Donkey Dreamland and animal welfare. More about their exciting excursions in the next issue….

Can you help us help the donkeys (and Lucky the horse)?

Please share this blog as much as you can and hopefully that will help with donations.

 

We have been involved in the rescue of over 35 donkeys in less than two years since are formation, but this just highlights how much there remains to do. In addition to the stated mission of Rescue, Recuperate and Rehome, we also want to get out within the community to EDUCATE, particulary so that future generations are more aware and make our role redundant. Unfortunately it all costs money. With no financial support currently coming from government, we are so grateful for the financial assistance provided by our supporters, followers and visitors. But as is so often the case, we need more. It costs around €4,000 per month to run the sanctuary. Obviously this is not just food for the donkeys – they eat alot, but not that much! That said, in the last month, the price of hay as almost tripled! We are now paying over €1,000 per month to feed the donkeys currently at the sanctuary. It’s been a dry winter and our wells have struggled to keep up with demand and a truck load of water now costs over €100 and with the summer almost upon us, we can assume we will need a truck a week. Rent also swallows up a big chunk of our income – just over €1,000 per month and maintence is an ongoing battle. On top of all of that, we always have vet bills and farrier fees. Educational visits to schools and hotels also mean additional transport costs – normally around €300 a time. So it does all add up. Our volunteers do amazing work, giving their time and love for free and we try to arrange local fundraising events, but every little bit helps.

 

If you are able to provide some monthly support from €10 or more, please follow the link below:

Alternatively, for just €1 per month you could become one of our TEAMERS. It may not seem like much, but Teaming is an online tool to raise funds in favour of social causes with micro donations of 1€ a month. The philosophy is based on the idea that 1€ does not have much of an impact if donated alone, but if we join forces, we can make beautiful projects possible. It will take time, but with your support spreading the word, one day we might have sufficient Teamers to help ensure each month’s cost are met, leaving Amaya and the volunteers free to focus on the Rescue, Recuperating and Rehoming of more and more donkeys.

It’s all been happening….

Sorry it’s been a few days since any updates have been posted. It’s been so busy there just hasn’t been time. But this latest blog will hopefully get you updated. 

 

We will cover a number of topics: Firstly an update on Olivia, then an introduction of Carlos and Lucero and then a couple of dates for your diaries.

Update on Olivia

I was going to show some pictures of her in surgery, but after uploading them I decided that for some they might be a bit a little bit too much!

However, the vet was REALLY pleased with how it went and Olivia is now standing up probably 80% of the time and her front legs are now so much straighter. (Prior to surgery, she was standing only about 20% of the time.) She is also walking a bit more, although she still walks with a stiffness, which we hope we diminish with time and exercise.

 

All in all, everyone is absolutely delighted with how things are progressing. However, the vet came again today to change her bandages and it has been decided the the second stage of surgery will be necessary (it was always expected that would be the case) so she will have that on Friday. It’s more invasive than the first surgery,  so we will be keeping everything crosssed that is also as successful as the first stage. We are also ordering a lrage truck full of sand so that she has her own small paddock with a really soft base. This will help her recovery and generally make life easier for her. In summer we will build a shade over it too, so that she is protected from the sun without having to walk any great distance for shade, but also has her own quiet space.

 

Thank you so much to every single donation to her GoFundMe campaign. We still have a little bit further to go to reach our target, so please do share the link: https://gofund.me/8908c8a5

Carlos becomes the 30th Donkey dreamland rescue

Carlos was found by Marianna, a lovely lady from Germany who spends time in Spain with her family. She was concerned about his terrible living conditions and dealt with the whole rescue process herself meaning that Donkey Dreamland only had to commit to taking him if a solution could be found. Marianna “negotiated” with his owner and dealt with the all of the paperwork which has to be done in order to take a donkey, plus she dealt with the vet to get all of his papers in order. 

 

As the pictures show, he was certainly living in horrible conditions and if left there for much longer, his health would no doubt have suffered. Fortunately he is young and relatively fit and apart from needing to be castrated, the only issue seems to be his hooves. We have already had them looked at by the farrier and hopefully he will be none the worse for his appalling living conditions.

Lucero - Rescue number 31?

To be fair this cute little rascal is not a rescue. His owners took him on two months ago when he was just two months old. As a result he has had no interaction with other donkeys and whilst the family gave him much love and attention, it got to the stage where his boisterous behave was becoming dangerous to their children.

 

So Lucero has come to the sanctuary for a bit of training and interaction, with a view that he will return to his family in about six months. The hope is that by then he may well have bonded with another donkey from the sanctuary and they will return to a loving home together, but Lucero will hopefully accept that he is a donkey, because at present he seems to think he is a dog!

He is going to be big. He is already huge for his size and we can tell from his ears and the thickness of his legs that he will be a BIG donkey. So after a few days of “ahs” and cuddles, we will start training him so that he knows right from wrong. But there is no denying – he is absolutely adorable!

march events for your diary

March 19th – After being closed for a few weeks (apart from pre-booked Donkey Walk Experiences) in order to minimise disruption for Olivia, on March 19th we will re-start tours of the sanctuary, subject to pre-booking.

If you are in and around La Cala de Mijas, Costa del Sol on 27th March come and join Leonie for another amazing Sound Healing session amongst the donkeys in the tranquil setting of Donkey Dreamland.

 

Sound healing is an ancient meditative practice that uses different musical implements to create healing vibrations around the body in a meditative state. It uses aspects of music to improve physical and emotional health and well-being. 

 

Healing with sound is believed to date back to ancient Greece, when music was used in an attempt to cure mental disorders. Throughout history, music has been used to boost morale in military troops, help people work faster and more productively, and even ward off evil spirits by chanting.

 

More recently, research has linked music to a number of health benefits, such as boosting immune functions and lowering stress levels.

 

We asked for a donation of just €15.00 person to participate so not only are you helping yourslef to de-stress and generally feel better, but you are also helping the donkeys too!

 

Also on Sunday 27th March starting at 14.00 hrs, we are celebrating the fact that it will be Mother’s Day in the UK.  Enjoy sandwiches, cakes, scones and tea or Cava and a walk around the sanctuary interacting with the lovely donkeys.

 

Although the event starts at 14.00 hrs, we are staggering the serving of tea so that the volunteers serving can ensure everyone is looked after in a timely fashion. So time slots have been set at half hour intervals and as such reservations are highly recommended. Your can book here.

 

Whilst waiting for your tea time, or after you have enjoyed your tea and Cava, you can walk around the sanctuary interacting with the donkeys and enjoy their company. What a truly relaxing way to enjoy Mother’s Day. 

Please share this blog as much as you can and hopefully that will help with donations. If you are able to provide some monthly support from €10 or more, please follow the link below:

Alternatively, for just €1 per month you could become one of our TEAMERS. It may not seem like much, but Teaming is an online tool to raise funds in favour of social causes with micro donations of 1€ a month. The philosophy is based on the idea that 1€ does not have much of an impact if donated alone, but if we join forces, we can make beautiful projects possible. It will take time, but with your support spreading the word, one day we might have sufficient Teamers to help ensure each month’s cost are met, leaving Amaya and the volunteers free to focus on the Rescue, Recuerating and Rehoming of more and more donkeys.

The most difficult rescue to-date?

At times Amaya despaired as to whether Camelo could ever be rehabilitiated and mix with other donkeys in a sociable way. Watch Camelo and Viki and hear his story.

Please share this blog as much as you can and hopefully that will help with donations. If you are able to provide some monthly support from €10 or more, please follow the link below:

Alternatively, for just €1 per month you could become one of our TEAMERS. It may not seem like much, but Teaming is an online tool to raise funds in favour of social causes with micro donations of 1€ a month. The philosophy is based on the idea that 1€ does not have much of an impact if donated alone, but if we join forces, we can make beautiful projects possible. It will take time, but with your support spreading the word, one day we might have sufficient Teamers to help ensure each month’s cost are met, leaving Amaya and the volunteers free to focus on the Rescue, Recuerating and Rehoming of more and more donkeys.

Update on Olivia

Most evenings Amaya will spend time with Olivia and it’s great to see Olivia bonding and gaining strength and confidence. She certainly seems to enjoy the company of our volunteers and they definitely enjoy sitting with her.

 

We hope that in time she will be able to walk “normally” but that will involve surgery. The GoFundMe campaign has received amazing support and at the time of writing we had received almost two thirds of the total required. Please do share the campaign with your friends and contacts. If you access it here: https://gofund.me/8908c8a5 there are a number of ways you can share the campaign, or alternatively just copy the link and send send it via email, whatsapp or post it on your favourite social media platform. Thanks so much in advance.

 

We will keep posting updates about Olivia, but we also want this blog to share the ongoing work of the sanctuary and the next post will be another story and video about one of the rescued donkeys. Thanks for your interest and support.

Please share this blog as much as you can and hopefully that will help with donations. If you are able to provide some monthly support from €10 or more, please follow the link below:

Alternatively, for just €1 per month you could become one of our TEAMERS. It may not seem like much, but Teaming is an online tool to raise funds in favour of social causes with micro donations of 1€ a month. The philosophy is based on the idea that 1€ does not have much of an impact if donated alone, but if we join forces, we can make beautiful projects possible. It will take time, but with your support spreading the word, one day we might have sufficient Teamers to help ensure each month’s cost are met, leaving Amaya and the volunteers free to focus on the Rescue, Recuerating and Rehoming of more and more donkeys.

Israel and Romeo

I

Although much of the focus remains on Olivia, who is doing well as you will see in the next blog posting, given that there have now been 29 rescues, we want to take time to give you the stories of some of the other donkeys.

 

Israel was the 3rd Donkey at Donkey Dreamland and arrived just 3 days after Romeo and Juliet. He came from Torrox a town east of Malaga (near Nerja for those of you that know the area). He had been living in a small chicken coop and seemingly fed mostly on stale bread. He had been castrated, which was good, but he had no documents.

 

A neighbour denounced the owner and sent Amaya photos hoping that she might be able to help. Amaya went and spoke with the owner and the owner agreed to give him up for rescue.

 

Although there is no detailed proof of his history, the suspicion is that he was taken from his mother at a very young age and had been on his own for most of his 7 years as he didn’t know how to interact with other donkeys. When he arrived at Donkey Dreamland he was placed in a stable on his own, but after one day was placed in a paddock with Romeo and Juliet. After a couple of days, Romeo and Israel started a process of bonding, running around and occasionally playing together and after a few days they were fully bonded and are now inseparable. When a forever home is found, they will not be separated. They will be rehomed together.

 

Please share this blog as much as you can and hopefully that will help with donations. If you are able to provide some monthly support from €10 or more, please follow the link below:

Alternatively, for just €1 per month you could become one of our TEAMERS. It may not seem like much, but Teaming is an online tool to raise funds in favour of social causes with micro donations of 1€ a month. The philosophy is based on the idea that 1€ does not have much of an impact if donated alone, but if we join forces, we can make beautiful projects possible. It will take time, but with your support spreading the word, one day we might have sufficient Teamers to help ensure each month’s cost are met, leaving Amaya and the volunteers free to focus on the Rescue, Recuerating and Rehoming of more and more donkeys.

Update on Olivia – Our newest rescue

Olivia has been with us for over a week now and she is improving everyday. It will be a very long process and there are no guarantees, because when she is strong enough, she will need surgery, which is always risky at the best of times.

 

However, she is alot more relaxed and she is getting stronger. We are even beginning to see traits of her character, so she must be gaining some confidence. Yesterday, whilst Amaya was busy with some volunteers, Olivia sneakily entered our terrace and helped herself to a basket full of mandarins plus a couple of plot plants! And then duly took herslef back to her stable and lay down with a look on her face which basically said “It wasn’t me!”. Our recently departed Pepe used to do that all of the time, so it’s no surprise when we hear many of the volunteers say how much Olivia reminds them of Pepe. 

The vet is doing another assessment with her today and we will let you know what he has to say in due course, but she is definitely getting stronger and that means we are getting closer to being able togive her surgery. In addition to having to fund that, we are also trying to build up a regular reliable income so that we don’t have to do “one-off” fundraising drives wheneverwe have to rescue another helpless donkey. To that end, we are asking for your help to increase the number of monthly donating supporters helping us meet the ongoing costs of the sanctuary. Please share this blog as much as you can and hopefully that will help with donations. If you are able to provide some monthly support from €10 or more, please follow the link below:

Alternatively, for just €1 per month you could become one of our TEAMERS. It may not seem like much, but Teaming is an online tool to raise funds in favour of social causes with micro donations of 1€ a month. The philosophy is based on the idea that 1€ does not have much of an impact if donated alone, but if we join forces, we can make beautiful projects possible. It will take time, but with your support spreading the word, one day we might have sufficient Teamers to help ensure each month’s cost are met, leaving Amaya and the volunteers free to focus on the Rescue, Recuerating and Rehoming of more and more donkeys.

Saturday 5/02/2022. A brief glimpse into the daily activity at Donkey Dreamland.

As followers of our blog will know, Olivia, our newest rescue is now with us. 😊❤ She has had two visits from our vet… and he recommends we give her time and lots of love before making any big decisions. We are on it. We love you OLIVIA.❤

Amaya’s cat Mellie had an amazing connection and bond with Pepe, our much missed donkey who passed away just a few weeks ago. Many of us see a great deal of Pepe in Olivia, and as this short video shows, Olivia and Mellie are bonding in much the same way. Seeing interactions like this brings tears of joy to our eyes. Towards the end of the video we can see that Olivia is still struggling to walk – but every day sees her improving and we are so proud of her. More on Olivia’s progress over the coming days, but in the meantime, yesterday was a busy but fun day. See more below….

There were donkey walks, donkey treatments and donkey maintenance. The team of volunteers do amazing work, and yesterday was no exception.

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