We want to keep you informed about our response to the coronavirus outbreak. Here are the answers to some of the most common FAQs we receive.

Our Sidmouth sanctuary will be reopening on 5 December. The remainder of our UK sanctuaries will remain temporarily closed while we continue to focus our efforts on ensuring our resident donkeys receive the highest level of care.

Like many other visitor attractions working through the winter months under Covid-19 restrictions, The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, has adjusted it’s opening hours and will be open to visitors at weekends and during Devon school holidays only.

We are continuing to monitor the latest government advice regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important to safeguard the health of our visitors, staff and donkeys and this is an overriding factor in our decision making regarding the continued closure of the remainder of our UK sanctuaries. We will never be distracted from our core mission of putting donkeys first, second and third in everything we do.

Frequently asked questions

Donkey welfare

Can I still call if I am concerned about the welfare of a donkey?

As we adapt to the situation and most recent government guidance we have had to make significant changes to the way we work to keep each other safe and still reach donkeys most in need of our help.

Our welfare office team is now working from home but we are still on hand to provide advice and discuss any donkey welfare concerns you may have.

Our team of Donkey Welfare Advisers will review any welfare concerns reported to us and respond accordingly.

Action

If you are concerned about the welfare of a donkey or mule in England, Scotland or Wales please get in touch.

You can complete our online checklist or alternatively, call our welfare advice line on 01395 578222 Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm to speak to our experienced welfare team.

If your concern is an emergency and falls outside our normal office hours you will be directed to our emergency help line.

Advice for donkey owners and Donkey Guardians

If you are a donkey owner or Donkey Guardian worried about caring for your animals during the Covid-19 outbreak, we are still here for you. Please read our specific guidance on what you can do to help your donkeys and mules if you self-isolate or become unwell.

Visiting our sanctuaries

When will you be reopening?

The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth will reopen to the public on Saturday 5 December 2020 and from this point, we will be opening at weekends and during school holidays only until March 2021.

We'll keep you updated with any changes on our website and social media channels. In the meantime, you can still see our wonderful donkeys on our 24/7 livestream webcams.

Are your regional sanctuaries closed?

Aside from our Sidmouth sanctuary, the remainder of The Donkey Sanctuary UK sanctuaries (Belfast, Birmingham, Ivybridge, Leeds, Manchester) will remain temporarily closed while we continue to focus our efforts on ensuring our resident donkeys receive the highest level of care by our dedicated grooms who continue to work as normal.

We'll keep you updated with any changes on our website and social media channels.

Will staff still have access to sanctuaries?

Currently, only essential staff (grooms, for example) have access to our closed sanctuaries while the rest of our workforce work from home where possible.

What is the situation with your sanctuaries in Ireland, Italy and Spain?

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus) in Ireland, Italy and Spain, we have taken the decision to close our sanctuaries to visitors and service users.

Our resident donkeys are not affected and they will continue to receive the highest level of care by our dedicated staff.

What happens to your donkeys while your sanctuaries are closed?

Our resident donkeys will continue to receive the highest level of care by our dedicated grooms who continue to work as normal.

How many donkeys do you have in total at your sanctuaries?

We have 7,000 donkeys and mules in our care across the UK and Europe.

Can people catch coronavirus from donkeys?

There is no evidence that people can catch coronavirus from donkeys.

Can donkeys catch coronavirus from people?

There is no evidence that donkeys can catch coronavirus from people.

Adopt a Donkey

If I adopt a donkey, will I still get my adoption pack in the post?

Yes. Thank you so much for adopting a donkey, you will still receive your adoption pack in the post. We aim to get this to you within 14 days of receiving your order.

Will I still receive updates about my Adoption donkey?

Yes. We are currently still able to send out updates about our adoption donkeys. Remember to follow Adopt a Donkey on Facebook and Twitter to see regular updates from all of our adoption donkeys.

I’ve just renewed my adoption; will I still receive my new portraits?

Yes. Thank you so much for renewing your adoption for another year. We are still able to send you your new portraits. We aim to get these to you within 14 days.

I pay for my adoption by Direct Debit, will I still receive my new portraits on my anniversary?

Yes. Thank you so much for adopting a donkey by Direct Debit. We are still able to send you your new portraits following the anniversary of your adoption. We aim to get these to you within 14 days.

I paid for my adoption with a one off payment, will I still receive a reminder when it’s time to renew my adoption?

Yes. Thank you so much for adopting a donkey. If you paid for your adoption with a one off payment we will send you a reminder to renew when your adoption is due to expire. Don't forget you can always renew your adoption online.

Can I still visit my adopted donkey?

If your adoption donkey lives at our Sidmouth sanctuary then yes you are able to visit your adopted donkey. However, due to Covid-19 our regional sanctuaries in Birmingham, Belfast, Manchester, Leeds and Ivybridge will remain temporarily closed to visitors and service users.

Donations

Will you be processing my recent postal donation?

Yes. Postal donations will be processed, however, we have a smaller than usual team onsite, so there may be a delay in the processing.

We kindly ask that you consider donating online for the time being. This will mean that the money reaches us straight away and it will not need to be manually processed.

(Updated: 30/11/20, 15:45?GMT)