An Update From Lesley Bayne, Executive Director
Autumn is a beautiful time of year at the Sanctuary Farm, with the brightly coloured leaves hanging over the long laneway leading to the old farmhouse and Donkey House. The donkeys and mules are playing wistfully with the heat of summer lifted, cool breezes flowing through the paddocks.
2020 proved to be a quiet year in Sanctuary, having been closed to visitors and volunteers for most of the season. The animals missed their adoring audience and as a result, have been asking for more attention from staff. Whenever I enter a paddock to help with grooming or check on one of our sick or injured donkeys, I'm quickly surrounded by those who miss the attention from our visitors and volunteers. Big Ben, in his dapper donkey pants quickly approaches me and if I stop scratching his ears or withers for a moment, he does not hesitate to remind me with a gentle nudge. Big Ben isn't the only one who is missing his admirers-Hewey and his bonded match, Tequila, and many of the Barnyard pace of donkeys are vying for the attention of any staff who enter their paddock.
The handful of staff who have kept the DSC operating during the state of emergency have experienced a noticeably different environment around the farm too. We miss our visitors and volunteers-almost as much as the donkeys and mules do. I'm accustomed to writing to you with the sounds of an active farm in the background; volunteers teaching visitors about these forgotten equines, people of all ages exclaiming joy at the connection they made with one of our animals. The sound of silence between donkeys' braying is quite pronounced this year. The donkeys are so fortunate to have the dedication and loyalty of you, our donors, through this difficult time. It is only with your support that the donkeys continue to receive daily care, food and medication through these challenging times.
On behalf of the donkeys and mules, thank you for your unwavering commitment to their care.