Help build a better future for donkeys

Our plan is to build a $2.5 million, incredible new facility to support the specialized training and medical care that donkeys need.

Pepper the donkey

Pepper's Story

Pepper’s Story Pepper was born in an open field, surrounded by cattle during one of the coldest nights that fall. He and his mom, Brie had no shelter, clean water or food other than the sparse grass they were lying on. No one knew that Brie was pregnant and so she had no help while foaling and no extra nutrition or care during her pregnancy. Brie tried her best to keep her newborn foal warm until morning when caring people saw them huddled together in the field. They called the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada (DSC) and our animal care team rushed to pick up the small jenny and her foal. Pepper was one of three foals in the small group of donkeys who lived with the herd of cattle, and the first of the group to find Sanctuary at the DSC.

Our Plan

The animals who come to the DSC are often from places where they’ve been mistreated or neglected. When they arrive, they may be experiencing pain, fear or both, and because of their unfortunate situations, they usually have no one else to turn to. Pepper is only one of the donkeys who had a caring person reach out to the DSC for rescue.

There are even more who we haven’t reached yet and the number of donkeys who need our help is overwhelming our limited resources.

The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada has an ambitious plan to help more donkeys and mules than ever before.

  1. A 4000 square foot addition to the existing Donkey House

  2. Building a new barn called the Training Centre dedicated to mules and training

The Training Centre

The Training Centre will be a new 19,000 square foot facility that will house our animals who need the most attention. It will have a medical treatment area, group areas for the mules, an indoor training arena and separate stalls connecting to outdoor runs for animals who need longer term rehabilitation.

Donkey House

The renovation to the existing Donkey House will provide an extra 4000 square feet of living space, stalls and two medical treatment areas for the donkeys who reside there.

Why We are Doing This

A greater number of donkeys are coming to the DSC who have nowhere else to go, and many of these cases are increasingly complex as a result of neglect, abuse and abandonment. The DSC’s donkey barns and mule shelter have remained relatively
unchanged for the last ten years despite some smaller improvements. To put it simply, we’re not able to take in some of the donkeys and mules who come to us, desperate for help. This customized facility will help in these critical areas:

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Space to rehabilitate and train

We are running out of space and because of this, we face challenges with placing animals in groups suitable to their gender, size and temperament – a key aspect in providing the right kind of care for each donkey or mule.

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Asking the abused and neglected to trust again

The donkeys and mules who come to the DSC can be feral, unhandled, timid or aggressive from neglect or abuse. It is key to provide training for these animals because they are the most vulnerable out there.

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Making space for donkeys
who still need to be rescued

The Sanctuary Farm has limited space so we are forced to turn away some donkeys who need our help. The new barns will provide extra space for more donkeys to be rescued – but those areas will reach capacity easily with the number of donkeys in need each year.

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Medical care for the Sick and Injured

As our population ages and as an increasing number of hurt or sick animals come to us, more space dedicated to medical treatment is desperately needed. With new areas for our veterinarians to work, we will be better equipped to treat serious medical cases before they become emergencies.

Visit us

Come and visit the donkeys and mules in Sanctuary.

Whether you choose a visit on an Open Day or prefer to book a private, expert-guided tour, be prepared to be charmed by these gentle animals. You will learn how we care for the animals, discover the donkeys’ personalities, the dynamics of the different groupings and get all your questions about donkeys answered by our incredible staff and volunteers.


To achieve our mission, we rely on the generous support of individuals like you, who share our commitment to donkeys. Your donations could help rescue a donkey who is experiencing neglect, a mule who has never felt a gentle human hand, or teach equine caretakers the difference between a donkey and a horse so they can help donkeys thrive in different environments.

In appreciation for your support, donors receive a discount to our Open Days!
Please email
for more information.