Healing Animals Organisation Donkey Sanctuary Portugal

Donkey Sanctuary Portugal

The Donkey Sanctuary is situated on the Algarve. The sanctuary hosts about 20 donkeys, 5 mules, 1 horse and about 94 dogs. All dogs are neutered or spayed. The Sanctuary’s goal is to home as many dogs as possible in Portugal itself. The Portuguese do not take puppies older then 3 or 4 months, so older dogs sometimes fly to Germany or Holland as they have a better chance of adoption over there. In a few cases older dogs are selected to leave to the North as well. As donkeys rarely find a new home they regularly spend the rest of there lives at the Refúgio dos Burros.

Testimonial from The Donkey Sanctuary

We at the sanctuary are very glad to be working with the Healing Animal Organisation and we believe that Elizabeth and her organisation have great symmetry with our charity. We run our farm in a “holistic” manner, which unlike many other charities, allows the majority of our animals to run free in large enclosures. We are the oldest animal charity in the Algarve and we believe that we have achieved this by allowing our development to be flexible and are always open to new ideas. It was therefore that we welcomed Elizabeth and her ideas with open minds and we have to say we were impressed. Although we have our own fully stocked pharmacy, operating theatre and vets assistants, we recognise that animal pharmaceuticals can only provide some of the answers to the problems we face. Indeed many of our animals have not just faced physical cruelty but mental also which takes much longer to heal.

Elizabeth arrived with us like a breath of fresh air and brought us not only donations which of course are desperately needed but also Rose hips, which our donkeys love, bags of Devils Claw and other natural products which we have not only been using but actually finished. Our dogs also responded very positively to the natural oils and other products. We look forward and need her to return. It is also worth noting that while with us for a short time, Elizabeth succeeded, after a short session, in getting a donkey to stand who had been down for 2 days after all our attempts had failed….suitably impressed…we were. We are also looking forward to receiving students of hers over the next year to work with us over here. This collaboration between our two organisations is one that we wish to continue and we look forward to seeing our relationship develop further in the near future.

With the Financial Adoption Project we strive to provide the Sanctuary with adequate financial support. We can only succeed with your help.

You can help by:

  • Financial adoption of a Donkey or Dog.
  • Promotion of our sanctuary at the bulletin board in the waiting room of your Vet.
  • A link of our sanctuary to your website.
    Please contact us at Refugio dos Burros
  • Promoting us at the bulletin board in the waiting room of your Vet.
    Please mail us your e-mail address and we will send you the promotion flyer as an attachment in JPG. You can print it out and pin it on the bulletin board at your Vet’s waiting room!

The donkeys and the dogs do appreciate your help, thank you very much!
Peter, Nan, Indra and Nora 

Donkeys in Portugal

When the donkeys enter the Sanctuary they receives a complete health check. The teeth are taken care of by the vet so the donkey can fulfil its most important duty…..EAT. Every donkey is wormed and the blacksmith arrives for the needed manicure. More then once it is necessary for the smith to come back a couple of times until the hooves are presentable.

The donkeys at the Refúgio dos Burros (the Donkey Sanctuary) have their own corals and are placed in different groups. They all have a place to take refuge from the sun, rain and wind. Everywhere at the premises you will find brand-new bathtubs (donated by a Dutch company called Beterbad bv in Dronten) These tubs hold the drinking water for the donkeys.
The horses (minimal 6 per year) are very expensive to keep, we always find them in a very bad state and for that, they need fast and intensive medical care. When they get healthy again, they don’t stay very long because lots of people like to adopt a horse. When they don’t get well and their wounds do not heal the Vet decides to euthanize the horse to avoid further suffering. All this costs lots of money unfortunately.

Off course we have mules and jennets which are taken care of with lots of love. The Gypsy’s leave their mule, jennet or horse in a terrible state, that is when the commercial value of the animal has dropped to zero. This is because when it ceases to work they stop feeding the poor thing. Wounded, skinny and covered in sores and parasites the animal is collected where it was found by private people or the police.

Lots of private land is being sold here in the Algarve to make way for another tourist house or holiday resort. Most of the time there are still horses on this land, front legs clustered with steel wire, tied to a tree or as a prisoner in a dark stinking stable; because when the land is sold there is no room left for them! Fortunately the Donkey Sanctuary takes good care of all these poor abandonees.