A vital part of our work is our Outreach Programme which we operate throughout the districts of Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, Famagusta and Paphos. Many donkeys remain an important agricultural animal on the island particularly working in vineyards and olive groves where machinery can't reach.
Our team frequently encounter donkeys suffering with overgrown feet, parasites (such as worms), dental problems and untreated wounds. Although we ask for a donation, all treatments are provided free of charge and much emphasis is given on working with the owners to help prevent problems in the future. In cases where the animal is too old to work, has health problems that can be dealt with or the owner is struggling to care for the animal, we will rescue the donkey.
Advice is often asked for and given to owners as well as literature on many aspects of donkey care. Every year we help more and more donkeys on the island through the Programme which in turn can help the owners, many of whom still rely on their donkey on a daily basis.
Through visiting more donkeys the owners know they can contact us for support and the number of calls we now receive has increased dramatically over the years. Previously it was not unusual to find abandoned donkeys but now owners know they can contact us, not only for advice but also if they are no longer able to care for their donkey.
In 2014 we treated a record 180 donkeys in 77 villages and covered almost 5000km.