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Meet Sam, a stunningly beautiful 8 year old gelding, who came to us as a stallion with some behavioural issues and a reputation for escaping. A few years ago, a very kind man rescued him from a life of awful abuse. It took more than two years for him to gain some of Sam's confidence but, being a young stallion, the owner knew Sam needed more help to improve.

Also, the little donkey became an expert at rolling under the electric fencing and, living close to a main road, there was a real danger of him being involved in an accident.

The owner was very concerned about Sam's future and asked if we could take him, which we did in May. He's since been castrated and has begun to settle into the new environment. As with Yiannis, the young donkey we rescued last year, it will take time and patience to build his confidence further, but he's a very sweet natured donkey and we know he will get there.



Moses was previously captured on film opening the truck door which we shared with you recently. Well, this time he’s been caught closing the back door as well as opening it! The best bit was as he had his head in the back of the truck, one of his carers told him ‘Moses, get out of there’ and he promptly did and shut the door afterwards!!

You can watch him up to his antics in this video..



It was only last December that we retired Lonnie from our Adoption Scheme due to his advancing years and so it came as a terrible shock to us when he suddenly died less than an hour after calling our vet. The only indication we had that something wasn’t right was that he didn’t want his breakfast that morning. Nothing else seemed amiss but knowing that a donkey that won’t eat is an ill donkey, we rang the vet straightaway.

Unfortunately Lonnie’s problem was too serious. The inquisitive, loving donkey who could easily make us laugh and loved getting attention, was gone after spending 18 happy years with us. We miss you old boy..



It’s inevitable, having so many very elderly donkeys in our care that we have to say goodbye to those that have reached the end of their lives. While each and every one is special to us, we wanted to pay tribute to two of our beloved residents that many of you would have known.

Last year in our Spring E-newsletter we celebrated Ginny’s reign as the last founder member of the former charity, Friends of the Cyprus Donkey. Since arriving in 1994 Ginny became such a character, well renowned for opening gates and galloping off. Throughout her life her zest for life and making mischief never waned and hearing her name being shouted in exasperation by the grooms was a common occurrence!

Despite her size and the antics she would get up to, she was a wonderful donkey and so when she developed a severe hoof problem early this year, she was patient while being treated every day.

Sadly, the problem became progressively worse and as we could no longer alleviate her discomfort, the heart rending decision was made to quietly put her to sleep. Ginny will always be remembered as one of a kind and is very much missed.



Shibilli’s reputation was not a good one in any of the villages in the area he lived! We knew him from our Outreach and had first-hand experience of how difficult he could be. Despite being a health 20 year old working donkey, when the owner couldn’t look after him anymore, not one person wanted him! The owner contacted us and it was with a little trepidation that we set off to collect him just before Christmas.

The journey was rather nerve wracking before we arrived as we took a wrong turning and ended up driving along a very icy road in the mountains. However, we got there safely and knew we wouldn’t go back the same way!

It just goes to show how things often don’t go as expected as when Shibilli was led out from his stable he walked straight onto the trailer, ears pricked and, if the expression on his face was anything to go by, eager to go on an adventure. It was only later that we remembered that the owner used to transport the donkey in the back of a Transit van and had taught Shibilli to jump in the back! Phew!

The owner wished us luck and we got ready to set off down the mountain but – our truck wouldn’t start! After a lot of fiddling with leads and cables and a jump start from the owner (even though it wasn’t the battery), we headed off home. Bless him Shibilli behaved impeccably throughout and when we got him off the trailer he was very relaxed. In fact, so much so that after having a sniff of the ground he dropped to the floor and had a good roll, had a look around, got up then had another roll!

Since he arrived, he’s far better behaved than he used to be although we do have to stay on our toes! He’s living in the group where Moses, Hercules and Chloe reside and they’ve done a great job on explain to him what the protocol is – in donkey language of course! Shibilli really is a bit of a character with a unique personality – we think he’s just been misunderstood?



The Donkey Sanctuary's partnership with Eurogroup for Animals launched an important project to ensure the EU’s 6 million horses and 1.5 million donkeys are covered by species specific legislation. In 2015 the recommendations were published in a ground breaking report titled "Removing the Blinkers". Recently we were delighted to hear from Eurogroup for Animals that MEP Julie Girling's report on Equine welfare has been adopted by the European Parliament.

Here in Cyprus, although we now receive less donkey welfare complaints, mainly due to our Outreach work and owners contacting us for advice, we still see a high number of donkeys kept in dangerous, totally unsuitable conditions without the basic necessities available such as water, shelter and general care. Although legislation is in place to prevent animals suffering and being negelected, it is extremely rare that it is ever enforced.

Through our Outreach Programme we visit more and more donkeys each year and in the vast majority of situations where advice and support is required, the owners willingly make improvements. Most often, lack of knowledge is all that needs to be addressed but there are always a few who don’t. As we have no legal jurisdiction, this is when we need the Government and Police to act. We provide the necessary factual evidence in these rare cases but till find it incredibly difficult to get any action taken.

Following Julie Girling’s report, we will be collating evidence of donkeys living in awful conditions and send them to the Government to push for more effective action.

If you see any donkeys or mules you are concerned about, please contact us and take photos. Not only do they help us determine if an investigation is needed, but if a severe situation, we have evidence from the beginning. You can also complete our Donkey’s in Distress Checklist online on our website and upload any photographs. Please help us help the donkeys.

Pushing for animal welfare improvements

Donate your birthday to donkeys!

Everyone likes to celebrate their birthday whether it’s by being with family and friends, receiving great gifts or going out for a nice meal. Are there times though when you’d like to do something a little bit different?

This time, why not ask your friends and family if, instead of giving a gift directly to you, they donate towards our donkeys’ care!

Simply let them know that you are donating your birthday to Donkey Sanctuary (Cyprus), and ask them to make any donation at this link

This will help towards our donkeys getting their medicines, buy their feed, provide anti-parasite treatment, trim their hooves, fund our Outreach Programme, and much more!

Let’s make world a better place for donkeys!

©Photo kindly provided by Natasa Leoni for the Donkey Sanctuary (Cyprus)


2016 was a great year for donkeys and mules here in Cyprus, and we would like to share this information with you and celebrate together all the great work that happened in 2016.

Please take a look at the figures on this article's picture, and help us to continue our work in 2017, by visiting our ''Adopt'', ''Donate'', ''Join Us'' and Gift ''Shop'' sections on our website.

Your generosity means a lot to us, so thank you for all your kind and valuable support.

2016 in figures

2017 Calendar Update

Our 2017 calendar has been so popular that we’ve sold every single one! Obviously we’re more than happy that so many people like our very first calendar production but at the same time, we are so sorry that some of you haven’t been able to buy one this year.

As we have to order quite a large minimum amount from the printers, and we’re now very close to the end of the year, we didn’t want to order more and then have a surplus left over. Selling all of the calendars has raised some much needed funds for all our wonderful donkeys and for the ever increasing number of other donkeys we help each year on the island. We’re sure that those of you who were unable to get one this year will understand that we didn’t want to waste money by printing more and not sell them all. After all, it’s your generosity that helps us continue our work.

However, next year we will be producing a calendar for 2018, which will be available to you all in July, and we will have a lot more printed. So, once again our apologies for this year but make sure you keep a look out in our Summer Newsletter, webstore and Facebook so that you don’t miss out!
Thank you all for your support this year and the very best of the season’s greetings from all of us here.

2017 Calendar


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