The Donkey Sanctuary is looking for foster homes for donkeys, after record numbers of unwanted animals have arrived at its door this year.

Since October 2008 staff at the Donkey Sanctuary have seen almost twice the number of unwanted and/or neglected donkeys compared to any quarter in the past two years.

And because of this the charity’s 6 centres across Devon and Dorset have become nearly full — so new owners are needed for the unwanted donkeys.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Taking in more donkeys has an obvious impact on our finances and therefore fostering a pair of donkeys is a great way of directly helping many donkeys.

“We foster out donkeys that would benefit from the individual attention a home can provide. It also means we have more time to care for donkeys who are elderly or require expert veterinary care.”

But donkeys must be taken in a pair as they are companion animals and bond very closely.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s head of welfare Martin Taggart said: “We are looking for people who are very serious about taking on a pair of our donkeys.

“They take a great deal of time, money and commitment and therefore we retain high standards and have minimum requirements prior to anyone being accepted on the waiting list.

These minimum requirements include:

  • A pair of donkeys must be taken
  • At least an acre of grazing adjacent to your privately owned property
  • A stable and field shelter
  • A hard standing area
  • Post and rail fencing as donkeys can escape through hedgerows

All prospective foster owners must also attend a donkey care induction day and receive a home inspection.

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