Six miniature donkeys who faced uncertain future find new home together

Six miniature donkeys with “big personalities” who faced an uncertain future have found a home together.

Oakley, Captain, Benson, Dudley, Rio and Teddy came into the care of the Donkey Sanctuary after their owner could no longer look after them.

Sue Upton, from Northamptonshire, who had lost two elderly donkeys, has given the whole herd a guardian home.

A spokesman for the Donkey Sanctuary said: “When the six arrived, staff knew the group of lively youngsters would benefit immensely from being in a guardian home. There they would receive plenty of attention, and they could give so much enjoyment back to someone.

“The six were all healthy and well loved, and had come from a good home. However, their owner could no longer care for them, and she feared for their future.”

The spokesman said it seemed an “impossible task” finding the six a home together.

“Taking on six donkeys is a big commitment. Their ages ranged from three to 13, and although their temperaments were good they were still quite nervous, and would need someone with experience and confidence to handle them. When Sue came forward, there were no doubts they were the perfect match,” said the spokesman.

Sue said: “I have never had miniature donkeys before. They are full of it, and always keep you on your toes — they are bright, and so intelligent.

“They all have such different personalities and we’ve had a constant stream of people come to see them. We’ve noticed how Captain adores children. As the sensible one, he seems to put up with the other five and their antics. My husband made a feeding trough for their stable that they could all eat together, but Captain often gets pushed out – so we give him a ‘secret feed’ in the stable around the corner.”



“Benson is quite a sparky donkey – he and Rio are quite a pair. Teddy has a strong character. Every day I give them their treat ball toys, which are filled with forage balancer. It’s great to watch how each of them has his own technique on how to get the feed out. However, I have to make sure they are spread out, as Teddy would eat everybody else’s.”

The Donkey Sanctuary spokesman said the charity will be on hand to provide ongoing support if Sue needs help or advice in future.

“Sue made the phenomenal commitment to take on the group of closely bonded miniature donkeys. By taking on the six, she has not only given them a safe loving home for life, but has also helped to free up six spaces at the sanctuary. This allows more time and resources for donkeys already in the charity’s care, and a home to any new donkeys who may need to be rescued,” said the spokesman.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.