The Donkey Sanctuary in located in the village of Vouni, which is in the Limassol grounds, and it is a permanent refuge for donkeys in Cyprus as well as a non-profit organization. Currently, it is the residence of over 120 unwanted and rescued donkeys. Mary and Patrick Skinner run a charitable organization called Friends of the Cyprus Donkey, but in 2007, they decided to retire and thus the Donkey Sanctuary was established for Mr and Mrs Skinner’s work to continue. The Donkey Sanctuary takes in approximately 2 donkeys each month from which the majority has been used for work. The reasons behind their abundance are that either their owners couldn’t support them financially or health reasons. Some donkeys were just abandoned, and some others were not needed for work anymore.
At the Donkey Sanctuary, the animals are taken care of by expert staff and loving volunteers in small groups, like for instance youngsters, oldies, boisterous and permanent health problems. The donkeys also receive standard health checks by vets and dentists. The Donkey Sanctuary doesn’t only have a program in Limassol but also in Larnaca, Nicosia, Famagusta and Paphos, and this is because the animals are still vital for the island because they work in vineyards where machines can’t attain.
The Donkey Sanctuary is also a great educational venue for younger kids and often schools take their students there to help them realize the importance of donkeys and the animals’ needs. All the work at the Donkey Sanctuary is completely funded by donations, and that shows how much people still care about the animals. The Sanctuary is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it is a great place for a family day and educational day as well, especially for the kids.
Donkey Sanctuary (Cyprus) provides permanent refuge to donkeys in Cyprus. Our Sanctuary is based in the village of Vouni in the Limassol district and is currently home to over 120 rescued and unwanted donkeys.
Our work started in the country in 2004 when we began providing annual grants to help fund the work of Friends of the Cyprus Donkey, a charitable organisation run by Mary and Patrick Skinner.
In 2007, Mr and Mrs Skinner decided to retire from their donkey work and we officially established the Donkey Sanctuary (Cyprus) so that we could continue their work helping the donkeys on the island.
We take in an average of two donkeys every month, the majority having been working animals. Some have been found abandoned while others are no longer required for work. Often the owners can no longer look after them often for financial or health reasons.
The donkeys at the Sanctuary are cared for in small groups, such as 'oldies', boisterous youngsters and those with ongoing health problems.
Each donkey enjoys loving and expert care provided by our dedicated staff and volunteers. They receive regular health checks by dentists, farriers and vets, and the public can make a free visit to the Sanctuary to give the donkeys extra fuss and attention.
We also operate an outreach programme throughout the districts of Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, Famagusta and Paphos. This is because donkeys remain an important agricultural animal on the island particularly working in vineyards where machinery can't reach.
Our teams frequently encounter donkeys suffering with overgrown feet, parasites (such as worms), dental problems and untreated wounds. 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 no owner is found, we will rescue the donkey.
Our Sanctuary provides a great venue for us to share our knowledge and expertise on donkey care and welfare. Information on donkey care are readily available and we are hoping health professionals, including vets and farriers, will visit in the future to learn more about donkeys from our experts as little information is usually given during their training. Schools often bring their pupils for educational visits and we have recently extended our activities to include talks at schools to help children understand more about donkeys' needs.
Our work in Cyprus is funded entirely by donations and there are many ways of helping the Sanctuary. Spreading the word, visiting (we are open daily from 10am to 4pm), adopting one of the rescued donkeys or simply sending a donation are some of the ways of helping.