Adopt A Donkey In Cornwall




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Of all the pets you can think about adopting, we are sure you wouldn’t think about adopting donkeys. 

Donkeys don’t play like dogs; they are not house pets like cats or mischievous like birds. But little do people know that donkeys are one of the most caring and important animals in the world.

A donkey forms close bonds with humans and allows you to understand these amazing creatures at a deeper level. They are even used in therapy and ensure people can recover from emotional trauma by learning to appreciate the little things in life.

To know more, read our guide about donkey adoption in Cornwall, how to go about it, and why it’s essential.

Adopt A Donkey In Cornwall

1. The Flicka Foundation Donkey Sanctuary

One of the most well-known centres for the rescue, care, and adoption of donkeys is The Flicka Foundation. Named after a small strawberry roan pony that was rescued after being abandoned, the foundation has helped care for over 1,000 animals, including donkeys, ponies, cats, cows, etc.

The foundation believes all animals deserve a chance to live a life filled with love and care, so it allows people to adopt one of its donkeys. You can even make a donation, which directly goes towards helping the animals on the farm.

But coming back to donkeys, you can visit the donkey gallery on the foundation website to see all the animals being cared for. Moreover, the foundation has created adoption packs that make great gifts for kids and adults, while the money is utilised for the foundation’s future work.

Each adoption pack includes…

  • Flicka car sticker
  • A personalised certificate of adoption
  • A unique adopter card
  • The donkey’s story and photograph
  • All the latest details about the foundation
  • Special Flicka gifts

The adoption process is simple; all you need is to fill out a form before making a payment on the next page. Here you can choose a donation of £30, £50 and £60, or a monthly debit of £3, £5 and £10. 

Apart from that, citizens have the option of doing volunteer work or organising a fundraiser for donkeys. You can be a yard, tea room, meet and greet, or maintenance volunteer. 

Hence, you can tend to the paddocks, take part in grooming or cleaning the donkeys, serve tea and snacks to daily visitors, or help with repair and site upkeep on the farm.

2. The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary in Cornwall has been instrumental in improving the lives of donkeys worldwide and not just in the UK. This organisation has worked for over 50 years to free donkeys from suffering by running a complex charity that even takes care of rescues.

But more on that later; let’s look at how you can adopt a donkey. When you visit the adoption page, you can choose the personality of the donkey and then decide from the name cards. 

Every donkey has a name and the adoption amount mentioned along with it. When you pay the amount, it goes towards buying food, medicines, paying vets, and building shelters or hospitals for donkeys worldwide. 

This also helps rescue many donkeys from dangerous situations and included in the adoption pack, you will find –

  • 2 portraits of the donkeys and their stories
  • 4 beautiful postcards
  • Display frame for the portraits
  • Membership card
  • Adoption certificate
  • Updates about the donkey
  • A guide on donkey care and adoption methods

Moreover, a donkey adoption from the organisation can be a heartwarming gift for someone. The adoption amount is only £3 a month or £6 for the entire year, and you can even renew the existing adoption when needed.

If you want to do more, you can donate a monthly or yearly amount for donkey care. This can include £4, £6, and £10 every month, or £10, £20, and £50 for a one-time payment.

Participating in the weekly lottery is another fun way of contributing to The Donkey Sanctuary. You can buy a ticket for £1 and stand a chance to win a £1,000 lottery. But even if you don’t win the jackpot, it’s a great way to help with donkey welfare.

3. Tamar Valley Donkey Park

If you view Tamar Valley Donkey Park’s page, the words ‘Visit Cornwall’s Happiest Donkeys’ will jump out at you. You can then book tickets online and visit the park between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm during summer to interact with the animals.

Moreover, it’s a dog-friendly park, so you can take a family trip to Tamar Valley and adopt a donkey. All you need to adopt a donkey is to donate £25, which will help care for the donkey throughout the year.

Once you pay the adoption amount, the organisation will send –

  • Adoption certificate
  • Colour photo of the donkey
  • 1-day entry ticket valid for a one-time entry to the park
  • 10% discount on purchases over £5 made at the park

The donkeys available for adoption are mentioned with their name and photo on the website. You can click on the preferred donkey you want to adopt and complete the remaining steps. 

But you can also have an enjoyable time with the family, as the park allows you to pet and feed rabbits, guinea pigs, donkeys, goats, and sheep. If you have kids with you, take them to the donkey bazaar, where they can buy donkey gifts. 

Meanwhile, you can meet and play with various animals throughout the year in the indoor barn. You can further donate or raise funds for the welfare of the animals. People can make a one-time, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual payment with no minimum or maximum amount.

Why Are Donkeys Important?

While you may think that donkeys are unintelligent animals, only good for carrying loads, the evidence shows otherwise. This section highlights how donkeys are important for society and why donkey adoption can help.

1. Strengthens Livelihood

Donkeys help strengthen livelihood and build lifetime bonds by pulling carts, delivering goods to the market, and helping in transportation. This is in rural areas, while in urban settings, donkeys are vital for construction purposes or collecting refuse. 

As you can see, donkeys help people boost the economy by allowing them to partake in different tasks. In some countries, like Ethiopia, having a donkey is so vital that the locals have a saying – if you don’t have a donkey, you’re a donkey!

2. Help Build Resilience

Donkeys guarantee extra income that allows people to reinvest in education, increase growth and provide access to education. Since donkeys can transport goods over long distances, it ensures everyone receives quality nutrition as supplies are replenished in the local market.

Hence, replacing donkeys is often a major expense in some countries. We believe protecting these animals is paramount, so more effort must be made to keep them safe through resilience management and disaster preparedness training.

3. Livestock Production

Donkeys help carry reserves of clean and safe drinking water, which helps in livestock production. While it may seem boring, without donkeys, the time taken to access drinking water would be longer and affect people’s livelihood.

4. Women’s Empowerment

An unexpected benefit of caring for donkeys is women’s empowerment, which most people aren’t aware of. This is because women can rely on donkeys for many tasks instead of manual labour. 

Donkeys can till the land, collect water, or transport goods, allowing women to spend a more economically active life. As a result, it improves their community status, protecting women from destitution in rural and urban settings.

5. Farming Productivity

Donkeys reduce labour in daily chores and allow farmers to reach the market with all their supplies. They even ensure you can reach inaccessible areas so that farmers can convert their crops to cash while people can choose from various foods.

6. Learning

Contrary to what many people think, donkeys are intelligent and social animals known to bond with each other and humans. In fact, the heart rates of donkeys beat in sync with those they come in contact with. 

That’s why donkeys are often used in therapy programs for assisting children and adults. Donkeys develop close connections that are intuitive and independent, teaching people more about donkeys and themselves. 

In other words, adults and children learn from the emotional and physical experiences they share with these creatures.


Donkeys are not unintelligent creatures, only good for carrying loads, as was once thought. Although people use them for daily tasks, donkeys have much more to offer emotionally, helping humans realise the value and importance of these beautiful creatures.

After reading this guide, you should know more about why donkey adoption is important and how to care for them. Moreover, allowing your child to take responsibility for a donkey yearly or monthly will teach them valuable lessons, not possible otherwise.

You can contact any of the organisations in Cornwall listed in this guide to help protect these amazing animals! 

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