When Sandra Pady relocated to the Guelph countryside from Toronto with her husband Dave more than 20 years ago, the last thing they imagined or expected was to establish a donkey sanctuary. But due to their generosity, The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada (DSC) is thriving as a not-for-profit 100-acre refuge serving as home for more than 60 equines.
“When we take in any animals, we offer them lifelong care,” says Pady, 67. “Our donkeys have the opportunity for all the exercise they need because we have very large fields and they graze in them.
“Equines whether they’re horses or donkeys are animals that like to move around a lot. And the ideal situation for them is if they graze and move around. The animals go in and out of their barns as they wish, so long as it’s warmer than -7 degrees Centigrade, they’d really rather be outside. A donkey can live well beyond 30 years in an adequate climate.”
More importantly, the animal can live in a safe and sound environment; unlike many of the situations Pady’s pace found themselves in prior to arriving at the DSC.
“At any given time, we have at least 12 animals waiting to get into the sanctuary,” she explains. “Most people that get equines, whether it’s donkeys or horses, find that if they don’t want to care for them or can’t care for them, they just want to get rid of them as fast as they can. So they offer them for sale or they offer them to friends, and if they aren’t successful that way, the only option is for the donkeys are auctions.
“At the equine auctions, if there isn’t a buyer when the animals come up for sale, they are sold for meat. So we are here to step into that vicious circle in our own way. We’re not anxious to see that happen.”
* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.