On an open house Day, Justin and I visited the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada in Guelph, Ontario. It is a rescue farm for donkeys located in an outlying rural area of the city.
I’ve traveled to see the donkeys and mules on several occasions, and I even volunteered to do farm work there once. It was Justin’s first trip out to the Donkey Sanctuary, and I was really excited to introduce him to this place.
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It was a beautiful Wednesday afternoon and the sun was shining brightly. Even though it was a weekday, there were many cars in the parking lot. It’s always encouraging to see animal sanctuaries growing in popularity because they ultimately help the animals a great deal.
Our Visit to the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada
We walked through the gates towards the barns and there were several donkeys roaming about. A charming donkey served as the welcoming committee, hanging out by the entrance gate.
The donkeys have so much room to walk wherever they please. If they feel like socializing outdoors with human guests or the other donkeys, they can do so. If they feel like being up in the barn or out in the field, they can go there instead.
Prior to arriving at the Donkey Sanctuary, these animals were abused, neglected, or headed to slaughter. It is amazing to witness them living so peacefully and happily now.
This is the mission of the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada:
The Sanctuary rescues the donkey with hooves so long it lives in constant pain and cannot walk. It saves a terrified mule shivering in a pen in a slaughterhouse. It offers a home to a much-loved donkey whose aging owners can no longer provide adequate care. At the Sanctuary, the animals are provided a welcome and often life-saving peaceful haven after years of suffering and neglect.
Meeting the Donkeys
Many donkeys were out walking around, receiving love and attention from visitors. Some of the donkeys were behind a short fence eating some hay. As curiosity overcame them, many donkeys wandered over to check us out. The one in the picture above really enjoyed braying – it was really loud!
Every Donkey Has a Story
There are nearly 100 donkeys at the sanctuary. You can read about every donkey’s background and story at the DSC website. For instance, Juno lived in an abusive environment, where her previous owners beat her with a shovel and fed her very little. A neighbour rescued her and she eventually went to live at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada. Juno lives with a small herd in a quiet environment. Although she is she, she’s learning to trust people.
Visiting the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada is a wonderful experience for animal lovers of all ages. You can pet or brush the donkeys, or attend one of the scheduled talks throughout the day to learn more about these fascinating animals.
You can even sponsor a donkey online and visit him or her in person. Throughout the summer months, their Open House Days are on Wednesdays or Sundays.
Donating to the DSC
Of course, taking care of all of these animals costs a lot of money. All donations go directly towards helping the donkeys: their regular care, food, veterinary costs, maintaining their living space, and more. There are a list of needs on the websites, including ways to donate, materials that are needed on the farm, and even ways to volunteer your time to help them.
I like to regularly donate to the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada because I know they are such an amazing organization and they help so many farm animals in need. If I lived closer, I’d volunteer regularly, but I’m happy to make it out to a volunteer day when I can.
While we were there, two of the donkeys became very interested in grooming each other. It was so cute to watch. I’d never seen donkeys socializing with each other in this way. I’m no expert in donkey animal behaviour, though I’m sure it’s quite normal to see in an environment with so many animals.
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We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada. Hopefully someday you’ll be able to make it out to the farm for a visit. Open House Days are: May – October, Sundays 10:00am-3:00pm. July & August, you can visit Sundays & Wednesdays 10:00am – 3:00pm.
Looking for More Places to Visit?
There are many more lovely and beautiful places to visit in the region of Huron, Perth, Waterloo, and Wellington counties in southern Ontario. Here are some more great ideas for road trips and places you need to see:
- Road Trip Guide to Perth County, Ontario
- A Taste of Perth County: Local Produce and the Organic Food Scene
- Best Things to Do in Elora, Ontario
- Things to do in Stratford
- Stratford in Winter Travel Guide
- Stratford Vegan Guide
- World in a Weekend Festival in Stratford
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Have you visited an animal sanctuary before? Which one? Tell us about it!
Lauren is the full-time travel blogger and content creator behind Justin Plus Lauren. She started Justin Plus Lauren in 2013 and has travelled to 45+ countries around the world. Lauren is an expert on vegan travel as one of the very first vegan travel bloggers. She also focuses on outdoor adventure travel, eco and sustainable travel, and creating amazing travel itineraries for cities and small towns.
Wednesday 12th of July 2017
These donkeys are so cute. I would love to go there and pet them.
Monday 5th of January 2015
Such a unique place. Its nice to know that people care for these animals. An your photos are really nice, brought a smile!
Debbra Dunning Brouillette
Sunday 4th of January 2015
Aw... I love donkeys and am glad to hear of this great sanctuary. It is so sad to hear of them being neglected and abused. Thanks for sharing the photos!
Tuesday 19th of August 2014
Hello, on behalf of Christa, host of The Sunday Traveler, I was stopping by to check out your article. So happy to hear they have something like this. Thank you for bringing awareness and providing information to get on board.
Chanel | Cultural Xplorer
Tuesday 19th of August 2014
Those donkeys are so cute. I had no idea that there were such things as donkey sanctuaries in the world. Very interesting!