During the first half of 2016, El Refugio del Burrito (The Donkey Sanctuary in Spain) has attended an unprecedented number of cases, including the rescue of close to 100 donkeys in Cáceres, last February. With the arrival of these animals - and other 40 coming from different operations against animal cruelty and abandonment - the capacity of our sanctuaries is, at the moment, approaching its limit.
We have beaten the occupation record with 361 donkeys and mules living in our sanctuaries. Most of them enjoy a safe environment for the first time in their lives.
Our Animal Welfare team relentless works, in on-call duty shifts and traveling without rest, to attend every complaint that we receive. The result is that 264 donkeys and mules live better today than six months ago.
Besides, during this period we have managed to foster 59 donkeys and mules, which already live with their new families. The response to our urgent appeal for foster homes was very positive and we are still scrutinizing the more than 700 applications that we received.
At El Refugio del Burrito we provide veterinary attention and refuge for the rest of their lives to donkeys and mules that were abandoned and/or treated with cruelty. Public administrations do not have the capacity and the facilities to take charge of these animals. It is therefore our charity who, using its own resources and thanks to the support of followers, assists these animals.
The increase in the number of complaints, investigations and rescues, implies disproportionate costs for a modest charity like ours. We have been forced to cut some of our activities, to prioritize legal assistance, transport, food and animal care. Despite these adjustments, we still face important funding shortfalls.
We will attend cases on an urgency basis
Our emergency telephone received 238 calls during the last six months, what implies that we have attended at least one case per day. Some of the complaints require weeks of investigation, legal actions and logistic coordination and expenses.
We will not turn our back to any animal in need and we will continue to save those donkeys and mules that need it. However, we ask all the people use our emergency telephone to also notify the cruelty and abandonment cases to the competent authorities and to detail and document as much as possible the denounced situation, so that we can attend the cases on an urgency basis.