Our donkeys are a treasure for us; as precious as pearls. On this cold and clear February morning, ten of them have parted to start a new life in Doña Rosa, our farm in Bodonal de la Sierra, situated in Badajoz. The reason behind this is to optimise space at our headquarters in Fuente de Piedra, Málaga.
It was a bittersweet goodbye. We are always sad when we have to part with any of our donkeys, and there were some tears, but we are also glad for them. We know for sure they will be happy there and will receive the same expert care that they have received here.
Our latest rescue is like a sad unrequited love song. He was simply not loved. His previous owners called to “give” him to us because they didn’t want him... he was too old to work anymore; but it was clear they never wanted him or loved him at all.
His previous owners didn’t even have the decency to give him a name; “the beast” was probably the kindest name he ever knew. They used him to work in the vineyards, but they didn’t love him. He was treated like an old rusty shovel no one cared about.
Chiquito is a large mule that has lived with us now for over 2 years, he came from Almachar and was very loved by his owner. Unfortunately his owner became very ill and was unable to care for his beloved Chiquito. So Chiquito’s owner came to visit El Refugio to see if we were good enough to take care of his friend. After visiting our sanctuary he was nearly in tears as he decided that this was the perfect place for Chiquito to live and that he knew that he would be happy here.
On Tuesday 8th of March 2011, with the knowledge of both the Local Council and the government of Extremadura, a defenceless donkey will be condemned to be dragged, pushed and pulled through the streets of Villanueva de la Vera, a small town with no more than 2000 people. The donkey will be forced to endure, as part of a local ‘fiesta’, stress, violence and suffering.
This ceremony consists of a donkey being ridden through the streets by the drunkest man of the village. The ritual lasts approximately 1 hour and during this time the donkey is violently pushed and bullied through the streets. The poor animal is accompanied by a huge crowd with some people shooting guns and ringing cattle bells. In previous ceremonies, the donkey has been known to fall several times due to pure exhaustion and dragged back to his feet being forced to continue. On other occasions the donkey’s ears have been bitten causing it excruciating pain.
Dreaming of a romantic escape to impress your loved one this Valentine’s day? Here at El Refugio del Burrito, we are giving away the chance to win a romantic night for two in a beautiful Spanish hotel, with thanks to NH Hotels who have very kindly donated vouchers to us in order to raise funds to continue our work.
Winners announced - 8 February 2011
- Laura Heble Martin
- María Jesús Canellada Llavona
The competition is now closed.
During these holidays, we try to focus on the bright side of life; the company of loved ones, the parties, the celebrations... very often forgetting darker elements that are, unfortunately, also part of the day to day in this much cherised time of year.
Our latest rescues confirm the above.
Flor de Luna, Bambi and Tambor are our latest rescues. They came to us from another association called CYD Santamaría which rescues and cares for horses. Their stories are tragic Christmas tales.
Still looking for the perfect gift? At el Refugio del Burrito we have just what you were looking for. We have created a fantastic Calendar just for you, with great pictures of our furry friends. This perfect gift will be with you throughout the year and put a smile on your face every morning, as your purchase will mean helping both donkeys and Children with Special Needs.
What could possibly a donkey have to do with 2 Euros and a chicken?
This little sad story will reveal the answer.
In a small, beautiful village in Extremadura, a small boy dreamed of owning a donkey. Ever since he could remember, that was his most precious wish. He would see neighbouring donkeys in the fields and daydreamt about petting and riding one of his own. “Oh how great it would be to have a donkey” He would say to himself while at school, at lunchtime or while helping his father in the fields or with his small farm animals. Unfortunately, his family were too poor to afford the purchase of a donkey, let alone taking care of it.
Rocinante, Don Quixote’s famous horse, was always suffering because of the misfortunes of his delirious owner. But one way or another, he always managed to get back on his feet and ride again.
Such, in a way, is the story of our Rocinante, a beautiful donkey that has been suffering because of different reasons, until now.
Toto hasn’t really got a chance to miss his native France with all this rain, cold weather and green hills. He really loves the rain, which enhances his bohemian character. He likes walking along the paddock, alongside his good friend snooty, as if musing poems yet to be written or some beautiful painting going through his mind… He certainly has that bohemianair around him, which makes him irresistible to our most sensitive visitors…