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We hang the ‘No Vacancy’ sign

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.

Donkeys at El Refugio

El Rocio In Numbers

One more year, El Refugio del Burrito displays an operation to ensure animal welfare during El Rocío Pilgrimage. We require your help to guarantee that all equines participating to this event are healthy and well taken care of.

Eurogroup For Animals: Stop The Trucks Campaign

The Donkey Sanctuary has collaborated with Eurogroup for Animals on their recently launched campaign to address shortcomings of the current live animal transportation rules, which leave many production animals, including donkeys, unprotected, sick or dead during transport. The campaign calls on decision makers to reduce and ultimately end long distance live animal transportation.

Stop the Trucks


The European Commission has welcomed the publication of practical guidelines on assessing the fitness for transport of equidae (horses, ponies, donkeys and their hybrids), an essential resource for anyone involved in the transport process, which was produced through a collaboration of agri-food, transport, veterinary organisations and animal welfare groups supported by the European Commission.

El Refugio del Burrito rescues over 100 donkeys in the largest operation of its history

An emergency rescue of 100 donkeys took place this week in the Spanish village of Guijo de Granadilla, Cáceres as part of the largest rescue case lead by The Donkey Sanctuary’s Spanish operation, El Refugio del Burrito.

The equines were rescued by El Refugio del Burrito after the death of their owner left them with nobody to care for them. As the animals were not registered or microchipped, they faced an uncertain future until the charity stepped in.

Some of the donkeys rescued from Guijo de Granadilla, Cáceres

We participate in the Peropalo carnival (Villanueva de la Vera) to ensure the welfare of its donkey

The Peropalo Carnival centres around a donkey being taken through the narrow village streets, ridden by a drunkard and led through a crowd who also fire shotguns and bang drums next to the animal. The donkey falls and suffers from stress throughout the show, which lasts for about one hour.

Our Animal Welfare team visited Villanueva de la Vera, where this act is held, last February the 9th. This year, the City Council of Villanueva de la Vera has organised a security zone around the donkey, named Celipa. Furthermore, gun shots were limited to the furthest from the animal.


On January the 28th we succeeded in rescuing Felipe, the donkey that was used in the Peropalo Carnival for the last five years. The City Council of Villanueva de la Vera agreed to give us the donkey, thus recognizing that he is no longer healthy and fit to participate in this parade and giving priority to the animal’s welfare. Felipe suffers from laminitis, a disease that affects his hooves, making it difficult for him to walk and causing him pain. However, another donkey will occupy his place in this year’s Carnival.

Felipe Peropalo rescued donkey


Ramón Amaya lives in the neighbourhood of Llera, Badajoz. His life changed on January the 2nd, when he rescued a mule that was near to death by the wayside. Witnesses said that the mule collapsed in exhaustion, while being pulled by a jeep. She was first dragged on the ground, then beat and finally abandoned.

Ramón decided to take charge of the mule, who was named Muliki. Thanks to one of our Facebook friends, we knew about this story and rapidly contacted Ramón to offer him our support and advice.


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