Donkey-ing around for a good cause

By Shepparton News

The Tongala Donkey Shelter has been rescuing abandoned, orphaned and mistreated donkeys since 1997.

It’s the only facility of its kind in Victoria, but relies on funding from the public to continue.

That is why the shelter is hosting an open day on December 1 to raise funds to look after the 200 donkeys who live at the shelter.

Volunteer Jess Smeaton said funds would go towards vet bills and feed for the older donkeys.

“It’s a big event for us, which is why we only do it annually,” Ms Smeaton said.

“It allows the public to come and see the donkeys, raise awareness and help change misconceptions people have of them.”

Set on 300 acres privately owned by founder May Dodd, the shelter relies on public donations and fundraising, donkey sponsorship and the blood, sweat and tears of hard-working volunteers.

“People can also come and meet their sponsor donkeys,” Ms Smeaton said.

“Sponsor donkeys stay with us for life, so you can come and visit them.”

There are 10 sponsor donkeys at the shelter and it only costs $75 a year to do so.

“To sponsor a donkey, you can come and visit (and pick one), or you can email us, and we will send a list of the donkeys and their stories,” Ms Smeaton said.

The shelter is open year-round for visits, but Ms Smeaton recommended making an appointment.

“So we know to be around to show you all of our beautiful donkeys,” she said.

Entry is $20 per car and there will be plenty food, guided tours, a petting yard and donkey merchandise stalls available.

● The shelter is at 1949 Matheson Rd, Tongala VIC 3621. To donate or sponsor a donkey, email [email protected] or phone (03) 5859 1410. All donations are tax refundable.