Antigua’s Donkey Sanctuary
The Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society operates Antigua’s Donkey Sanctuary which currently shelters more than 150 donkeys. Although all stallions are castrated on arrival, more often than not, the mares are already in foal when they arrive. As the gestation period is almost a year, there are frequently sweet surprises in store.
The Donkey Sanctuary welcomes visitors and is favourite stop for children and adults alike. It offers visiting families a wonderful alternative to another day on the beach. Hotel guests often make return visits during their stay just to spend some more time with our donkeys.
Stevie and July are our more popular donkeys. Some years ago, Stevie was struck by a vehicle and is now totally blind. Because of the special care and attention that is given to Stevie he is able to manage quite well and loves the extra attention he receives from everyone.
In addition to providing limited on-site grazing and carrying water to them, the Humane Society also cuts and carries guinea grass and corn to the donkeys every day. The Society has received occasional grants for fencing projects and shelter construction but providing the necessary labour to feed the donkeys is primarily the Humane Society’s responsibility.
Thanks to kind donors, including local hardware stores and other businesses, individuals who have adopted donkeys, and an overseas grant, Antigua’s Donkey Sanctuary is now fully wheelchair accessible. The project took a few months to complete and is now used and enjoyed by visitors with physical challenges. A concrete pathway goes around the entire petting area and leads to a wheelchair accessible restroom for visitors.
In December 2017, a generous donation of a much-needed wheelchair was provided to the Sanctuary. On December 30th 2017, the Sanctuary welcomed Donna Knauer, the first visitor to use the new wheelchair. Donna was able to utilize the cement path to brush and enjoy the donkeys. Since then, the Sanctuary has welcomed several individuals with physical limitations, including children, as well as families who can now use the path to push their toddlers in strollers.
To help raise funds for the care of the donkeys, the Humane Society sells T-Shirts at the sanctuary and offers an ‘Adopt an Antiguan Donkey’ programme. Visitors are welcome to help brush the donkeys and take as many photos as they like.
The Donkey Sanctuary is open to visitors Monday through Saturday, including most public holidays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Restrooms and cold drinks are available.