Help us to protect donkeys and mules


Join the adoption family and you'll have a friend for life


A unique way to support our ongoing work


Provide a home to a pair of donkeys

Forthcoming events

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Donkeys at heart

Il Rifugio degli Asinelli was established in 2006 and is a subsidiary of The Donkey Sanctuary, UK founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. It is only through her amazing devotion to donkeys and hard work that the Sanctuary grew to the international charity it is today. Over 50 million donkeys and mules exist in the world. Many need care and protection from a life of suffering and neglect, whilst others have a vital role to play in human survival and happiness; they are at the heart of everything we do here at Il Rifugio degli Asinelli.

Welcome to our family

We are delighted that you have decided to visit Il Rifugio degli Asinelli and that you share our love and compassion for donkeys and mules, such gentle and affectionate creatures. Our work is funded entirely by donations and legacy gifts. Your kindness and generosity will help us to care and protect one of the world’s most hard working and humble creatures and help enrich so many lives... for that we are truly grateful.

Latest news

Donkeys in Santorini

European Parliament adopts Resolution to transform lives of horses, donkeys and mules across Europe

The Donkey Sanctuary's partnership with Eurogroup for Animals...

La firma della Carta di Roma

9 charities have signed the "Carta di Roma" for the recovery of rescued animals not for profit

Press Release - 3 March, World Wildlife Day: 9 charities have signed the "...

Andrew Judge, Chief of European operations, with survivor donkey Luna

Thank you for helping to save starving donkeys and mules

Thank you for helping to save starving donkeys and mules in Italy. We would like to say thank you to everyone who supported our plea to help donkeys...

Since 1/1/2017 the energy we use comes 100% from sustainable resources

Greener and greener!

Our Rifugio is greener and greener: we have changed our old energy provider choosing LifeGate, which provides energy that comes entirely from sustainable resources as water, wind etc.

Comptesse, Coquette and Chanel inside the stable

From 17/2 our Rifugio is partially closed to public

In order to complete the prophylaxis agains lice, a part of our Rifugio will be closed to visitors until further notice.

2 donkeys, one mare and two ponies helped n Bardonecchia

Saving lives through education

One year ago, our Welfare officer Fabrizio Massa received a complain about two donkeys, living with a mare and two ponies in a town in the Alps, Bardonecchia.

All of them had awful...