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

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.


Sunday, 7 December, 2014 - 14:00 to 16:30

The last Grooming Day of the year will be held on Sunday 7th December starting from 2 pm.

Free admission and no booking required. Warm clothes and shoes are highly recommended: the event will take place outdoors.

Sunday, 7 December, 2014 - 10:00 to 14:00

On Sunday 7th December il Rifugio will host the Vegan Cooking Workshop held by Barbara Gervasi and Luca Nigretti from APIDA Associazione Per I Diritti Animali.


In the past days we received a huge number of messages of worry for the bad weather and the flash food which damaged Biellese territory...

There was also a piece of our Rifugio at Fieracavalli, the most important equestrian fair in Italy: for the third year in a row we...

Cold and bad weather didn’t scare over 600 donkey friends who yesterday joined Halloween Grooming Day at il Rifugio.

Our cover-girl is lovely Zoe, born last March and pictured when she was just a couple of weeks old. Her mum Parbat is besides her.

They came from all over Italy, France, Switzerland, Romania, Portugal, Spain, UK, Netherlands...

On Saturday 11th October Biella is preparing to welcome "asinari" from all over Europe for Medi'Asinus, the first big Italian conference...