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

Ombra e Marisa osservano un cagnolino

You can help the donkeys while walking the dog

If you live in Italy and love walking your dog, you can help our donkeys at the same time thanks to the new website

Elio si gode il sole

Farewell granny Elio

A slight improvement this morning, after a very hard night; then, when we began to allow ourselves a little bit of optimism, the collapse, despite the care and presence of our vet.

Asinelli del Rifugio mangiano il fieno

Teaming: help the donkeys with 1€/month

Teaming is an online tool to raise funds for helping social causes with micro donations of 1€ a month. Their philosophy is based on the idea that with 1€, If we are alone... we can't do...

Asinelli e arcobaleni

Donkeys and rainbows

A couple of days ago, our County woke up under a magical frame: a perfect double rainbow which framed the whole Biellese territory.

Donkeys waiting to be slaughtered

Charity disappointed by 'backwards step' for donkeys

The Donkey Sanctuary has expressed disappointment at the news that China is reducing the import tax on donkey skins for use in traditional medicine...

Auguri da Sogno e Baby

We bray you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Dear friends, in these busy days we ask you just one minute to let us share a wish and a word for you.

First, our wish: