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


During Grooming Day visitors can learn how to brush donkeys supervised by our staff
Sunday, 4 December, 2016 - 11:00 to 17:00

Grooming Day are special events when everyone can learn how to brush and take care 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.


Giant donkeys live in S2

Our Rifugio is closed to public until further communications

Dear friends, since today (23 November) and to a date to be determined, our Rifugio will be closed to public.

Besides bad weather,...

Christmas tree balls with Il Rifugio's donkeys

Merry Christmas with our donkey gifts

Dear donkey lovers, if you're looking for the perfect Christmas gift take a look at our merchandising.

We can ship Worldwide: please get...

2017 calendar is available in two sizes: wall and desk

How to order your copy of 2017 calendar

Dear donkeyt friends, for 2017 our calendar doubles and is available in 2 sizes: wall calendar and desk calendar.

But it's not only size which changes: pictures are different...

Ardito with Fabrizio during the rescue

After one year in a tiny stable, Ardito can taste freedom again

As often happens, it all started with a phone call: last week one of our supporters called il Rifugio, concerned about her old...

The #StopTheTrucks campaign page

Take action to #StopTheTrucks

The Donkey Sanctuary has collaborated with Eurogroup for Animals on their #StopTheTrucks campaign to address shortcomings of the current live animal transportation rules, which leave many production...

Donkeys transporting bricks (picture by The Donkey Sanctuary)

Worrying new trend in donkey meat and skin trade

Research underway by The Donkey Sanctuary is revealing a worrying trend in the growing trade and demand of donkey meat and skins, and its potential effects to...