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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

Due degli asini sequestrati

Urgent: we need to find caretakers for 40 donkeys under seizure

Over 40 donkeys under seizure urgently need us: we look for caretakers willing to host them to help them start a new life.

Shorty con l'amica Chocolate

Shorty... ears for a longer life

Do you remember Obama, the earless donkey? Both his ears were amputated by our vet to avoid that sarcoids (skin tumors very common among donkeys) could spread all over his body. For some weeks now,...

Chanel nuovo collare azzurro

Chanel wears a new blue collar

There is a brand new blue collar at our sanctuary: elderly donkey Chanel is wearing it with pride, as the symbol of the yearly sponsorship. For one year, our supporter Giannetta is covering the...

Auguragli Natale 2018

Best wishes from the donkeys

On behalf of the 120 donkeys and mules living at our sanctuary, our best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a bright 2019!

Thank you for allowing us to gift a better life to each of them every day....

Bandit in giro per il bosco

Walking with the donkey "therapists"

If it happened to you to spot a pair of donkeys walking on the roads around our sanctuary, you haven't seen double: you just witnessed a new activity involving our donkey "therapists",...

Apple e Milly nella nuova casa

Fostering: a new life starts for Apple and Milly

340 km divide Sala Biellese from Baiso (RE), and it took to us a 6-hour drive to get there, last week, with our "exceptional transport": donkeys Apple and Milly, 22...