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.

Latest news

Farm worker/groom

We are seeking a person with a passion for Donkeys to join our centre in Sala Biellese, Italy.

Rosie and Violetta

We have four more ears

Rosie and Violetta were born in 2002 and 2005 respectively. As their owners’ health deteriorated, both were relinquished to The Donkey Sanctuary in 2012. They stayed at a holding base in France before arriving...

Donkeys in the snow

Caring for your donkeys at Christmas

What do donkeys need at Christmas? Here we answer a few of your questions.

Important communication regarding Incontrasino

If you purchased or received an Incontrasino voucher this year, we are sorry to inform you that, given the temporary closure of the Rifugio to the public, we are...


The health crisis and its consequences on donkey welfare

Next Tuesday 14 July, at 10:00 am, The Donkey Sanctuary will participate to the meeting of the Intergroup of the European Parliament on the Welfare...


Online conference about animal welfare and sustainable development

Due to the current global pandemic, The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare will be hosting their first virtual side...