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.

Shop closed

Our online shop and telephone sales line are currently closed until further notice due to nationwide COVID-19 restrictions. We will reopen as soon as possible, however at this stage, we are unable to provide any timescales.

Supporters who have received a gift shop catalogue can still post order forms to us, these will be processed once we re-open so please be aware there will be a delay receiving your items.

If you have placed an order this week, your order will be processed.

Many thanks for your continued support from the whole team here and of course all the donkeys.

New telephone number

Due to recent health and safety measures, our staff are currently working at home. To continue ensuring contact with the public, we have activated the following mobile number:
+39 340 7412578.

The number is active from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 17:00.

Of course, you can always write to us at

Latest news


Our online store has reopened

Our online store has reopened

You can find our gadgets here:

Please bear in mind...


The time of solidarity

In January 2019, the Rifugio degli Asinelli was involved in one of the largest seizures of equidae in recent years. In the province of Alessandria, over 40 donkeys were found in a state of neglect and in poor health...

External adoption scheme form

The Rifugio degli Asinelli connects people who, for various needs, are no longer able to take care of their donkeys, mules or hinnies, with potential adopters.

What we have achieved in 2018 with 5x1000 donations

Your 5x1000 represents an extraordinary contribution every year for Il Rifugio degli Asinelli. In 2018, thanks to the choice made by 2,287 people who signed and...

Zenzero and Mirtillo

Zenzero and Mirtillo

If we were to give a prize to the two most playful donkeys of the Rifugio, the winners would undoubtedly be Zenzero and Mirtillo.

Amy and Taddeo

Amy and Taddeo's love story

Taddeo is 19 years old, and he is a beautiful all white donkey. He has a difficult past. Taddeo as well comes from the big seizure of Colleferro in 2013, the largest seizure of equidae that ever...