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

Pair of donkeys
Wednesday, 4 December, 2019 - 18:00 to 22:00

On Wednesday, 4 December the volunteers of Torino are organizing a gourmet vegan fundraising evening at The Garden of Alice to support the Refuge...

Donkeys in the snow
Sunday, 8 December, 2019 - 10:00 to 17:00

Don’t miss the last chance of the year to spend time with donkeys and get to know them more closely on our Christmas Grooming Day.

Donkeys in their paddock
Sunday, 5 April, 2020 - 11:01

Do you want to take part in a personal challenge and become a champion of solidarity for our 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


Adoption update

One of the moments of greatest contact between those who work at the Refuge and donkeys is during grooming, which is where many anecdotes about the Magnificent Eight come from.

Donkey Assisted Therapy

Christmas Companies

This Christmas your company can choose a valuable action with a donation to Il Rifugio degli Asinelli which will be destined to our projects of Donkey Assisted Therapy to help vulnerable people.

Donkeys in the snow

Care of donkeys through winter

When owning a donkey you have to be prepared for the cold winter months, winter care is about helping your donkey to withstand the lower temperatures and to stay healthy, rather than shutting them in...


Goodbye Chicca

With our deep sadness, Chicca (aged 31) who was the oldest donkey of the Refuge, has passed away following a severe case of colic that she was not able to recover from.


Sole is shining again

The period of isolation has ended for Sole and it is with his and our great joy that he was finally able to join one of our special guests: Moro, one of the 7 donkeys saved from the seizure of Alessandria.

Cooperagliando project

Launching new project for schools

Cooperagliando, a new project for schools of the province of Biella, Vercelli and the area of Ivrea has been launched by Il Rifugio degli Asinelli.