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

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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

Piccole donne al Rifugio

8 March (and every day)

This year we have chosen to celebrate and thank women (of any species!) with a short video featuring an all- female cast - the only exception is little boy Moro, close to his mum Zara.

Zara, adottata in esclusiva da Rita

Zara: life starts from a blue collar

A collar is not just a collar. The one that Zara is wearing now is blue, the color that identifies the donkeys chosen for the yearly sponsorship, and it is a powerful symbol: that of a life...

Cavalli e pony portati in salvo dal sequestro Lunghezza

Lunghezza (RM) seizure: final steps

It was February 20, 2018, exactly one year ago, when we were talking for the first time about the Lunghezza Seizure, just outside Rome. After years of reports, complaints and dozens of dead...

Maria e Fontana incontrano Apple e Milly

Four is better than two

Four is better than two: some weeks ago, Apple and Milly's donkey guardians have welcomed two more donkeys, Maria and Fontana, and they double the joy of our foster scheme. Now these four lucky donkeys are enjoying...

Zoe e Paolo

Love is: waking up with a bray

There are many kinds of love and re-homing a pair of donkey is definitely one of them.

Donkey Assisted Therapy Groom

Il Rifugio degli Asinelli was established in 2006 and is a subsidiary of The Donkey Sanctuary, UK.