A FAMILY RUN SANCTUARY
- It all began over 25 years ago when we were asked to rescue a small donkey that belonged to a local farmer in his nineties who was no longer able to look after it. We have a larger olive orchard next to our home, an ideal place for a donkey to feel safe. We called her Olive and built her a small stable. She was very affectionate and appreciative so myself Barbara,Fanis and the family fell in love with donkeys.
ABOUT AGIA MARINA DONKEY RESCUE
IT IS GENERAL KNOWLEDGE THAT DONKEYS DO NOT LIKE TO BE ALONE, THEY ARE HERD ANIMALS AND CAN BECOME VERY DEPRESSED WHEN ON THEIR OWN, EVEN WITH THE COMPANY OF HUMANS IT IS JUST NOT THE SAME AS HAVING A DONKEY FRIEND. WE DECIDED TO LOOK AROUND FOR ANOTHER DONKEY TO KEEP OLIVE COMPANY, IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF A FEW DAYS AND WE WERE ASKED TO TAKE A DONKEY OF A FARMER WHO WAS ILL AND IN HOSPITAL. THE LITTLE DONKEY WAS VERY MUCH LOVED BY HIS OWNER AND HIS NAME WAS PELIGRINO, HE CAME FROM THE VILLAGE OF AGIA VARVARA. THE FAMILY WERE SAD TO SEE HIM GO BUT VERY APPRECIATIVE, THEY OFTEN CAME TO VISIT AND BROUGHT FEED.
WHEN A DONKEY IS ILL OR THE OWNER IS ILL OR DIES THEY ARE USUALLY ABANDONED OR TIED TO TREES WITHOUT FOOD, CARE OR WATER, A LONG SLOW AND CRUEL DEATH FOR MANY DONKEYS. THEY ARE OFTEN FROM SMALL MOUNTAIN VILLAGES WITH NO ACCESS TO VETS OR MEDICINES WHICH ARE ARE UNAFFORDABLE ANYWAY. DONKEYS GENERALLY LIVE CONSIDERABLY LONGER THAN HORSES. OUR ELDEST DONKEY ANDIGONI DIED AT THE GRAND AGE OF 47 YEARS. AS A FOAL SHE WAS A WEDDING PRESENT MANY YEARS AGO TO THE ELDERLY OWNERS.
OUR PASSION FOR THE HUMBLE, INTELLIGENT, LOYAL BUT SO OFTEN UNDERESTIMATED DONKEY HAD BEGUN IN EARNEST. WE DO NOT HAVE EASY ACCESS ON CRETE TO VETERINARIANS FAMILIAR WITH DONKEY CARE AND THEIR PROBLEMS, WE LEARNT A LOT BY STUDYING AND READING, AND THE KNOWLEDGE FANIS HAD LEARNED WHILE GROWING UP WITH DONKEYS AND MULES. OVER THE FOLLOWING YEARS WE MADE MANY DONKEY FRIENDS ( AND THE TWO LEGGED VARIETY ) AND WERE OFFERED HELP AND ADVICE BY OUTREACH TEAMS. MOST RECENTLY WE ARE DELIGHTED TO HAVE THE SERVICES OF ALEXANDROS STARRAS, A HIGHLY SKILLED YOUNG VET FROM CHANIA, CRETE. WE ARE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL TO CARAT UK ( CARING FOR THE ANIMALS TRUST ) AND TO GAR ( GREEK ANIMAL WELFARE ) FOR THEIR FINANCIAL GRANTS TOWARDS FEED, WITHOUT THIS HELP WE COULD NOT POSSIBLY CONTINUE OUR WORK. WE RECEIVE NO FINANCIAL HELP OR SUPPORT FROM THE GREEK GOVERMENT. OUR DONKEY ADOPTION/SPONSORSHIPS HELP TREMENDOUSLY TO PAY FOR OUR HUGE FEED AND MEDICAL EXPENSES.