The Donkey Sanctuary is urgently seeking foster homes for 60 of its charges after receiving a huge influx of unwanted donkeys, seemingly as the result of the credit crunch. The situation has prompted the charity, based at Sidmouth, Devon, to promote its services for the first time
in its 40-year history.

Since October, the number of unwanted or neglected donkeys arriving has nearly doubled, and the six farms in Devon and Dorset are full to capacity. The Sanctuary’s Amanda Gordon says: ‘It’s a very strange situation. We need people who can make a serious commitment, and who will come here and attend a seminar.’

Donkeys can only be fostered in pairs, and homes must have an acre of grazing next to the house, with shelter, hard-standing and post-and-rail fencing donkeys are great escapists. Foster homes will be inspected. The charity has taken 13,000 donkeys into care since it was founded by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen in 1969 (01395 578222; www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk