The Sanctuary Residents
As at August 2021, the sanctuary in Israel is home to 53 donkeys and 2 horses, most of them rescued in Israel or the Palestinian West Bank from appalling circumstances, abuse or because they were abandoned, plus 7 rescued cats and 2 rescued dogs. Here, we would like to introduce you to most of the equine residents and their stories.
One of our loyal supporters, Biggi, who has been out to volunteer at the sanctuary on many occasions, has kindly put together a printable booklet containing most of the sanctuary's donkey residents as of July 2020. All you need is Acrobat Reader. The file size is approx 9MB.
Click on the relevant picture to see a short story about the donkey
Once open, you can scroll through the gallery by using the arrows to the right and left of each picture
Lily was badly abused by young boys and was very timid. It's likely that she has only ever experienced beatings and rough handling, no gentle hand to stroke her or soft words in her velvet ears. For that reason it took her a little more time to accept and understand that nobody would hurt her ever again. And that she is safe and that her every need will be provided for.
When Erika was rescued from the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, she wasn't even a year old, but was being brutally beaten and ridden by young boys. Thankfully her wounds weren't too deep and she healed very quickly. Perhaps because she was rescued so young and hadn't yet endured a lifetime of abuse, she very quickly showed trust and appreciation towards her rescuers and now lives a content life at the sanctuary.
David and Barbara were confiscated from a Jewish settlement by the authorties after complaints of 'two donkeys running the streets and boys riding and mercilessly beating them', but the boys found where the donkeys were kept over night, broke in and took them back. A wonderful teacher named Daniel and his little group of animal protection warrior boys, however, noticed this and took the donkeys back and kept them safely until Lucy and her team arrived to take the donkeys to the sanctuary.
Bear's owner was arrested by Israel Border Police, and Bear was then passed by the police to an army outpost where the soldiers found themselves stuck with a donkey they didn't know what to do with. We were called to the rescue and took Bear back to our little sanctuary. He is a beautiful soul. He's in a good condition and is so friendly. He sort of resembles a big brown bear so we decided to name him 'Bear Grylls' after the British Adventurer and TV presenter.
Cicely belonged to a group of Bedouin children who abused her terribly. Two or three riding her at a time, beating her relentlessly on her wounds with a big, thick piece of wood. She was then abandoned and left alone in a corner of a field in an arab village. She was so afraid that hunger finally enabled her to be rescued. She became very close friends with Joan and the two are inseparable. Cicely today looks healthy and well, though her scars are a distant reminder of her tough life.
Sika was found by a couple late at night in the south of Israel, narrowly having avoided a full on collision. They managed to bundle him into their van and eventually found Lucy through Facebook. Sika was brought to the sanctuary at 5am. He's in his 20s and a bit grumpy, and he is not keen on other donkeys (except for the late Esther, who became his best friend until she passed away), nor is he particularly happy with humans, so we think maybe he’s had a bit of a rough time wherever he’s been.
Zachariah was found in the Golan Heights area of Israel in April 2017. We know nothing about his history and for all we know he could even have somehow made his way across the border from Syria. He had both eyes gouged out in an act of unspeakable cruelty and has what look like old stab wounds on either side of his neck. It has taken months and months of patience and care, as, understandably, he was terrified of people at first. But now he enjoys cuddles from Lucy - a massive step forward!
Noah was confiscated by the Israeli army from his Palestinian owner when he was seen cowering as his owner beat him. He’s a dear boy despite having been so badly abused and when he arrived at the sanctuary, he walked in as good as gold amidst lots of ee-oors! He has quite a scarred nose and has very wrinkled skin because of the multiple chains that were used to ’control’ him, but body condition wise, he is quite good.
Moses was a very badly abused donkey who was found being brutally beaten, and Lucy took him whilst he was still half harnessed. He has a scarred nose from his chains and initially was so afraid of people that he used to hold his little tail between his legs when Lucy approached him, however calmly and slowly she tried to do it. With a lot of patience and love, he has come round to understanding he is not going to be hurt ever again.