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We need your help

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                                                                                                    Thank you


I started to take in donkeys nearly fourteen years ago, with one rescue to keep my mare company


Since then more and more donkeys were abandoned, many dumped with us, we have so many donkeys come in harrowing conditions. 


We need to keep fundraising to help pay vets, farrier and feed bills

To do this we need help


We have many visitors who enjoy the company of the donkeys and vice versa, we don't charge nor do we wish to, many wouldn't be able to come and it is those who need the visits most Please help us to achieve this.


We are very proud to receive the email below from NW Brownies and Rainbows, also a letter from our previous vets

Girl Guiding <[email redacted]>

To:[email redacted]

Tue, 20 Jul at 12:00


To whom it may concern


I have taken my Brownie and Rainbow units to visit the Donkeys while they were in Dumfries, we have not managed to visit since Linda moved but this was only due to the pandemic.

Rainbows are aged 5 to 7 and Brownies aged 7 to 10, all the girls thoroughly enjoyed every visit

My girls all come from a deprived area, some with complex needs and visiting the Donkey's gives them such joy, most of the girls had never had the opportunity to get up close, pet, feed snacks and walk with any animal other than their own pets and some had never had any close contact with any animal. Some of the less confident girls on our first visit were reluctant even go near the donkey's but with a little help and encouragement built up their confidence enough to participate. I had 2 girls who would not join in anything and after their visits became more confident not only in joining in but being involved in decision making and speaking up.

These visits are educational as well, Linda always includes age-appropriate talks about how they came to be with her, food, health care etc, both my groups voted to adopt a Donkey each and raised the money themselves.


kind Regards


Lynn Uygun

Unit Leader

North West Brownies

1st North West Rainbows


Below is a letter from our previous vets, which explains better than we could what we do


Ark Vet Centre

Glasgow Road, Lockerbie, DGI 1 2SE. 01576 202552

E: [email redacted].uk

Surgeries (see our website for ames): Lockerbie / Annan Moffat / Langholm



Re: Barnhill Donkeys Retreat


To whom it may concern,


I can confirm that as vets we have treated many of the donkeys at the above Retreat. Many of the donkeys on arrival are in very poor condition, often emaciated, after being dumped, neglected or even abused. They often have very poor foot condition when they arrive usually very overgrown or even curling up, this takes months or even years in some cases to be corrected and managed with frequent farrier visits. They also always have very poor dental health and require rasping to remove very sharp overgrowths and sometimes extractions. They always require very intensive treatment and care to nurse them back to health.

They often need to be fed on special diets to try to improve their condition over many months, and need regular check-ups with ourselves whether it be blood tests or dental checks. Sadly sometimes because they have been starved or neglected and not had the correct diet they can arrive with liver damage or even failure. This can often over time be corrected however sometimes the damage is irreversible and we just have to manage the symptoms often again over many months, and also carry out repeated blood tests to monitor the stage of the damage. This is of course all on top of the daily feed and bedding requirements and other preventative treatments such as wormers.

A couple of the donkeys have experienced lameness due to a condition called laminitis, this has resulted in them needing to be on pain medication and also have investigations with x-rays. One of the donkeys has cushings, this is a hormonal condition which needs treating with daily tablets which are expensive, and also monitoring with blood tests regularly. Without these medications the donkey would be in a pain and we would not be able to control the laminitis therefore it is essential that they receive them.

Unfortunately because they do arrive in such a poor state it can cost a considerable amount of money to rehabilitate them, treat any conditions they may have with medications and then manage this long term over many years. A lot of them can be incredibly nervous when they first arrive, but the charity is able to rehabilitate them and over time they become more confident, friendly and eventually develop real characters. The way they interact with the school and nursery children on their visits and the joy they give to the children is amazing to see, after the things some of these donkeys have been through it really is incredible.

Without all the work and time that the charity puts into the donkeys, seeing the condition they often turn up in, they would certainly not be here today.


Yours Faithfully

Equine Veterinary Surgeon


Hello Mr and Mrs Watson

Who live in London

Thank you for checking in on us (again) 

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