Hayling Island Donkey Sanctuary puts out plea for help as donations drop while centre is closed to public

RESCUED and retired donkeys are in need of a little extra help with donations as their sanctuary has been closed to the public.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 11:06 am
Updated Sunday, 29th March 2020, 2:08 pm

Paul and Tracy Hunt, founders of Hayling Island Donkey Sanctuary, have found themselves in a tough position as they rely on the generosity of visitors to keep the site stocked with food and amenities for the 20 animals in their care.

The centre, in Mill Rythe Lane, started a busy season by opening for two weekends until it had to be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Senior volunteer Phill Upshall said: ‘After such a great start with a good crowd of people turning up, it’s like a tap has been switched off.

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Hayling Island Donkey Sanctuary has put out a plea for help as the centre has been closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic

‘The decision had to be made unfortunately with the government guidance.’

Paul added: ‘We rely on people coming to visit the sanctuary. This comes along and stops all of that, it’s put a spanner in the works. When this is all over, people can come and enjoy the donkeys again.’

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With the future looking quite uncertain, the helpers behind the sanctuary have put out a plea to the public to help out with donations and support through this time if they can.

Hayling Island Donkey Sanctuary has put out a plea for help as the centre has been closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic

Donations and adoptions of donkeys can be made through the website at haylingdonkeys.co.uk, and local residents can buy a bale of hay for the animals at nearby Stoke Fruit Farm Shop.

Phill said: ‘We’re just trying to encourage people to still donate online, it’s certainly going to be difficult. Anything anybody can do for us will be a great help.’

Paul added: ‘It’d be sad to see it go if we can’t get through these times. We’re trying to stay positive, we have just got to get through this time.’

All of the volunteers work hard to look after the animals ‘for the love of donkeys’.

Paul said: ‘Once you have got a family, you have to stick by them no matter what happens and that’s how we feel about the donkeys. It’s a passion.

‘I actually believe they have got a magic inside them, when I see the effect they have on people.

‘We want to be here for people and come through the other side of this crisis.’