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Longhopes Donkey Shelter

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Donkeys are one of the most affectionate, loyal, thoughtful and useful domesticated animals on earth. They have been “beasts of burden” for over 4000 years but their intelligence and self-preservation instinct is commonly misunderstood as a sign of “stubbornness.”

The Longhopes Donkey Shelter is a Colorado non-profit corporation and 501©(3) tax-exempt charity. It is the mission of Longhopes to rescue, rehabilitate, and find permanent loving homes for donkeys who are at risk for neglect, abuse or slaughter.

To reduce the number of homeless donkeys Longhopes does not engage in breeding and does not adopt any donkey for breeding. Rather Longhopes believes we should all “recyle” existing animals before producing more.

The Longhopes Donkey Shelter began receiving donkeys in 1999 but its origins began 2 years earlier when the founder-Kathy Dean wanted to find a pair of donkeys that just needed a safe home. She couldn’t find any such donkeys because there was no rescue effort devoted to donkeys in the Rocky Mountain region. Consequently, unwanted donkeys routinely went straight to a slaughterhouse. It was then that Kathy decided to build the Longhopes Donkey Shelter.

Longhopes serves approximately 80 donkeys a year at its small Colorado facility but many more are assisted across the country through its outreach programs. Longhopes has rescued over 400 animals and found new homes for over 360. After 10 years 76% of the donkeys remain in the adoptive home.

No government funds are received by Longhopes. Instead, Longhopes is largely dependent on direct donations. The annual budget is under $100,000, which includes wages for part-time employees whose job it is to feed the donkeys and keep their paddocks clean. Almost all of the fund-raising, management, and animal training is donated by a volunteer staff.

Each donkey placed at the Shelter is provided medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation necessary to make the donkey suitable for adoption. Successful rehabilitation and adoption makes a space another donkey in need. Donkeys not suitable for adoption are afforded lifetime sanctuary.

After a donkey has been placed in a new home, Longhopes continues to monitor the placement for 1 year. If the placement is unsuccessful for any reason, the donkey is returned to Longhopes because Longhopes makes a permanent commitment to every donkey it rescues.

Donkeys are herd animals but within the herd are usually bonded to one other donkey. The bond can last a lifetime so unlike most animal rescues, Longhopes requires that bonded donkey pairs remain together. It also requires that almost all other donkeys be adopted with another donkey.  This is the “burro buddy” system of adoption, which insures one element of stability for an animal that usually ends up being moved several times in its 30-50 year life.

Help Make a Difference

Longhopes Donkey Shelter
50 S. Dutch Valley Road
Bennett, Colorado 80102
United States

Contact: Kathy Dean
Tel: 303-644-5930
Fax: 123-456-7890
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