Husband and wife team Danny and Sandra Curran of the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary are looking for a lifeline as they struggle to keep the doors open.
The Donegal Donkey Sanctuary is facing closure if they cannot raise enough funds to look after and feed the 70 donkeys in their care.
The sanctuary, which is based in Raphoe, is in dire need of funding or it may have to shut its gates.
In the eleven years since it opened in 2006, Danny Curran and his staff have rehabilitated and rehomed an incredible 600 animals.
But it is now feared that the sanctuary could be forced to close because it does not have the means to continue.
The Currans are appealing to all animal lovers at home and abroad to find it in their hearts to help hold together what has been built over the years.
Mr Curran told Donegal Daily that he does not even want to think about the decision he may have to make very soon.
“It would be heartbreaking to think that all our hard work has been for nothing. Our stables are full and there are more donkeys waiting to come in.
“In animal rescue you have to make a lot of hard decisions but closing a centre knowing that hundreds of animals will suffer is a decision I don’t want to make.”
Everyday costs at the centre have pinned the staff to the edge of their collars with little funding coming in. Ever increasing costs have taken their toll on the sanctuary’s resources.
Feed and farrier bills along with veterinary costs are only part of the problem, with vehicle running costs, insurance and general farm maintenance all adding up.
Danny’s wife Sandra has been forced once again to launched an online appeal for help, posting in a gofundme page that the sanctuary needs help from locals to be saved.
She wrote: “We are struggling to keep the doors open at Donegal Donkey Sanctuary. The cost of vet, feed and farrier bills, along with welfare vehicle, trailer and centre maintenance costs are placing tremendous pressure on financial resources.
“We have endured a hard winter with an ever increasing numbers of donkeys seeking refuge at our doors. At this point in time closure seems inevitable so we are reaching out for help to SAVE OUR SANCTUARY.”
The couple and their team have done tremendous work building the only purpose built animal welfare centre in Donegal.
The volunteers at DDS cover numerous counties and there are very few people who haven’t seen the DDS Land Rover and horsebox going about their business.
The DDS Land Rover has driven nearly a quarter of a million kilometres rescuing donkeys in the last few years.
Sadly the number of donkeys arriving at the centre continues to rise at an alarming level.
Danny added “Running costs are at an all-time high and their financial resources are stretched to the limit and beyond. Soaring feed costs (following last summer’s disastrous harvest), farrier costs, and veterinary costs have depleted our finances on an unprecedented level and the present sources of income are not enough to allow them to continue.”
“There is simply nowhere else for these beautiful creatures to seek refuge and find someone to advocate for them,” he said.
The centre has launched the Go Fund Me campaign in the hope that the public can help them keep the centre open in the medium term before an overall solution for its existence is found.
As Danny puts it simply “The future of the sanctuary is in your hands. Without help it will not survive.”
Donations can be made here via the on the gofundme page here https://www.gofundme.com/donegal-donkey-sanctuary-sos or via Paypal on their Facebook page or by cheque or postal order made payable to Donegal Donkey Sanctuary. You could also consider becoming a monthly donator.
Monthly direct debits (no matter how small) are a lifeline for animal rescue organisations. Account details can be found on the Facebook page.
Danny and his workers are welcoming people to call to the sanctuary in Raphoe in order to see their work first hand and to find out how you can help.