Donkey sanctuary provides a welcoming home

As an animal lover, Rosemary Dale set up a donkey sanctuary and now dedicates her life to ensuring her four-legged friends have happy homes.

Over the last 15 years she has dedicated herself entirely to running the Scottish Borders Donkey Sanctuary.

The sanctuary was founded in 2003 as a haven for unwanted and abandoned donkeys and currently has over 100 residents.

Located on the 80-acre estate The Holmes in St Boswells, near Melrose, the centre is a sanctuary for its four-legged residents and two-legged visitors alike, with breathtaking views of the River Tweed, an elegant tree-lined drive and plenty of open space to explore.

John Wilson looks after the day-to-day running of the sanctuary and, along with six members of staff and a small army of volunteers, takes care of the centre’s residents, who comprise 90 donkeys, ten Shetland ponies, two mules, one horse, and a menagerie of pigs, goats, sheep, ducks and a llama.

The sanctuary was born out of Rosemary’s love of donkeys and having made her career as a breeder, her knowledge of the animals is second to none.

Her first experience of rehoming came after she was contacted by two donkey owners to see if she could offer a home to their animals. From here, more and more people began contacting her to see if she could help with unwanted and abandoned donkeys, as well as rehoming those whose owners were no longer able to look after them.

Pictures by Angus Blackburn.

Read the full story in EQY Magazine, which comes with the July 2018 issue of Scottish Field.

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