DONKEY THERAPY – connecting humans and equines through therapy visits

Detailing how our donkeys are prepared to make therapy visits


We love our relationship with residential homes, Alzheimers centres and special groups such as the Stroke Association or the Sight for Wight group. There are many groups and centres –on and off island-whose residents or group members benefit from visits from our animals. These people enjoy the sensory experience of spending time with the donkeys, they sometimes have positive memories of donkeys from their childhood which help them to recount stories from their past, and for some they enjoy making a bond with our furry friends.

Our donkeys that take part in these visits need to be calm, confident, and able to travel happily in the horsebox.

Hours of encouragement and training takes place with suitable donkeys, to ensure that they will be happy and will enjoy their experience in the homes we visit. When they get to their destinations, they are usually in for a morning or afternoon of treats, fuss, and unswerving attention!! They usually love it! This year Thomas and Trevor have been added to the list of donkeys who are a part of the therapy squad, and they have become experts in a very short time!!

We would especially like to thank our friends at the various island residential homes, who make their facilities available to us to help train our donkeys. Thank you

The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary looks after over 100 abandoned and rescued donkeys (and some pony friends) in 55 acres of countryside on the Isle of Wight. The sanctuary is independent and relies totally on donations, adoptions, and legacies for its survival. It is a greatly loved community charity which is renowned for interacting with the public. As part of our Donkey Therapy programme, our donkeys visit nursing homes, Alzheimers centres and schools and carry out valued, sensory interactions. Connecting humans and equines through therapy work.


Posted on 05.10.23