Welcome to the Dharma Donkey Sanctuary
Dharma Donkey Sanctuary – DDS started in and is now home to 15 donkeys. Another 12 from Bombay will be joining them in May. Still in its infancy the sanctuary has temporary shelters with grass and bamboo roofing. Funds are required for more permanent ones. Situated on 16 acres of semi forest the sanctuary is peaceful and protected. There is constant water supply from bore well compound. Yet much need to be done. As word spread there is likely to be more residents and more funding will be essential. Donations are welcome no matter how small.
Do you know that, Bombay is playing host to new resident, donkeys. Abandoned by their owners, possibly small time contractors finding themselves out priced by others with vehicles, the donkeys wonder around looking lost; unfamiliar with fast moving traffic and in constant search of food.
For food the animals forage in garbage bins. There is nourishing green kitchen waste but that is mixed with plastic bags, razor blades, broken glass and sometimes needles and syringes. The Bombay SPCA often receives calls to help cows in distress and the problem is often blocked digestive systems. Veterinary surgeons operating on these cases almost always find amazing quantities of plastic bags. The donkeys could suffer the same fate.
Where they find waters is a mystery and they are often teased and chased by children but there is one considering factor, they live in groups so presumably they communicate their woes to each other as well as information on the dump with the best pickings!
Over the last 18 months the BSPCA has had several donkeys accident cases. Some survived. These and other rescued donkeys have been sent to the safe haven provided by the DHARMA DONKEY SANCTUARY (DDS) in SAGROLI (STATE OF MAHARASHTRA) about 800 km east of Bombay. It is a relief to have access to this refuge.
DDS initiated donkey camp. These are held twice a year, in January and June. Several thousand donkeys gather in SAGROLI for veterinary attention including de-worming, hoof treatment, vaccination etc. the owners, coming from neighbouring villages are even further away, camp near the DDS and start gathering there from the night before the event. Veterinarians from Parbhani, the nearest veterinary College and those who have vast experience in handling donkeys, like Dr. D.Ramana.Rao and his wife Laxmi, also a vet, from Blue Cross of Hyderabad come all the way to help. They treat almost 2000 donkeys every six months from surrounding thirty odd villages.
It is truly an amazing site and is providing a much needed service for local donkey owners and their animals. Owners are encouraged to bring in their old animals and leave them at the refuge so that they may end their days peacefully. The medicine for these camps have been made possible by direct funding from Brooks Of UK. Via Blue Cross of Hyderabad, other costs, transportation, food for vet help, donkey owner and donkeys etc are provided by DDS funded by AHIMSA OF TEXAS, privately by Bonny and Rati Shah (founder of DDS), financial help of Bombay SPCA-other private groups and individuals.