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Who will do the donkey work now?

Looking for volunteers to help at sanctuary

Changes in government subsidy for an employment scheme have hit a donkey sanctuary hard and means it is looking for more volunteers to help keep the 350 animals in its care.

Association Nationale des Amis des Anes, ADADA, is the largest association for donkeys in France, and is set to lose 10 employees from the sanctuary at Ambert, Puy-de-Dôme.

President Marinette Panabière is worried about who will care for the donkeys: “We have depended on this and suddenly it has been taken away from us. It was a good scheme.

“The young people enjoyed working here and most went on to a job elsewhere. We will be able to employ some people, but not as many and it will not be sufficient for all our donkeys.

“I get calls from the police or the public from all over asking for us to take in about 10 donkeys a day, but I cannot accept any more at present. ”

Mrs Panabière would welcome any volunteers to come and help, or donate as the sanctuary costs €5,000 a month. “There has never been as much need for a donkey sanctuary. People buy them for pets without realising they will live up to 40 years.

“We would welcome any volunteers who can come and help. We used to have quite a few British members, but many have gone back to the UK.”

Victorien Aalders lives a five-hour drive away near Carcassonne, Aude, but goes when she can to help. “There is a great deal people can do, even if they do not live nearby: adopt a donkey, help with publicity, help build fences, help raise money.”

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