top of page

Corfu Donkey Rescue

If you've ever been to Greece or received a souvenir from Greece, chances are you've seen cute designs with donkeys throughout the souvenir shops. These adorable creatures have long been associated with Greece, so I feel it's especially important to preserve this image by treating donkeys respectfully and ethically.

I recently "adopted" (i.e. sponsored) a donkey from the charitable organization Corfu Donkey Rescue (CDR). I first visited in 2021 and had the opportunity to visit and see firsthand the way in which they care for the donkeys. I was inspired by what I saw - a group of people who care deeply about the welfare of an animal that is widely associated with the country of Greece.

Donkeys have been historically associated with Greece due to their significance as essential work animals, their iconic role in transporting goods and people on steep island terrain, and their representation of qualities like resilience and endurance in Greek culture and folklore. Due to their long-standing role in the country's agricultural and transportation systems, donkeys have been part of Greek culture for hundreds of years. Until I visited, I had had no idea how many donkeys were suffering due to mistreatment and people not being able to take care of their many physical needs. Many of the donkeys I saw at the shelter had physical impairments that were obvious. Some had permanent damage after their hooves were not properly cared for and many were suffering from multiple health conditions including blindness, aging, sickness, and other lasting effects from mistreatment. The donkeys we interacted with were so sweet - they loved being scratched and stroked.

Photos from visit in 2021.

Changes in agricultural practices, urbanization, transportation advancements, and shifts in cultural and economic dynamics mean that donkey populations are decreasing and it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to take care of them. With the help of CDR, donkeys in need are rescued from the perils of such dangerous conditions as malnourishment, overgrown hooves, and injuries or physical impairments such a loss of vision or hearing. This organization has rescued more than 500 donkeys to-date and provides medical care and a peaceful, safe sanctuary for them to live out the remainder of their lives with dignity.

Although I plan on writing more about this worthy cause in a future blog post, I'd like more people to hear about the good work they do and I think it's important to be aware of these issues, especially if you're considering visiting Greece. Until then, I'm really glad I've finally managed to adopt a donkey. Though it is a small gesture, it makes me feel like I am doing something to make our world a better place to live in.

I love this sign, which is posted at the CDR. It reminds us of how we should treat animals... and each other!

For more information on donkey welfare/how to help support maltreated or unwanted donkeys in Greece, please check out the following resources:


bottom of page