A BORDERS donkey centre is looking for new homes for 25 of its recently rescued donkeys.

The newest residents at the Scottish Borders Donkey Sanctuary in St Boswells arrived this summer from Ireland where they had initially been rescued by horse and pony charity Hungry Horse Outside, based in County Longford.

Centre manager John Wilson said: “Hungry Horse Outside were looking for somewhere to take some of their rescued donkeys and we were able to offer a home to 25 of them.

“The donkeys came to us in two groups and range from around 18 months to eight years old.

"They are all colours, shapes and sizes.

“They were in a good enough condition when they reached us but there were about 12 stallions. We took them to Dick Vet in Edinburgh for castration and now they are all ready to be rehomed.”

The sanctuary rehomes some of its rescued animals but retains ownership of them so they can take them back if any problems arise.

They look for new homes close by so that staff from the sanctuary can carry out home inspections before animals are allocated and can regularly visit the donkeys once they are settled.

John said: “We always rehome the donkeys in pairs as they are herd animals so need company. The donkeys that need rehomed are already paired up ready for their new homes.

“We look for new homes to have a couple of acres for two donkeys, access to fresh water, good fencing and a field shelter.”

“We pair our donkeys up with homes that suit them. For example, if the new family has children we take that into account or if they have a lot of experience we can look to rehome livelier donkeys.”

The centre hopes to begin moving donkeys to their new homes in the New Year. Rehoming the donkeys was delayed due to the recent, temporary closure of the sanctuary caused by an outbreak of a mild form of ringworm. The centre was forced to close its doors to visitors at the beginning of October and it remains closed for the time being.

John is hopeful that animals will get the all clear soon, he said: “We don’t know where it came from, but we decided to close until the donkeys were better. I’m meeting the vet this week with a view reopening to the public soon.”

“We know people like to visit in the run up to Christmas and adopt donkeys as presents so we are looking forward to welcoming people back soon.”

Anybody who is interested in rehoming some of the donkeys can contact the sanctuary.

Visit www.donkeyheaven.org.