DONKEYS, miniature goats and people will combine for a special kind of picnic day during the long weekend.
The Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary, located near Clarence Town, will host a picnic and open day on October 2 – the international day of the donkey.
Open days at the sanctuary’s Pinebrush Farm give the public a glimpse into the tireless work staff and volunteers put into providing a good home to surrendered and saved donkeys.
The public can have a look around the immaculately maintained farm, including the intensive care shed, listen to stories about nursing sick donkeys back to health, what goes into keeping the animals healthy and why volunteers are vital to the organisation.
The open days, plus appearances at events like the Newcastle Show and Tocal Field Days, also show the important role the public plays in keeping the sanctuary running.
“We need as much support as we possibly can,” Leanne Atkins, the assistant sanctuary manager, said.
“We don’t receive government funding or grants. The sanctuary is solely reliant on the goodwill of the general public.”
After a rescue of four donkeys from the Moss Vale area last week the sanctuary now cares for 66 of the animals.
One of the animals, Pinkey, will take about 18 months to nurse back to full health.
A person can sponsor a donkey, donate or volunteer their time or skills to help the sanctuary.
Community and school groups regularly fund-raise for the sanctuary, and visit to donate the money.
Groups or members of the general public can book a time to visit the sanctuary any time of the year.
Mrs Atkins said it was rewarding to see groups or children visit the sanctuary.
“To see some people with the donkeys, see their reactions... it really feels like we give back,” she said.
Those who head along to the picnic day on October 2 will have a chance to meet the donkeys and hear how each found their way to the sanctuary.
As an extra treat, picnic day attendees can meet miniature goats from the Petite Bleat stud.
Picnic day entry for those who pack their own picnic lunch costs $15 per person.
Tickets inclusive of lunch provided by the sanctuary cost $30 per person. In honour of the animals, burgers will be meat free but Mrs Atkins said would be “super-licious”.
Bookings to attend the day is a must, and can be done through the sanctuary website. The address to the sanctuary, which is withheld to protect the animals, will be sent to a person once they book tickets.
Phone 4996 5596 or visit donkeyrescue.org.au to book.
Gates open at 10am.