Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary celebrates 40th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 09:38 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:37 18 June 2010

A SPECIAL party to mark the 40th anniversary of Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary takes place today (Friday).

A SPECIAL party to mark the 40th anniversary of Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary takes place today (Friday).

During the afternoon a new flag will be hoisted to launch the charity's new Sanctuary from Suffering campaign, which aims to improve people's awareness of its international work in such countries as Mexico, Ethiopia, Egypt and India.

Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, MBE, started the sanctuary in 1969. She said: "I never meant to care for more than a few donkeys and, in fact, when I bought my first donkey, Naughty Face, I had little idea of where my acquisition would lead me.

"Our teams work extremely hard to give the overseas donkeys a chance to rest and receive expert veterinary care."

They also help owners understand more about their donkeys' needs.

She, chief executive David Cook and Stephen Blakeway, director of international operations, will be on hand today to talk about the sanctuary's work to local councillors and dignitaries.

Among those going will be the leader and chairman of East Devon District Council, Councillors Sara Randall Johnson and Paul Diviani, its chief executive Mark Williams and John and Juliette Glass who will represent Romford MP Andrew Rosindell.

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