A miniature four-legged friend has dropped into a Sanctuary Care home in Exmouth as residents celebrate the festive season.
Donkey in a Santa hat
Mediterranean Miniature donkey Willow, who is the size of a Great Dane dog, has trotted along to visit residents and the team at Fernihurst Nursing Home while dressed in a Santa hat and red Christmas blanket.
The 14-year-old, who is from The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, is renowned for his gentle nature and loves meeting people.
A big kiss for Willow
Resident Norman Goodall, who is 92 years old, has always loved donkeys and found Willow’s visit extra special.
Hazel Tribble, activities leader, explained: “It was so heart-warming to see Norman with the donkey – he has a great love for all animals but a big soft spot for donkeys as he use to visit two donkeys in his younger years so it all brought back some lovely memories. He had so many questions and even gave Willow a big kiss, it made his day!”
Commenting on the residents’ highlights, Hazel, added: “Willow was very popular, the residents kept saying how lovely and soft he was.”
The Sanctuary Care home’s manager Suzi Blackwell said: “Our residents adore the donkeys from The Donkey Sanctuary – their faces always light up when they visit and it wouldn’t be Christmas without having them visit, as they always put us in the festive mood.”
About The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary is a registered charity that has sanctuaries across Europe. The charity cares for donkeys that have been rescued from cruelty and also those that have been brought in by their owners, who are no longer able to care for them because of financial hardship.
The donkeys are primarily used for riding therapy for children with additional needs but also as animal therapy for older people in care homes, particularly those living with dementia.