At Longhopes Donkey Shelter, just outside of Denver, Colorado, you can tour the property and get up close and personal with adorable donkeys!
Longhopes Donkey Shelter
Just a short drive outside of Denver, Longhopes Donkey Shelter is located in Bennett, Colorado. This donkey shelter was started in 1999 by Kathy and her husband Alan Miller. They wanted to help donkeys that could no longer be cared for by their owners, and who would otherwise end up in slaughter houses.
Visiting Longhopes Donkey Shelter
Visiting the donkey shelter is such a fun experience! The tour lasts about two hours and you learn all about the history of the shelter, donkey behaviors, and what medical services they provide on site. You also get PLENTY of one on one time with the donkeys.
Note: You do have to call ahead to set up a tour time and it costs $35 a person.
The donkeys are so frickin cute!! They are curious and like attention so they come right up to you to get petted. And if you’re not paying attention to them, they will nudge you. They basically acted like big puppies lol!
During the tour, we walked through paddocks, saw the barns, and even got to go into the hospital area where they treat injured or sick donkeys. And at the end of the tour, we were given graham crackers to feed the donkeys. Eek!
Adopt A Donkey
A goal of Longhopes is to find forever homes for the donkeys that they have at the shelter. Therefore, if you are interested, you can adopt a donkey. However, they normally only adopt in pairs.
Donkeys are herd animals and get very lonely and depressed when they are by themselves. Once in a while a single donkey can be adopted if it has shown to be a suitable horse companion. You can find out more about how to adopt a donkey here.
Longhopes Donkey Shelter, along with caring for donkeys that can no longer be looked after, also provides other services. They can board donkeys for a short amount of time and they also can help with training your donkey.
How You Can Help
You can help Longhopes Donkey Shelter by visiting them, but you can also sign up to be a volunteer or even a sponsor. As a volunteer, you could help in the office or be out with the donkeys cleaning paddocks, feeding donkeys, bathing donkeys, moving supplies, and of course, giving the donkeys lots of love and attention.
As a sponsor, you can help provide food, training, and medical care to donkeys that are waiting to get adopted. You can also choose to sponsor a permanent resident donkey and help with their geriatric care. Depending on the amount you give monthly, you’ll receive things like quarterly updates, photos and videos of your donkey, and more.
Interesting Facts About Donkeys
While we were at Longhopes Donkey Shelter, one of the most interesting things that we learned about donkeys is that their supposed stubbornness is a misconception. They are actually very smart and analytical, so if they don’t do something right away like a horse would, it’s because they are thinking about what you are asking them to do.
We were curious to learn more about donkeys, so here are 15 interesting facts about donkeys that we found:
- Donkeys have a highly developed sense of self preservation. It is difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it sees as contrary to its own best interest or safety.
- Donkeys have a very good memory and can remember places or other donkeys from up to 25 years ago.
- Although donkeys are herd animals, a single donkey can usually live happily with a group of goats.
- Donkeys are considered all-terrain animals, much better than horses.
- A donkey is stronger than a horse of the same size.
- There is “donkey power” which is about 250 watts, or about a third of a horsepower.
- Thanks to their long ears, donkeys can hear another donkey from 60 miles away.
- A donkey’s large ears also help to keep their body cool in hot and arid desert conditions.
- Donkeys like to groom each other and keep themselves clean.
- Originally desert animals, donkeys utilize 95% of what they eat. Their digestive system can break down inedible vegetation and extract moisture from food very efficiently, making their manure unusable for fertilizer.
- Donkeys do not like rain and because their coats are not waterproof, if they stay out in the rain for too long it could be bad for their health.
- A male donkey is often called Jack and a female is often called Jenny.
- Jennies are pregnant for 365 days and usually give birth to a single baby, called a foal. Donkeys rarely have twins.
- Donkeys have an instinctual hatred for canines like wolves and coyotes which makes them excellent guard animals for flocks of sheep or goats.
- Donkey milk is actually closest to human breast milk, compared to other animals’ milk, based on its pH level and nutritional makeup. It also contains less total fat than cow’s milk and has more anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
Pro Tip: If you’re in Western Massachusetts, consider staying at the Starlight Llama Bed and Breakfast. It’s a unique solar powered bed and breakfast that has rescued llamas and also a donkey!
Final Thoughts On Longhopes Donkey Shelter
We definitely recommend visiting Longhopes Donkey Shelter. Getting up close to the donkeys and getting to pet and play with them was a really cool experience. And we learned a lot about them too, which was a bonus. So if you’re in the Denver area, stop in and pay them a visit!
Longhopes Donkey Shelter
66 N Dutch Valley Rd, Bennett, CO 80102