El Refugio del Burito in the province of Malaga, Andulacia, is where you will find the only donkey sanctuary in Spain. It is an extraordinary example of progress in animal welfare, protection and education in a country clearly now moving fowards in this field.
It is jarring to a foreign visitor to learn that donkey’s are still used as taxi’s for tourists, or through owner ignorance donkeys are not fed or watered, left tied up in fields for days without appropriate medical attention in some circumstances. Public awareness and non-acceptance of abusive treatment of these gentle creatures has grown in Spain. Undoubtedly the number of foreign holidaymakers visiting the country who voice their concerns, has added to the present incentive for positive action.
A nation can be judged by how it treats its animals, words famously articulated through the pens of Gandhi and Tolstoy respectively. This donkey sanctuary has certainly taken great strides in working towards an improved reputation for animal welfare in Spain. Importantly, they invite school parties to participate in their work. In this way animal care becomes normalised and acceptable to a future generation.
If you are in the area do take time to visit and support this worthy cause. You will be moved by the warmth and gentleness of these creatures who have had their sorry lives transformed by caring humans. In return they show their keen acceptance of us and demonstrate their nudgingly trusting loyalty as they rub their furry heads on our shoulders. A truly wonderful, hopeful and moving experience.