The Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary (GSDS) was established in 1990 by Jo-Anne Kokas (OAM) to care for rescued donkeys. Specifically, it offers shelter, food, refuge and care for abandoned, neglected, mistreated or ill donkeys. And it also helps owners who are no longer able to care for their donkeys due to ill health or needing to move to an unsuitable location.
Most donkeys come to the attention of the GSDS via the public, RSPCA, police or rangers. Typically, donkeys are delivered to the Sanctuary but sometimes it must organise collection.
The GSDS is at Glen William, approximately 30 kms south of Dungog in the picturesque Upper Hunter Valley. Covering some 300 acres, its paddocks provide hilly and flat grazing land. It also features a specialist Intensive Care Unit with stalls and equipment to cater for very sick donkeys in need of constant care.
The total herd fluctuates between 70 and 150 donkeys, with up to 12 in the ICU. A further 100 donkeys are fostered out, mostly as companion- but occasionally as work-animals. Donkeys are renowned guardians, protecting herds of sheep and goats from wild dogs. Fostered donkeys remain the property of the GSDS so they can be returned to the Sanctuary should their living or health circumstances change.
The GSDS is a non-profit registered charity. Without government funding, it is reliant on the generosity of the donkey-loving public.