The Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary (GSDS) was established in 1990 by Jo-Anne Kokas (OAM) to care for rescued donkeys. It offers shelter, food, refuge and care for abandoned, neglected, mistreated or ill donkeys. It also offers a home for donkeys that are unable to be cared for by their owners due to sickness or simply moving to an unsuitable location.
Most of these donkeys come to the attention of the GSDS via the public, RSPCA, police or rangers. Sometimes the donkeys are delivered to the Sanctuary and sometimes the Sanctuary has to organise collection.
The GSDS is located at Glen William which is around 30 kms south of Dungog in the picturesque Upper Hunter Valley. The property covers 300 acres which is divided into paddocks that offering both hilly and flat grazing land. A specialist Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is located on the property which includes stalls and equipment to cater for the needs of very sick donkeys that need constant care. The herd fluctuates between 70 and 150 donkeys with up to 12 in the ICU.
In addition to the herd, a further 100 donkeys are currently in foster homes, mostly as companion animals and occasionally as work animals – donkeys can be used as guardians to protect herds of sheep and goats from wild dogs. These fostered donkeys always 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. It receives no government funding and relies totally on the generosity of the public.