OVER €30,000 in donations have flooded in from all over the world to a Donegal animal shelter after its owners revealed it was on the brink of closure.
Danny and Sandra Curran have taken in hundreds of neglected, abused and abandoned animals since they set up the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary in Raphoe 11 years ago.
But earlier this week the couple revealed how spiralling costs and a rise in the number of donkeys requiring care had pushed them to the verge of going out of business.
On Monday night the couple launched a crowdfunding page with a target of €25,000. That threshold was reached within 24 hours as donations poured in from across the globe.
Donegal Donkey Sanctuary began life in 2006 when the Currans agreed to take in one neglected animal following a cruelty case. From there it has grown to be the only service of its kind anywhere in the north west and expansion has included the launch in 2015 of a visitor centre, tea room and gift shop. But in light of recent financial constraints, the couple have had to scale back their operations.
Danny Curran told the Chronicle that they kickstarted their public appeal for help more out of hope than expectation. The level of support it had attracted was beyond anything they could have imagined, he said.
“The sanctuary has expanded so much and at the minute we have over 70 animals here,” Mr Curran said.
“We also run a fostering system where if someone has the right facilities, we give them out donkeys. So we have about 600 animals out and as far afield as Sweden and London.
“They all have to be checked and it is just a case of a lot of things coming at us at the one time. For example our Jeep, it has 250,000 miles on the clock, so it isn’t going to keep going forever and it won’t be cheap to replace.
“That’s why we set up the page but the response we have had since, we never expected it. We were hoping and praying that we would get a few pound in but it has been amazing and we have had people calling us and emailing us telling us to up our target. So we have done that and hopefully we can reach the €35,000 mark.”
Mr Curran added that the donations would buy the sanctuary time to look at its overall position. Its long term future was still not guaranteed though, he said. “I love animals and my wife is the same. This is our life and for the past 11 years this is nearly all we have done. It has been 11 years of long hours and hard work and it could end up closing. But we are far from done yet and this money will buy us a bit of time and hopefully give us a bit of space to find a new sponsor. It has been overwhelming and the support has been brilliant. Hopefully it continues,” Mr Curran added.
• To make a donation, log on to gofundme.com/donegal-donkey-sanctuary-sos.