Welcome to the

Donkey and Mule Protection Trust NZ

Improving the lives of donkeys and mules in New Zealand

Our aim is to provide information, advice, support, education, rehabilitation and rehoming for donkeys and mules across the country 

What we do

Role of the Donkey & Mule Protection Trust

Rescue and Rehabilitation

This is when the animal is uplifted and, either temporarily or for the long term, is in the care of a rehoming centre.

The rehoming centres associated with the Trust are available to pick up a donkey or mule when an owner can no longer care for their animal and wants to ensure it goes to a good home.

The Trust raises money to support these rehoming centres in this work by providing funds for transport, farriers, dental work, gelding and any other costs associated with the rehabilitation of the donkey.

This is where most of your donations go – to the rehoming centres which are privately owned and operated by volunteers.

The animals are the responsibility of the rehoming centres and the Trust provides funds to allow them to continue their work rescuing and rehabilitating donkeys and mules in need of care.

There are several levels of outcomes for the donkeys/mules:


Rehome Youngsters

A youngster with no obvious problems can be rehomed.


Rehome mature animals

Mature and well behaved with no obvious problems can be rehabilitated and rehomed.


Suitable for rehoming with knowledgeable home only

Some health problems, but possible to be placed in a suitable and knowledgeable home.



In some cases, the animal due to health or behavioural issues may remain at the rehoming centre for the long term and the Trust will seek sponsorship from supporters to cover the main costs of caring for the animal. This is a recent initiative and has been very successful.


Under no circumstances to be rehomed

Severe problems because of severe health problems or dangerous. In these cases the rehoming centre may have to make the decision to euthanise the animal.

It doesn’t stop there…

Care and Support

Information and Advice

The Trust also has a role in educating owners and potential owners of their responsibilities when owning donkeys/mules. Raising awareness of the unique nature of donkeys and mules is a critical part of what we do to minimise the risk of more animals needing care through ignorance or neglect.

Support and Education

We support current owners to extend their knowledge, and ensure that they know the essentials of caring for a donkey or mule.

Continuing rehabilitation with owner

Where the neglect of a donkey or mule has occurred through ignorance, and is not wilful, and the person in charge of the animal can give a good home to the animal with support and education, a volunteer will visit on a regular basis to assist and check.

The animal should be able to lead and tie up. Fencing should be safe and secure; there must be shelter, feet regularly trimmed. We will introduce the person to a recommended farrier to ensure the feet are trimmed regularly. The owner should be able to recognise when the donkey or mule is ill.

2022 Calendar

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Proceeds go to support the Trust’s efforts of care and rehabilitation for donkeys and mules around NZ

Our Stories

Latest news from the Trust

Read the latest news from the trust from all around New Zealand. We’ll try to keep you up to date with what is happening, the latest advice and some great information for caring for your donkey or mule.

Weatherby of Mamaku

Weatherby of Mamaku

Weatherby came to the Mamaku Rescue and Rehoming Centre with a number of nasty gashes as he was constantly escaping...

Donkeys love visitors

Donkeys love visitors

Recently Pauline of the Mamaku Rescue and Rehoming Centre welcomed Pippi, Gregg and Susie to the centre out of Rotorua...

Rosie of Mamaku – RIP

Rosie of Mamaku – RIP

Sadly Rosie has now left us.  But here is her story Rosie is an elderly donkey in her thirties who lives with Pauline...

Harry of Mamaku

Harry of Mamaku

Harry was a jack (an entire male donkey) who was exhibiting typical jack-like behaviour that made him difficult for...

Wairarapa A & P Show

Wairarapa A & P Show

Our chair person, Pru, was at the Wairarapa A&P show recently promoting the work we do at the Trust.

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