Available for Adoption

Sharing daily life with donkeys is wonderful and there is truly nothing like it!

We occasionally also adopt out horses, ponies and mini horses but The Farmette's primary focus is on donkeys. There are photos and information about specific available donkeys at the bottom of this page. Please read through the information on this page before completing an application. We have adoptable animals in and near Pipersville, PA; Indianapolis, IN; and North Franklin, CT. We have a required adoption range so to save you time and effort, please contact us to confirm your location before you complete our adoption application.

Donkeys can live a long time, some up to 4o+ years old. Prospective adopters should take this into account when determining an appropriate match for their home. Adoptions should be considered a life-long commitment. If a pet is likely to outlive an owner, specific safeguards should be in place and provisions should be made that will ensure the pet's protection and ongoing care.



Adoption Criteria

We consider each adoption application individually but there are some issues that are "no exceptions" for us. Before you take the time to complete our application, please read through these points carefully (as well as the FAQs below) and be in touch with any questions.


Single Donkeys and Other Animals

We occasionally adopt out single donkeys but only to homes that already have at least one donkey and only when we have a donkey that hasn't already buddied up to another. Donkeys are very social animals who form deep bonds and it is somewhat rare for us to have a donkey that doesn't already have a good friend. We know there are people want to adopt one donkey to be a friend for a single donkey they already have and we are happy to hear from you in case we can help, but we will not separate pairs or even small groups of three or more donkeys that are bonded and already happy. If you have just one donkey who needs a donkey friend and we don't have an appropriate single donkey, consider adopting two instead. Most donkeys prefer to live in a herd and are open to adding new friends. Also, a single donkey will never be adopted alone to be a companion for a horse, but a pair or more of donkeys can be adopted to be companions for a horse. We do not recommend that adopters mix donkeys with goats, sheep, etc. as these other animals may be injured or even killed, but we leave that decision up to the adopter.


Adopter Abilities

Adopters must be physically capable of handling, grooming, picking out feet, holding the donkey for the farrier and vet, and be able to handle the daily barn chores necessary to provide a clean, safe environment for the donkeys. The adopters must be the people directly responsible for the care of the donkey. Please note that donkeys live a long time. This reality must be taken into consideration when determining a good match between donkeys and adopters.


Property

Adopters must own and live on the property where they will keep the donkey. No property is the same as another and we evaluate each application individually. However, perimeter fencing typically must be mesh or 3-4 board with mesh, depending on the size and temperaments of the donkeys. No wooden split rail without mesh, electric strand fencing, flex fencing, tape, barbed wire or high tensile wire will be approved.


Shelter

An appropriate 3-sided shelter must be provided to protect the donkeys from the sun, wind, rain and snow. Rubber mats should be installed, and sawdust bedding should be used. The shed must be thoroughly cleaned at least once a day.


Turnout

Donkeys must have access to appropriate turnout space, preferably connected to or surrounding their shelter or barn. It is also preferable that an adopter have a dry lot (a dry lot has no grass or only very limited, "scrappy" grass) immediately surrounding the shelter/barn that opens into a larger grassy field. The size of the dry lot and the pasture can vary but must be appropriate for donkeys, and for the particular donkeys to be adopted. An adopter will not be rejected for not having a dry lot provided that their turnout is appropriate for the number and size of the donkeys they adopt. Donkeys cannot handle 24/7 access to rich pasture and will founder if their grass intake is not controlled. As desert animals, their needs are very different from horses.


Water

Adopters must provide clean water that will not freeze. Natural water sources such as creeks or ponds will not be approved.


Currently Owned Animals

Adopters must provide a veterinarian reference that will confirm a complete and current vaccination history for all of their animals as well as evidence of regular health care.

FAQs:

What is your adoption fee?

Our adoption fee is typically $600/per animal. Depending on the situation, we sometimes provide a small discount when an adopter wants to provide a home for more than one. Our animals are as up-to-date as possible on vaccines and farrier care. If an adopter cannot afford our adoption fee, it is possible that their financial situation is not secure enough to take on the responsibility for an animal whose medical needs can be unpredictable at times. Any potential adopter who wants to rescue but is uncomfortable with our adoption fees is encouraged to purchase animals directly from an auction, a kill lot or Craigslist where vulnerable animals can often be found. We are happy to provide information regarding how to go about doing that.

Why do you require an adoption fee since these are just rescues, and why is it so much?

First, we believe the value of our rescues to be priceless. We don't simply "rescue" animals from bad situations. While they are with us, we spend a lot of time with them. We earn their trust and we give them ours. We establish a relationship with them and genuinely love them. Because we do, we provide them with veterinary and farrier care along with all their regular daily needs such as feed, hay, stall bedding, dewormers, blankets when needed, and so on. For us, adoptions are always bittersweet because helping them learn to trust humans requires a heart investment on our part, and as happy as we are for them to end up in wonderful homes, we're always sad to see them go. Due to illnesses or horrible hoof conditions, some of them require extensive care, and all of that is expensive. Adoption fees don't begin to cover the expenses of a rescue organization. They help pay some bills. We go into a financial hole on many of the animals we take in and depend on donors to continue this work. All of us are volunteers. There are no salaries for anyone. The Farmette owns no property or vehicles -- all are privately owned and maintained with private funds. The only profit in our organization is for our wonderful animals whose lives are saved and whose futures are secured. Fortunately, this is not actually an often asked question because most adopters recognize the high costs involved in rescue.

Can I adopt just one donkey?

That depends. If you already have a donkey, you can adopt a single donkey who is not already bonded to another. Donkeys often like horses and enjoy the company of other animals but the vast majority are lonely and even sad without donkey company. For that reason, unless you already have at least one donkey, we adopt them out only in pairs or trios. We require adopters to agree that donkeys adopted from The Farmette will always have donkey company; should circumstances ever arise that an adopted donkey is living without another donkey, adopters are required either to obtain another companion donkey as soon as possible or to surrender their single donkey back to The Farmette.

Can I adopt a miniature donkey?

Sure. We often have miniature donkeys available for adoption. Did you know that just 1 single inch can separate a donkey classified as a "mini" from one who is a "small standard"? People are often surprised to meet small standards and learn that they really are little donkeys. If you are set on a "mini," please come and meet all the donkeys we have available. Any part of a small standard that is bigger than a mini is just that much more to love.

Can I adopt whichever donkey I choose?

That also depends. The Farmette NEVER separates bonded donkeys; they must be adopted together and an adopter must be genuinely interested in having a relationship with them both. We are very careful about finding the right match, and that always depends on a variety of factors including a donkey's age, sex and personality, as well as characteristics related to individual adopters, their properties and their other pets. You know your animals and we and our foster caregivers know ours. We do our best to work with potential adopters to put that information together and ensure that every adoption will be successful for all humans and animals involved.

Do your donkeys get along with goats, sheep, chickens, dogs, etc.?

Some of our donkeys have lived with other animals in the past. For some it went well but for others, it most definitely did not. Some donkeys see dogs as threats. Some very sweet donkeys will attack or even kill goats or sheep. We always recommend that donkeys be kept separate from other smaller animals and make no guarantee that any donkey will get along with any other animal.

Why don't you adopt out the donkeys who are "permanent Farmette residents"?

The donkeys whose permanent home is with us are here for a variety of reasons. Some require special hoof care. Others have been moved around a lot and deserve never to be uprooted again. Some have been here for so long that moving them elsewhere would be traumatic. Many of them are strongly connected to more than one donkey who lives here. These donkeys receive tons of human attention. For the most part, they are very people-oriented and serve as wonderful donkey ambassadors. People who are considering donkey adoption but who haven't spent significant time with donkeys come for a preliminary visit and often leave wanting to adopt a herd of donkeys rather than just a pair! We loving having a variety of sizes and colors and personalities, an ideal situation for introducing people to the wonderful world of donkeys. And, plain and simple, they are extremely loved. One hard part of rescue is having to say a lot of goodbyes to donkeys we have also grown to love. Adoptions are wonderful but, honestly, each one is bittersweet because in order to help donkeys learn to trust humans, you have to love them and give them a piece of your heart. That love makes every parting painful. It is helpful to all of us to be able to have permanent relationships with donkeys who will be with us forever.

My first priority is to adopt healthy donkeys. Do you have any?

We do not adopt out unhealthy animals. In fact, an animal that was rescued was not necessarily ever sick, injured or misbehaved. "Rescue" means that the animal came from a situation where needed care was lacking or the animal's life was in danger. Our adoptable animals have already been rescued. They are out of the horrible situation and their physical needs have been met. In most cases, they are friendly, easy to handle pets ready for their forever homes. Because of their past experiences that were never their fault, some are still shy or afraid so they may not lead perfectly or stand quietly for the vet. We always disclose any issues we know about to potential adopters and we very much see our adopters as part of our team, especially those who open their hearts to loving animals who need more time and repeated positive experiences before they are ready to trust humans.

What if an adoption doesn't work out?

When we approve an adoption, we commit to helping you do everything possible to ensure a good transition and a successful adoption. Sometimes it can take time for all humans and animals involved and we will stick with you through that process as long as needed. But, in the unlikely event that in the opinion of an adopter and/or The Farmette an adoption isn't "working out," the animal(s) must be returned to The Farmette.

What is your adoption process?

In order to meet animals available for adoption, your adoption application must first be completed and approved. Please select Forms from the webpage menu and complete an adoption application. We require references and a narrated video "tour" of your property, barn, stalls, fencing and current animals. Once approved, you will be invited to meet our available animals and we will work together to select the right match. We require an adoption fee as well as the completion of an adoption contract in order to ensure the long-term security of your adopted animals. Annually, your vet will need to complete an annual health care form and return it to us along with a current photo of your adopted animals. Our goal is to do everything possible to protect Farmette animals from ever being in any kind of need again.

Why do you have so many adoption requirements? Don't you want to find them homes?

Of course we want to find them homes -- but not just any homes. We want our animals to be in forever homes where they will be loved and appreciated for the rest of their lives. Many of our animals have been through horrific experiences and they deserve that security. In most cases, we do not know adopters until they apply. We don't know your properties, your animals, your perspectives on animal care, your level of commitment, or you. We owe it first to our animals as well as to those who support us financially to be thorough in our adoption review process. If you are approved for adoption, we are turning over to you not just a donkey but a life. We take that very seriously. Just because you know you are a good home, we don't yet. If you are unwilling to answer questions, provide a narrated video tour, schedule a farm visit, provide references, and follow up with us regularly for the life of your adopted animals, please don't apply. Organizations and individual people have many different opinions about caring for donkeys and horses, some of them better than others, but there is no one right way. That said, as a rescue, we do have specific requirements related to fencing, pastures, paddocks, shelters and animal care in general. If you prefer to work independently rather than collaborate with others, or if you are unwilling or unable to consider The Farmette's requirements, it would be better for you to buy donkeys directly from an auction or a kill lot and rescue them on your own without what will probably seem to you to be interference from us. We value our adopters and develop wonderful, long-term relationships with them and remain committed to helping them in any way that we can following an adoption. We are a team.


If you have any questions, please contact us before you apply.

Who is available for adoption? (some examples)

Pipersville, Pennsylvania

Lucy, Bentley, Nestor, and Gertie

These 4 donkeys came to us from a kill lot in North Carolina. We are patiently waiting for them to find a home where they can all stay together. They are 8, 4, and the other two are about a year and a half old -- just babies. They get along very well and have become a little donkey family. They love people and their personalities are huge, though they are not! They are sweet, loving donkeys and are an adorable little herd. They are all friendly though at times one can still be a little shy. If you are just getting started with donkeys and have lots of years ahead to love donkeys who are currently very young, this is a group you should seriously consider.

Cinnamon & Mabel

Cinnamon (left) is a sweet girl who loves people. She's somewhere in her teenage years. She likes treats, enjoys being brushed and is a beautiful light tan color. We don't know much about her history but she came from a cattle farm. Her best friend Mabel is an adorable mammoth donkey in her 20s. She is as charming as she is TALL! How a creature as endearing as she is ended up with a killbuyer is unthinkable. Her ears are big. Her eyes are soft. And her heart is huge. Hugging her is fun! She gets along well with everyone, including very small donkeys. These two have some senior issues but they have lots of love left to give. They must be adopted together.

Sarge & Uncle Sam

Sarge and Uncle Sam came to us on Memorial Day, 2020! Sarge (about 4 years old) was advertised on Craiglist as "needs gone" and when we inquired, we discovered he had an older, little friend, Uncle Sam. Both of these donkeys were covered in lice. Sarge has since been castrated so both are now geldings. Uncle Sam is in his 20s but he and his little friend Sarge are very bonded buddies. They both lead beautifully and reportedly have experience serving as nativity and nursing home visitor donkeys. How they ended up as unwanted is hard to understand! These little guys are incredibly sweet boys who adore human attention. Even though they are very bonded, Sarge understandably has a lot more "get up and go" and interest in playing than Uncle Sam, so these two either need to be adopted with another young, male donkey playmate (like Scout -- see below) or they need to go to a home where there is already a young, male donkey.

Scout

This wonderful guy came to us from the Last Chance Ranch, a rescue in Quakertown, PA, who got him at an auction. They didn't have an appropriate donkey friend for him but he has found several at The Farmette. He is about 8 years old and is still a bit overweight which was how he arrived at the previous rescue. He's getting appropriate feed and lots of exercise with his donkey friends and the weight is coming off slowly, as it should. He loves to play and absolutely needs to be in a home with a donkey friend. He likes Patti, Sarge and Uncle Sam -- and Benno and Frankie and Wesley -- and everyone!!!

Nellie, Gracie & Eli

This little family came to us by way of a roadside fruitstand "for sale" sign. Nellie is in her mid/late twenties. Her daughter Gracie is a teenager. And Eli is Nellie's youngest -- and last! Sadly, these two jennies were bred every year and all of their foals were taken to auction. We saved last year's foals (already adopted) and the older jack father (he also found a home) but the owners didn't want to let the moms go because they were hoping they were already pregnant again, which indeed they were. Again, very sadly, Gracie's last baby died just a couple of days old but Nellie's last baby Eli made it. This family is going to stay together. Given their age differences, they need to go to a home where Eli will have an appropriate gelding playmate. His mom and older sister aren't at all into little guy roughhousing! They are all three gentle, kind and friendly donkeys. The jennies lead very well. Yearling Eli is still learning. All of them stand well for the farrier and vet.

Benno, Frankie & Wesley

Benno is a wonderful guy who came to us as an owner surrender. He is around 10 years old. Unwanted, he had been through auctions and luckily landed in a wonderful home where he learned that some humans are really nice people. But, his loving owners sadly lost their farm so he came to us. Once he trusts someone, he LOVES butt scratches, carrots and peppermints. He is good for the vet and farrier and is one of the kindest animals ever. Sweet Frankie, about 4 years old, came to us from a farm that had sheep. They didn't want to spend the money to castrate this little guy and just wanted him gone. We gladly took him! He is now a very polite and fun-filled gelding who loves attention and is waiting to be someone's best friend. He's a happy donkey who likes his food! Wesley is about 2 years old. He was rescued from a kill lot by a kind person who wanted to give him a new start in life. His "adopted" mom, Bea, had her hands full with him as an energetic young male, but she has done a wonderful job showing him how to be sweet and friendly. Wesley is a kind, young gelding who is super handsome and in your pocket. He's already pretty good on a lead and great with the farrier and vet. He's a sweet boy who loves kisses! These three boys are very different from each other in personality but they love to play together and often groom each other.

Sarah, Beth & Camp

Sarah and her (probably) daughter Beth and her (probably) son Camp were at an auction in December, 2020. We were totally out of space and could not help them. No private buyers wanted them and, as a result, they landed on a kill lot. It was heartbreaking, and it was absolutely impossible to forget about them. A kind foster figured out how to make quarantine space for them so that we could save them. Sarah is very loving and enjoys attention and snuggles. Camp is completely in your pocket and friendly. Beth is still quite afraid but she will come around with time and consistent TLC. They are very bonded to each other and must be adopted together. Camp has a white nose. Sarah and Beth are beautiful donkeys with no light points (NLPs); i.e., their noses "match" their body colors instead of having a more common white nose. These jennies are like teddy bears come to life. They are happy to be safe and together.

Clara, Belle, Audrey & Kate

These two mom/daughter pairs are both available for adoption. In both cases, the moms and daughters are bonded to each other. Since both moms are teenagers, these mother/daughter pairs must go as a pair to a home where there is already an appropriate donkey playmate for the younger ones or they must go a together as a group of four.

In Indianapolis, Indiana

Jax & Axel

Jax and Axel were rescued together from a Tennessee kill lot in October 2020. These geldings appear to be brothers both in looks as well as behaviors. Jax is a fun little guy, estimated to be about 4 years old. He has a fantastic personality and is right there waiting for you to bring him a treat. After the third cookie, you can do anything with him! Jax can be haltered, tied and stands for the farrier. He is friendly with people, animals and happily shares his food. An inch or so taller than Jax, Axel is estimated to be 5 years old. He is still learning to trust humans. He now freely approaches people on his own and reaches out for a cookie. Axel gets nervous when others crowd him and he backs away. He can be haltered and tied but he doesn’t like the farrier much yet but every visit is easier than the last. Axel has a great personality and wants to be near you. They both love to follow their "big brother" King around! They are at our foster home in Indiana.

King, Prince and Duke

These three beautiful geldings came as jacks from a kill lot in Tennessee in September, 2020.

King, the largest of the group, reportedly knows how to ride. This gelding is approximately 10 yrs old, the resident mentor to the other donkeys who follow his lead in all ways. King is a gentle soul, sweet and kind to people, donkeys and other animals. He is easy to handle, catch, halter, lead, load, trailer, tie and he stands perfectly for the farrier. King comes to the barn yard when called. He adores being petted and groomed and has an endearing method of begging by stretching his upper lip and enlarging his eyes as he reaches his head above the stall door to see if you are coming his way with cookies.

Light-colored Duke is a small standard gelding in his teenage years. He’s quite the spunky character! When the herd is called to the barn, Duke runs and is always the first to arrive – he’s very motivated by food and attention. He’s stuffs a lot of personality in his short stature. While he’s an eager eater, he’s happy to share his feed pan with the others. He’s friendly with people and donkeys, stands for the farrier and enjoys being loved on.

Dark brown Prince is an estimated 5 years old standard size gelding. Prince definitely arrived with a broken heart, likely separated from his family, leaving him shy and reserved. He now will take cookies when offered to him but he still is afraid to be approached while he's eating. Prince stands for the farrier but he’s not too comfortable yet with being loved on and petted unless he's haltered. This sweet boy is quiet, friendly with other donkeys and animals, and shares his feed pan with others. They are at our foster home in Indiana.

North Franklin, Connecticut

Chester & Curtis

These two buddies came from an auction in Pennsylvania. They are believed to be bonded friends. Curtis is still a bit shy but already loves to be groomed and voluntarily walks up to greet people. He still gets nervous when people move too quickly but he is coming around fast, thanks in large part to lots of wonderful attention from his foster family and to the example of his friendly donkey friend, Chester. Chester is an extrovert who loves people and enjoys being fussed over. He is very mild mannered and sweet. These two guys make an adorable pair. They are at our foster home in Connecticut.

Ziggy

Ziggy came from an auction in Pennsylvania. Dark brown no light points ("NLP"), Ziggy is a yearling who still has his "baby charm". He is friendly and affectionate and is full of life and energy. And he plays a really good Santa Claus!

Ziggy, Curtis and Chester could also go together to their forever home as a group of three donkey buddies. Ziggy is at our foster home in Connecticut.

This page is updated frequently but is not always completely up-to-date. Sometimes donkeys posted here are in the process of being adopted or were just adopted, and we often have donkeys that are available or are soon to be available for adoption that are not posted yet. Feel free to contact us with questions.