How to Adopt

We have moved to our new farm in New Oxford, PA.  We will resume adoptions later this summer.

Are you considering adopting a donkey?

If so, here are a few important things that we take into consideration before approving any potential adopter.

  • What is the extent of your equine knowledge or background?
  • What level of care are you comfortable providing for your donkeys?
  • Have you ever had to care for any equine by yourself?
  • Are you familiar with the metabolic and nutritional challenges that donkeys (or ponies) face, and their inherent risk of suffering from obesity, laminitis or founder?
  • Do you have a good relationship with an equine vet? A farrier? An equine dentist?
  • What are your specific plans if something happens to you, leaving you no longer capable of caring for your donkeys?

Please keep in mind that any equine is a complicated animal to care for, and it isn’t fair to the donkeys for you to “learn as you go.”  There are too many subtle things that can go wrong with their health and care that, without education and experience, many owners will not notice.

We always have an assortment of donkeys available for adoption, most of them in pairs or groups of 3 or even more. It is much easier to introduce the available donkeys to each adopter once we approve your application and invite you out to meet with us and the donkeys. We can better evaluate your skill level, and introduce you to donkeys we feel are most appropriate for your needs.

If you feel you are a seasoned equestrian and would like to pursue the joy of adding donkeys to your life by adopting from Little Longears, please continue.

Here’s how to get started:

  • We only adopt out within about a 3-hour radius of our farm in New Oxford, PA. Please do a map search and check your distance from us. (There may be a few exceptions to this rule if we personally know someone near a potential adopter and he/she can go inspect the home for us)
  • Our criteria for facilities and care of our donkeys may seem a bit lengthy, but it’s only because we know what it takes to provide the absolute best care for donkeys, and we want every donkey that leaves here to end up in a wonderful home.   Adoptions will not be considered if these minimum criteria are not met.

Criteria for adopting from Little Longears:

  • We do not adopt out single donkeys. Donkeys almost always have a buddy, and do best when they live with another donkey.  We realize many people are searching for one donkey to be a companion to a donkey they already own, but we very, very rarely have a donkey who does not already have a friend – often one they have lived with their entire life.  We will not separate pairs or even small herds of 3 or more donkeys that are bonded and happy.
    • If you only have one donkey and are financially able, please consider adding two donkeys. They will all enjoy having a larger herd.
    • Donkeys also will not be adopted out as single donkeys to be companions to horses, but a pair or more of donkeys can be adopted to be companions to a horse. However, donkeys will still need to have their pasture time limited.
  • Adopter 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 environment for the donkeys.
  • Adopter must own the property where they will keep the donkey.
  • Adopter must be the person responsible for the care of the donkey.
  • No donkeys will be adopted out as surprise gifts for anyone.
  • Perimeter fencing must be wire mesh (no climb) or 3 or 4 board.
  • A dry paddock (no grass), with a minimum area of 50’x60’, is required. It must be attached to the shelter to keep the donkeys out of the pasture to manage grazing time.  This area will be their “home base” and should allow them access to hay, water, shade, fans and shelter. 
    • Keeping them in a stall is insufficient to manage the donkey’s grazing time.
    • A muzzle can only be used during the actual grazing time — not instead of the use of a dry paddock.
  • Pasture space must be at least 1 acre per 2 donkeys.
  • Their shelter must be, at minimum, a 3-sided shed with a roof, no less than 10’x 16’ for 2 donkeys, to protect the donkeys from the prevailing wind and rain.  Rubber mats should be installed, and sawdust bedding should be used.  The shed must be cleaned at least once a day and preferably more often.
  • Electricity must be supplied to the shelter, and fans provided in hot weather.
  • Adopters must provide a water trough that can be easily cleaned every few days, and which can be heated in the winter.
  • No stallions or jacks (intact male donkeys) are allowed to be on the property where the donkeys will live.
  • Adoption fee is $400 per donkey.
  • Donkey’s hooves must be trimmed by a qualified farrier at minimum every 6 to 12 weeks.
  • Donkey must be provided with routine, regular medical treatment and vaccinations by a qualified equine veterinarian.
  • Dental care for the donkey must be provided by a qualified equine dentist or veterinarian.
  • Adopter must agree to return the donkey to Little Longears if he/she is unable or unwilling to properly care for the donkey. Adopter cannot sell, trade, gift or otherwise transfer the donkey to another person or party.

Read over the Adoption Contract.  Please don’t fill this out yet, but do read and understand it.

It is our policy that donkeys are adopted out as pets and companion animals, NOT as guardians for livestock.  For more information about why, please read  Donkeys as Livestock Guardians .