Salmon Arm  

Sakura’s Hope Foundation matching donations for Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge

Saving senior donkeys

Sakura’s Hope Foundation is helping senior donkeys to have a better life.

The foundation has provided the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge with up to $30,000 in matching funds towards the Senior Barn & Infirmary Expansion Project.

The fund-matching campaign officially kicked off Oct. 1.

Located near Chase, the refuge provides a safe, secure and permanent home for neglected, abused or unwanted donkeys.

The Senior Barn & Infirmary Expansion Project will provide funding for construction of more senior equine housing at the refuge.

This includes adding 2,800 square feet of interior barn space with new large stalls to help continuously monitor vulnerable senior donkeys and mules and expanding the existing infirmary rehab space by 1200 square feet to accommodate more donkeys that need medical care.

Fundraising for the project kicked off in April of this year, and refuge founder Shirley Mainprize said more than $107,000 has already been raised through a combination of “grant funding, private estate donations, T-shirt sales and many generous donations from our kind supporters.”

Mainprize and her husband have been rescuing donkeys for more than 20 years.

“Currently, we have over 100 donkeys in our care here at the refuge property, and out in foster care as well. As the donkeys age, due to their backgrounds, they are more likely to develop chronic conditions that must be managed daily. The average age of our donkeys is 29, and while many healthy donkeys can live to 50, we just try to give our donkeys as many happy and healthy years here as we can,” she said.

“Sakura’s Hope Foundation is a long-time supporter of donkey welfare here at the refuge, and we are thrilled they are able to step forward and provide this match, which will help us cover the increased costs of materials due to inflation.”

The foundation will match all donations from Oct. 1 to a maximum of $30,000.

Mainprize said the original estimate for the construction of the expansion was $120,000.

“Because of inflation we have had to rejig our budget to $150,000. If our donors can max out the match, helping the Refuge raise another $60,000 towards the project, Sakura’s Hope has generously let us know we can use whatever may be left of their donation after construction for senior donkey care.”

Donations for the Senior Barn and Infirmary Expansion Project can be made online at or by calling 250-679-2778.

All donations will receive a tax receipt.

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