By Joe Chivers

THE livelihoods of hundreds of donkeys are in danger, after the closure of a popular sanctuary in the Axarquia.

In a move which will shock and sadden many, the Nerja Donkey Sanctuary is to close at the end of this month.

The donkeys will be separated and most of them carted off to new homes.

However, several are still without a new home to move into with just a week to go, while other animals such as pigs, a horse, cats and dogs face an uncertain future.

The sanctuary has been operating since 2004, and was popular with visitors and residents alike.

It has twice been awarded a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence, in 2013 and 2014, although it currently lacks the necessary licenses to remain open.

A spokesman for the sanctuary told the Olive Press that the cost of finding a new location and getting a licence would cost an estimated €10,000, beyond the budget of the small volunteer-run organisation.

Harriet Horne, the owner of the sanctuary, described the decision as ‘a very emotional choice’ and thanked all the supporters.

“We would not have lasted as long as we have without this support and many animals have benefited as a result.”

The sanctuary still requires donations to pay off any debts and to ensure a smooth last few days.

To donate or offer an animal a home, visit or email


  1. Such a dreadful shame, we always visited when in Nerja and it was one of the top attractions in the area. The staff and volunteers have worked so hard to raise the funds and its such a shame that the local authority couldn’t help them. I do hope they manage to find places for all the animals, they have a Facebook page where people can see what’s happening.

  2. “The livelihoods of hundreds of donkeys are in danger”

    Nonsense reporting, the owner has already said that only the pigs and Campy the horse need to find a new home.

    “… carted off to new homes.”

    Puns galore, great stuff Joe. Not.

  3. 10000 Euros is not such a great deal of money. It only needed 20 subscription members or other interested frequent visitors to contribute 500 euros apiece – surely not too great an amount to keep such a deserving cause & delightful attraction going. However this news came (almost) out of the blue, but given enough notice & publicity I am sure the necessary amount could have been raised.

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