How to Adopt a Mini Donkey

You’ve had your eye on a mini donkey for a while now, and reading through this blog has made you realize that caring for them is more attainable than what you’d previously thought. You’re seriously thinking of beginning the adoption process, but admittedly, you could use some help. How do you adopt a mini donkey?

The process you follow to adopt a mini donkey varies depending on the state you call home. For many, you simply find an adoption resource in your state, choose a mini donkey of interest, and then work with the third-party seller to agree on a price and pickup/drop-off location.

In this extensive guide, we will share resources for adopting a mini donkey in as many states as possible. We’ll even provide links so you can start the adoption process in whatever state you call home. Keep reading, as you won’t want to miss it!

How to Adopt a Mini Donkey

In the next section, we’re going to provide a comprehensive list of resources for adopting a mini donkey in states across the country. Before we get into those resources, we wanted to give you the rundown of how to get the mini donkey adoption process started and completed.

Let’s go over the necessary steps now.

Step #1: Self-Assessment

You want a mini donkey, but have you ever stopped to think about why? Any donkey adoption organization worth its salt will ask sooner than later, so it’s much better if you take the time to think about this now.

For instance, some people decide they want a mini donkey because it’s a cute animal they can love and dote on. Others think it’s an unorthodox pet choice, which is certainly true. More still might want to add their mini donkey to their farm since donkeys can herd animals especially well.

Besides your interest in mini donkeys, you’re also going to want to ask yourself another pertinent question. Namely, do you have the room to raise a mini donkey? They will need their own enclosure in an outdoor environment. Do you have the space for such a thing?

If you have other pets, are these indoor animals like cats or dogs or outdoor ones like horses, goats, and pigs? Do you own other donkeys or even horses? An acclimation period will have to occur in many cases.

Finally, are you willing to take care of the mini donkey? You might answer yes, of course, but make sure you’re being realistic. Most miniature donkeys can live upwards of 45 years. They’re not like a cat or dog, who maybe you have 12 or 20 years with if you’re lucky. A mini donkey is going to take decades of care. With this care means you’re spending money, often a lot of it, on food, bedding, vet visits, and more.

Are you prepared for all that? If you answered yes, then it’s time to move on to the second step.

Step #2: Research Donkey Adoption Areas Near You

Next, you have to figure out where you’ll adopt your mini donkey from. As the upcoming section of this guide will prove, you have plenty of options, but not every state has organizations and nonprofits dedicated to donkey rescue and adoption.

In such a case, you might want to go a state over or even plan a mini road trip to adopt your donkey. Do keep in mind that some organizations might require you to be a resident of the state in which you adopt your mini donkey. Make sure you do your homework so you choose an organization that works for you.

Now, we vouch for the organizations and nonprofits we’re showcasing, but that doesn’t mean you can skip over your due diligence. Read up about the organization, their history, and see if you can find reviews from other donkey owners.

Compare prices for adoption, too. This doesn’t come free, and most times, it’s not cheap, either. You may pay upwards of $700, sometimes more, for adopting a mini donkey. Some organizations offer a pair of mini donkeys for about that much, but it all depends on which organization you choose to go through.

You also want to check out the donkeys themselves that are available for adoption. Do any of them call out to you? If so, you’re probably going to want to adopt the donkey in question right away. It may be tempting, but take your time and make sure you research, research, research during this phase. You’ll be glad you did later.

Step #3: Fill out Adoption Paperwork

If you’re interested in a mini donkey and you’re sure you’re going through the right organization or nonprofit for you, then the next step is beginning the formal adoption process. That will include paperwork.

Now, just because you’re filling out paperwork doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get the donkey. No, instead, most organizations want this information so they can get a feel for who you are and why you’re interested in a mini donkey.

The extent of the questions and info asked for on the form will vary from one adoption organization to another. At the very least, you’re going to have to include your name, your address, and some means of contact, such as a phone number or email address.

Some organizations might also request:

  • Information about your home or farm
  • Your prior history with mini donkeys or related animals
  • How many pets you own
  • How many, if any, mini donkeys you own
  • What you intend to use the mini donkey for (herding, breeding, or just as a pet)

You can typically find adoption paperwork online through the website of the adoption organization. Just print it off, fill out the forms, scan it back in, and then email it. Other nonprofits might let you fill out everything online and submit it there.

Step #4: The Follow-up After the Paperwork Submission

Okay, so you sent in your paperwork and now you’re not-so-eagerly waiting to hear back from the adoption organization. While we can’t say how long it will take for someone to reach out, have some patience. Surely, you’ll get your reply sooner than later.

When you do, it’ll either be a good one or a bad one. If it’s a good reply, don’t be surprised if the adoption organization wants to get to know you better. They will likely request a phone conversation and even a meeting in person. They may also want to see your home or farm.

Think of this from the perspective of the organization. Most of these nonprofits rescue donkeys and other animals who were neglected, abused, or forgotten. They want to ensure they’ll get the mini donkeys in the best home possible, and that often means an inspection of the property. It’s just like adopting a cat or dog in that case.

Make sure you clean up your home or farm so you can present it in the best possible condition. Don’t be deceptive, though. If by chance you can’t provide the mini donkey the best life, now would be the time to say so before going any further.

What if you get an email or call back saying the organization isn’t interested in proceeding? It does happen sometimes, sadly. It might be worth considering reaching out and asking why you got turned down. This way, you can make the appropriate changes so the next time you apply to adopt a mini donkey, you hopefully get accepted.

Step #5: Wait for Approval or Denial

By this time, a representative from the adoption organization has seen your paperwork, approved it, chatted with you, and came by your property for an inspection. Once again, you’ll have to play the waiting game for a bit. It might be for a few days or even a week. Sometimes, it’s even longer.

Then the representative will get in touch with you about their decision. If all goes well, they’ll have said yes, they think you have a great home or farm in which to raise a mini donkey. By this point, the donkey is as good as yours.

Unfortunately, sometimes the representative of the adoption organization might have to decline you at this point. It’s a little heartbreaking to get this far into the process and then be turned down, but hey, sometimes that’s what happens. Once more, we do advise you talk to the representative and ask what you can do better for next time.

Do know that sometimes the outcome is out of your control. While you can always clean a dirty home or farm, if the representative feels like you don’t have enough farmland or you own too many other animals, there’s nothing further you can do. You might try another organization or reconsider adopting a mini donkey until a later date.

Step #6: Pay the Adoption Fees

As we said before, adopting a mini donkey isn’t free. Once the representative at the adoption organization tells you they’ve accepted your application for the mini donkey, they’ll soon expect you to pay for said donkey. Ask the representative how they want their money, such as by check, credit card, or even through something like Apple Pay or PayPal. Then send the money in.

Step #7: Sort out Transportation

With the adoption paid for, now you have to figure out how you’re going to get your new mini donkey home. This is why many adoption organizations and nonprofits insist you’re from the same state in which you adopt the donkey. They don’t want the animal transported hundreds of miles and hours and hours by car or train.

Hopefully, you can visit the adoption organization, put the donkey in your vehicle, and take them home. If it’s not as cut and dried a plan as that, you’ll want to figure something out with the adoption organization representative.

Step #7: Enjoy Your New Mini Donkey!

You can now bring your mini donkey home. He or she is yours, so take good care of them. If they’re not up to date on their shots, that’d be the first place to start. You also want to ensure you have an enclosure just for them as well as bedding, food, and a nice place to exercise.

Resources for Adopting a Mini Donkey in…


Triple R Horse Rescue

In Cave Creek, Triple R Horse Rescue, a nonprofit, helps both horses and mini donkeys. All their staff is volunteer-based. Up to 25 animals can be held at the rescue facility daily. By the way, “rescue” is what one of the Rs in Triple R Horse Rescue stands for. The other two are rehabilitate and rehome.

While there are no donkeys available as of this writing, Triple R will bring in donkeys if they come across them. These cute pets typically go fast, so don’t wait if you want to apply for adoption. In the meantime, you can donate to Triple R to keep its rescue efforts going strong.


Longhopes Donkey Shelter

Founded in 1999, Longhopes Donkey Shelter in Bennett is a part of the Colorado Nonprofit Association. They also have accreditation through the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, which no other donkey shelter in the country had done before them.

Through their website, you can see the available donkeys, which change at any given time. The ages of mini donkeys will vary, with some available as babies and others more than nine or 10 years old. Not only can you check out several images of each available donkey, but some even have videos of them in action. How impressive!


Lusco Farms Donkey Rescue

If you’re based in Iowa and you want to adopt a mini donkey, try Lusco Farms Donkey Rescue in Malvern. The organization’s founders, Scott and Lura Shehan, once found an unloved donkey for sale they named Nestor. That inspired them to take in more donkeys, and, by 2011, they started Lusco Farms Donkey Rescue as an official nonprofit.

To this day, the Shehans have rescued more than 80 mules and donkeys. To see the ones available, click the link above. The Shehans share all their available donkeys through the external site Adopt a The organization does recommend you fill out an adoption application before getting your heart set on one particular donkey.


Little Longears Miniature Donkey Rescue

In Westminster, you’ll find Little Longears Miniature Donkey Rescue. The group got its start to save donkeys from abuse and neglect. Those who find themselves in too deep and unable to care for a donkey can also rely on Little Longears to take the animal.

With their goal to get mini donkeys paired up with happy families in furrever homes, Little Longears often hosts events and fundraisers as well. If you’re interested, check out their Facebook page, which you can see here, and consider getting in touch. At the very least, donate.

Lost & Found Horse Rescue

In Germantown, Lost & Found Horse Rescue also has donkeys for you to adopt. The organization, based out of Ithaca Farm, began back in 1999 through founders Robert and Mary Truland. The Trulands have grown their farm to the point where these days, you can find full grown mules (two to five), goats (12 to 24), horses (three to six), and donkeys (six to 20), including mini donkeys.

You only need to pay $400 to adopt a sweet, loveable mini donkey (or a full-sized one if that floats your boat). The youngest available donkeys are about five years old and the oldest 35 years old. Some have bonded together, in which case you’d need to take them both or none at all. You can even volunteer if you feel passionate enough about the cause!


Turning Pointe Donkey Rescue

Back in 2004, founder Sharon Windsor began Turning Pointe Donkey Rescue. Two years prior, she had experienced the death of a donkey she had rescued personally. This fueled her to save other donkeys from the same cruel, often unnecessary fate of premature deaths.

To get started adopting a mini donkey through Turning Pointe Donkey Rescue, you can review the donkeys available on the website. Then, when one catches your eye, make sure you fill out the adoption interest survey. From there, you can get the adoption process underway.

New Hampshire

Save Your Ass Rescue

The amusingly-named Save Your Ass Rescue is a nonprofit adoption agency in South Acworth. Founded in 2007, they take in both mules and donkeys, rehabilitating them for adoption. While you can stop by anytime, you’ll definitely want to call ahead to set up an appointment. Then, you’ll meet with founders Jeff and Ann Firestone.

The mini donkeys up for adoption do change all the time, as you’d expect. It’s even possible to get pairs of mini donkeys. For one, you’d pay $750 and for two, it’s $900. For full-sized donkeys, should you want them, it’s $500 for one and $750 for two.

Tomten Farm and Sanctuary

Another New Hampshire mini donkey adoption resource, this time in Haverhill, Tomten Farm and Sanctuary is a nonprofit that strives to save as many animals as possible. Getting underway in 2014, you can find a whole lot more than mini donkeys here. Tomten also rescues rabbits, dogs, cats, birds, sheep, goats, pigs, cows, and horses.

You can’t adopt all these creatures, of course, but plenty of them are available. That means if you see a mini donkey, we wouldn’t recommend hemming and hawing on your decision for long. These animals and plenty of others go quickly.

New York

Peaceful Acres Horses

Another horse-based rescue organization that also adopts out mini donkeys is Peaceful Acres Horses. Since 2003, this not-for-profit has provided a sanctuary for donkeys, horses, and other animals. They have 156 acres of space in Schenectady County, a part of upstate New York.

From retired animals to those in need of rescue, when they’re brought to Peaceful Acres Horses, the organization’s CareGivers will rehabilitate them as needed. Like many other organizations we’ve discussed thus far, you can either donate to the cause or adopt a donkey when they’re available.

Artemis Farm Rescue

In Ancramdale, Artemis Farm Rescue saves both mini donkeys and mini horses. The nonprofit will rehabilitate the animals with the intention of adopting them out someday. A newer organization, Artemis Farm Rescue was only founded in 2016 when Cornelia Guest decided to start it.

Welcoming donations as well as adoptions, the mini animals through Artemis Farm Rescue are part of an ever-changing roster. If you’re interested in any of them, you can click a picture of the animal for more information as well as an adoption link on the Artemis website.


Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue

In Miles, Texas, you’ll find Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue. Their ranch address is nearby in San Angelo. They use the ranch for both rescuing donkeys and rehabilitating them, and they’ve done this for nearly two decades. The ranch spans 172 acres, opening first in California before moving to Texas for more space.

Up to 1,000 donkeys might live on the Peaceful Valley ranch. If you want to adopt one of these lovely animals yourself, you can select from a slew of countrywide Satellite Adoption Centers in which to do so, all associated with Peaceful Valley Donkey Resuce. These are located in Texas, of course, as well as several other states, including:

  • California
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • New York
  • Rhode Island

Habitat for Horses

Despite the name, this Alvin, Texas rescue also adopts out mini donkeys. Habitat for Horses has its own Ragtime Ranch for senior horses and donkeys. It includes 70 acres with plenty of perks for our furry friends, including a nearby veterinarian, high-quality feed, deep well water, and coastal hay.

Of course, Habitat for Horses also takes in younger horses and mini donkeys and puts them up for adoption. If you’re interested in any of the donkeys you saw in the link we provided you above, you can begin the adoption process by filling out an adoption application form. You can also get in touch on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Virginia Donkey Rescue

Over in Concord, Virginia Donkey Rescue began due to the large amount of Virginia donkeys that end up in kill pens. This unfortunate means of killing animals often sees the donkey shipped overseas so their hides could get traded. Not only that, but with more coyotes in the state, the need for guardian animals went up. Sadly, not every farmer knows how to take care of a donkey.

This is where Virginia Donkey Rescue comes in. They take neglected donkeys as well as abused and at-risk ones. While they do offer donkey adoptions, that’s far from the only service they provide. Virginia Donkey Rescue also seeks to share outreach and education about caring for donkeys and what their fate can be if you don’t.


Holyland Donkey Haven, Inc.

In Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, we’ve got Holyland Donkey Haven, Inc. A nonprofit volunteer organization, Holyland also doubles as an animal sanctuary for neglected, abused, and/or unwanted donkeys. The staff here will rehabilitate the donkeys, even mentally and physically if necessary. Then, the animal gets put up for adoption.

You do have to go through a bit of a background check if you decide to adopt a mini donkey through Holyland. They want to know what makes you want a donkey, how you’ll use the animal, and if you have any experience with donkeys. The nonprofit will also request references and to see your home in person. If you pass, you can adopt a wonderful mini donkey.

Tips for Adopting a Mini Donkey

To close things off, here are some tips to keep in mind as you go about adopting your own mini donkey:

  • As we said in the adoption steps, always do your due diligence. Read up on the adoption organization yourself. Do thorough research and look for reviews. Check out some of the mini donkeys that were adopted through the agency. Do they look healthy and well cared for? They should.
  • While the adoption organization wants to know as much about you as possible, the feeling should be mutual. Don’t just settle for their website bio or Facebook page description. Ask lots of questions about their organization and what kind of work they do.
  • Ask questions about the donkeys as well. Where did they come from? How long have they been there?
  • Make sure you ask the organization if they rehabilitated the donkey before putting it up for adoption. Most will, but maybe not all, so it never hurts to bring it up.
  • Never go through the adoption process without having seen the donkey in person yourself first. You want to set up an in-person meeting to visit the mini donkey as the adoption process gets towards its end but before you pay.


Owning a mini donkey is quite a treat, and it’s something you really would love to experience for yourself. Luckily, lots of organizations exist across the United States that rehabilitate and then adopt out neglected or abused mini donkeys. These animals need a great furrever home, and you could be the one to offer it to them! Good luck.


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