7 Sweet Service Donkeys Need Your Help!

The Donkeys of the Heart is a nonprofit organization founded in 2019, located in Cave Creek, Arizona and operated by Sophie Rainer.

Our current need for financial assistance is urgent!

Our 7 Donkeys provide Equine Assisted Services to children and adults with cognitive and behavioral challenges. We are compensated for Equine Assisted Services, but it is not enough to cover the costs to take proper care of our 7 precious donkeys, 3 of whom were rescued from unfortunate circumstances.

It’s too hot to have sessions with the donkeys and clients in Arizona summers. We will be able to resume sessions in mid-September, at which time we will have income to offset expenses. If we obtain enough donations, we can secure a facility with a covered arena so we can offer services year-round. Besides feed, some of our donkeys require special nutritional supplements, medicine, and more frequent specialized hoof care. We must have liability insurance and cover other overhead costs as well.

Why do we use donkeys instead of horses? Donkeys are calmer and don’t startle as easily as horses. They are much shorter in stature and are less intimidating to children and sensitive people. They are highly intelligent creatures, sociable, calm, affectionate, and capable of independent thinking. They are strong, and won’t do something they consider unsafe, which makes them a trustworthy service animal.

Our sessions are provided by professionals who are trained and certified through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, (PATH International). The sessions are conducted by a mental health professional and a certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning. Donkey Facilitated/Assisted Psychotherapy addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs.

Equine Facilitated/Assisted Psychotherapy focuses on the client’s needs and includes specific treatment goals facilitated by the mental health professional.

Equine Assisted Learning is an experiential approach using donkeys as co-facilitators. Participants actively engage in and reflect upon hands-on activities with donkeys. EAL provides opportunities to learn a variety of life skills and to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. Social and emotional skills are developed through participation in purposeful activities.

These services benefit the following populations:
Anxiety Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Behavioral Issues
Down Syndrome
Substance Use Disorder
Traumatic Brain Injury

Your donation can cover one of the following needs:
$66/month feeds a donkey - $460 feeds all 7!
$20/month pays for a donkey’s farrier – $400 pays for a farrier for all of us! (farrier is for hoof trimming)
$53/month for medication - $370 covers all of us!
$40/month insures a donkey for liability - $280 insures us all!
$200/month for my stall - $1,400 for all!

Cover a Therapy Session for Someone in Need:
$50/ 1hour therapy session
$35/1/2 hour therapy session
Groups of 2 to 4 people for 1 hour $40/person
Workshop of 3 to 7 people for ½ day (2.5 hours) $80/hour Full day (5 hours) $130/person (Food not included)
Vacation Summer Camp: 7 am to 10:30 am for 5 days $380/person (Food not included)

Our need is URGENT!

Please help us continue our important work by donating today!
Your donation is tax deductible!

Donations (24)

  • Diana Guadagno
    • $200 
    • 21 d
  • Erin Kraus
    • $200 
    • 29 d
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 2 mos

Fundraising team (2)

Sophie Rainer
Raised $550 from 5 donations
Cave Creek, AZ
Rich Bear
Team member
This team raised $1,100 from 19 other donations.

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