Meet The Donkeys

How Two Became Three…
And Our World Will Never Be the Same!



We, the Tomten Board of Directors, decided in early 2016 that we had seen way too many donkeys and mules patiently waiting at auction for salvation that, for many of them, never arrives. Miniature donkeys, standard donkeys, burros. Big hardworking mules—strong and steady, kind and gentle—who were in strapped into harness every day of their lives, performed their duties admirably and then sent to auction. And so we decided to put donkeys and/or mules on the top of our list at the March 2016 auction.

SAVED! Beatrice Poppins Braymore
SAVED! Figaro Brayburn

Left in a pen at one of the largest 'kill' auctions around, a senior grey girl stood there with multiple at-risk donkeys and mini donkeys. She was a bit underweight, infested with lice and blind in one eye. Calm and resigned among the commotion of auction, she seemed to quietly ask us for help each time we made our rounds. We couldn't resist trying to make her dreams come true.

When she ran through the sale in a group, we lifted our card, pointing at her and our first pick, a young black male; two special donkey rescues who, from that point forward, shed their auction numbers to become "Beatrice" and "Fig." Unlike many at the sale, they were SAFE.

AND THEN… Suspicions of A Stowaway!

Three weeks into Beatrice's quarantine period, we wondered, "Could she be?" One week out of quarantine, we thought, "She must be!" Two weeks later, a blood test confirmed it— Beatrice Poppins Braymore was pregnant!!! But when was she due? A donkey's pregnancy can last between 11 and 13 months, with 12 generally the norm. And we had no idea when conception took place.

Was Beatrice pregnant or just getting fat from all the good living at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary?

"Donkey Doc" (she plays one on TV), Mary M. looks awfully excited!

Though we suspected Beatrice was not a first-time mom, we helped prep her for the big event.

Introducing Tomten's
Animal Sponsorship Program

Sponsor a Donkey
Become an Honorary Tomten

When you sponsor Beatrice Poppins Braymore, Figaro Brayburn or Braynard Boddington Jones you become an Honorary Tomten, helping us provide peace, protection and possibility while getting to know "your" donkey—even if you live thousands of miles away.

Your one-year donkey sponsorship gives Honorary Tomtens an opportunity to make a direct impact on the lives of their favorite animal. You'll receive lots of updates beyond our traditional public posts. And while you may not be able to be here personally, we will make sure you feel as though you are with regular photos (including a few surprise videos) sent to your phone or email all year long!

Here's How Sponsorship Works:
Sponsors make a one-time annual tax deductible donation of 50% of a donkey's total estimated yearly care expenses. Tomten Farm and Sanctuary applies those funds to the daily care of the sanctuary donkey you choose to help. Upon receipt of your donation, TF&S removes the donkey from our "animals available for sponsorship" list. Then comes the exciting part: our resident Tomten waves his magic wand and makes you an Honorary Tomten!! Next, we announce the exciting news to TF&S supporters via social media including Facebook, Instagram and this website. (To ensure your privacy, we will share your first name, last initial only). We also encourage you to share the story behind your sponsorship choice.  And, if you like, you can also send a photo of yourself to post on this page with "your" donkey. We guarantee that whomever you choose—Beatrice, Figaro or Braynard—will be braying the news of your big heart and generosity far and wide.

Sound Good?
Your one-time tax-deductible annual donation of $1200 will sponsor a Tomten donkey and you will receive Honorary Tomten status for one year. That amount is your half of the expenses incurred to support that animal—your special gift to Beatrice, Figaro or Braynard. The other half is paid by a second Honorary Tomten (Sponsor) or Tomten Farm and Sanctuary if no one else cares to step up for that animal.

However you look at it—$100 per month, $23.07 per week or $3.28 per day—sponsorship is a fun and oh-so-gratifying way to provide peace, protection and possibility to animals in need, making a real difference in their day-to-day lives all year long.

Want to Start Today?
Simply go to the Donate button at the bottom of this column and indicate you want to donate $1200.  Be sure to tell us which donkey you want to sponsor* and our Tomten will wave his magic wand making you an Honorary Tomten this very day!

More Ways to Help
You can also donate as little as $10 per month toward supporting any animal (not just donkeys) that you choose OR donate to our General Fund. We offer all kinds of other tax-deductible donation options.
Click here for details.

*Sorry, we know everyone has their favorites but since each sponsorship is for 50% of care, only two Honorary Tomtens per donkey per year are available and are selected in the order they were received.

Donate Now

SAVED! Welcome, Braynard Boddington Jones

In the dark of night on November 7th, 2016, when all was still, we experienced a miracle here at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary.
We welcomed life in a whole new way and we will be forever changed.

May you become a friend of the Tomten, protecting this farm and the residents in it, as only a guardian donkey can do. May you show wise and thoughtful compassion as the Tomten in Astrid Lindgren's book did to the fox and may you live many years here, at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary, never knowing the sadness and disappointment faced by your late Aunt, Mrs. Lily Jones. We are so happy to have you here with us and hope we make all your dreams come true.

Together We Build this Sanctuary, Together We Make Magic Happen

To rescue a being that others have thrown away is in itself a blessing to everyone involved, humans and animal alike; but to find Beatrice was expecting gives that save new meaning. To save two where there was one is a very special gift and we remain beyond grateful. To offer them both, (along with proud Uncle Figaro Brayburn) peace, protection and possibility, to offer them a life together for the rest of their days, well, it could not be done without you.

(l to r) Uncle Figaro Brayburn, Baby Braynard Boddington Jones, Mama Beatrice Poppins Braymore


Did You Know...

  • The proper name for a member of the donkey/mule family is Equus asinus or "Ass."
  • A "Hinny" is a donkey hybrid produced by breeding a stallion (uncastrated male) horse to a "Jenny,"
    (sometimes called a "Jennet")--a female donkey 3+ yrs. old. Hinnies are sterile.
  • A "Jack" is an intact (uncastrated) male donkey 3+ yrs. old.
  • A "John" is a gelding (castrated male) mule or a gelding hinny.
  • A "Mule" is a donkey hybrid produced by breeding a "Jack" (male donkey) to a mare (female horse). Mules are usually sterile.

Hee-Haw x 3, Yee-Haw!
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Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing peace, protection and possibility to animals in need.

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