Longhopes Donkey Shelter Inc.

A nonprofit organization

This is Colorado's local treasure that is now the nation's premier accredited donkey charity. Every day for more than 25 years, Longhopes has provided a safe haven and professional rehabilitation for homeless donkeys. More than 1300 donkeys have been saved already. 

Establishing Longhopes Donkey Shelter: A Journey of Compassion and Dedication

The inception of Longhopes Donkey Shelter dates back to 1998 when our founder, Kathy Dean, embarked on a personal quest to find her own donkeys. In her search, she became acutely aware of the plight of unwanted donkeys, often destined for slaughter at local sale barns. Determined to provide an alternative and offer these gentle creatures a second chance at life, Kathy recognized the need for a dedicated facility where donkeys could receive rehabilitation and training until suitable homes were found.

In August 1999, Kathy and her husband, Alan Miller, acquired a 20-acre property in Bennett, Colorado. It was during this pivotal moment that Kathy welcomed her first rescue, Rocky, a 42-year-old donkey whose previous owner could no longer care for him. By January 2000, Kathy’s compassionate efforts had attracted a total of nine donkeys, prompting her decision to formalize her unwavering passion by establishing an equine shelter that would serve the donkey population in the Rocky Mountains.

In 2000, Longhopes became a recognized Colorado non-profit corporation and achieved the esteemed status of a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity (Tax ID: 84-1538890). Guided by a non-compensated Board of Directors, Longhopes operates with a strong commitment to transparency, accountability, and the ethical treatment of animals.

A testament to our unwavering dedication, Longhopes became the first donkey shelter in the United States to be accredited by the esteemed Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. This prestigious recognition affirms our adherence to the highest standards of animal care and welfare.

At Longhopes, we continue to forge ahead with our mission to provide a safe haven for donkeys in need, offering them a chance to heal, thrive, and find loving forever homes. Through our relentless efforts and the unwavering support of our compassionate community, we strive to make a lasting difference in the lives of these remarkable animals.


To promote donkeys as companion animals who thrive in bonded pairs, and to nurture donkeys at risk of neglect, abuse and death through programs of rescue, rehabilitation, rehoming, retirement, and end-of-life services.

Background Statement

In 1998, the founder, Kathy Dean began looking to adopt a pair of donkeys. At the time there was no rescue for donkeys in the Rocky Mountain Region so homeless donkeys ended up at a slaughterhouse. So she and her husband created a safe haven just for homeless donkeys. Closing in on 1300 rescues and 1250 adoptions, Longhopes is a Rocky Mountain treasure in equine rescue.

Organization Data


Organization name

Longhopes Donkey Shelter Inc.

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)




Organization Size

Medium Organization


66 North Dutch Valley Road
Bennett, CO 80102


50 S Dutch Valley Rd
Bennett, CO 80102


73 N. Dutch Valley Road
Bennett, CO 80102

Service areas

Adams County, CO, US



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