WHAT has two long ears, a long face and can fill an entire room with smiles?
William the donkey, of course.
Visiting Wharparilla Lodge from Tongala Donkey Shelter on Thursday, 30-year-old William (that’s 60 in human years) soon had all the residents and staff feeling the warm-and-fuzzies.
Lifestyle co-ordinator Cassie Powell said she’d hoped to take residents to the shelter for a while now — but was delighted when she heard the shelter was coming to them.
‘‘It was just far too hot out there for the residents, whereas here everyone can come and enjoy time with the donkey,’’ she said.
‘‘Any interaction with animals is so valuable for residents, especially as many of them were farmers. We’ve had dogs, lambs and chickens in the past — but this is the first time with a donkey.’’
Founder and owner of the shelter, psychiatrist May Dodd, said it was a joy to see the residents’ faces light up when William entered the room.
‘‘Donkeys are perfect for these kinds of visits because they’re so gentle and, unlike horses, they have no startle response,’’ she said.
However, to maintain a home for donkeys like William, May said the shelter would need more support.
People can sponsor a donkey for a minimum of $75 a year.
This sponsorship includes a flyer with the story and picture of the donkey, as well as a year’s subscription to a quarterly newspaper.
For more information call the shelter on 5859 1410.