Dr Elisabeth D Svendsen MBE, founder and CEO of the Donkey Sanctuary made a 25 years agreement (1995 _ 2020) to end the suffering of working donkeys in Ethiopia. The duration of the project is the maximum life of working donkeys in Ethiopian. Dr Svendsen, owner of honorary degrees from Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh visited Ethiopia, just before the fall of the Dergue regime to see the plight of donkeys, and decided to make a long term commitment.
In 1999, she gave priority to construct a donkey hospital, the first of its kind in Africa, exclusively for the benefit of working donkeys in Ethiopia. The hospital is fully equipped with standard operation room for equids, a laboratory and emergency rooms. The hospital is no longer limited to routine health care of donkeys, but for training clinical year students of the veterinary college of the university and as a training hub for emerging Donkey Sanctuary projects. Through this facility the charity reaches over hundred thousand donkeys every year since then.