Elizabeth Trenholm, owner of Shawnigan Lake’s Epona’s Whisper Therapeutic Donkeys Ltd., poses with her donkeys Coco and Winnie. (Submitted photo)

There’s some donkey business happening on Vancouver Island

New therapeutic business featuring donkeys opens in Shawnigan Lake

A new business offering people therapy using miniature Mediterranean donkeys has opened in Shawnigan Lake.

Epona’s Whisper Therapeutic Donkeys Ltd., owned and operated by Elizabeth Trenholm, offers animal-assisted therapy through the donkeys, a female pair called Coco and Winnie that Trenholm rescued in 2018.

Trenholm, who has an extensive background in working with and caring for both people and animals, said she has always been interested in the relationships between people and animals and the health benefits of those relationships.

She said donkeys are exceptional at providing therapeutic benefits to those in need.

“The girls are very social creatures and have a knack for being sensitive to visitors and their emotional states, so therapy seemed like the perfect fit,” Trenholm said.

“This innate ability in the donkeys combined with my personal history as a caregiver seemed like the perfect match, and our therapeutic donkey service was born. In early 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, I established Epona’s Whisper Therapeutic Donkeys to provide care and calming walks for those that would benefit from them.”

Under a separate business also run by Trenholm, called Cheers Big Ears, Coco and Winnie are also available for fun appearances at weddings, parties and corporate functions.

For more information, check out the website at www.eponawhisper.com, or call Trenholm directly at 250-615-9942.

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