Elisabeth Doreen Svendsen MBE (January 23, 1930 – May 11, 2011) was a British animal welfare advocate and former hotelier.
Svendsen founded The Donkey Sanctuary, an animal sanctuary headquartered in Sidmouth, England, in 1969 to help abused or
homeless donkeys. She also founded a related charity, the Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys,
located in Ivybridge, during the 1970s.
Svendsen was born Elisabeth Doreen Knowles in Yorkshire on January 23, 1930. She spent her early career as a teacher
and secretary. She then married Niels Svendson and had four children - Clive, Lise, Sarah and Paul. Together, the
couple invented a dryer specifically to dry cloth baby diapers. They sold the rights to their invention to a manufacturer
and used their payment to purchase a hotel in Devon in 1966. Elisabeth and Niels...