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Rescuing Donkeys: A Tale of Compassion and Controversy

I was standing at the barn giving hugs and pets yesterday when Waffles walked up and laid her head on my chest. I instantly was reminded of how this all started.

The first picture is Waffles the day I got her from the auction. She couldn't hardly walk because her feet were so awful. They had been awful for so long her shoulders are still a little messed up. Waffles' treatment by the auction house and neglect by her owners is what led to the formation of this rescue.

The second picture was what I took yesterday while with Waffles. We haven't aged a bit. 😁

There are rescues and people who look down on other rescues because we go to auctions.

They say we are feeding the traders. Yes, there are traders that buy donkeys and move them from auction to auction. They are frequently not fed well and neglected, and many are very ill from the auction house funk they are routinely exposed to. They need to be rescued!

There are also people who wish to get rid of donkeys, but they won't surrender them to rescue, so they take them to auction. They are maybe not privy to what happens in reality to a lot of donkeys there. Those animals are usually exposed to disease and frequently get ill, but if pulled from auction, we are saving them from kill pens, possibly from traders, and worst disease that would make them suffer and possibly die.

If we stopped getting animals from auctions, the auctions would not stop and neither would traders. This has been a method of buying and selling animals forever. What would it mean if rescues stopped going? It means a lot of donkeys are going to suffer abuse, neglect, starvation, and possibly death while sitting on a trader's truck or in a kill pen.

So, everyone has their own opinion on where the animals are rescued from. I personally don't view 95% of donkeys surrendered from individuals as rescues. We aren't rescuing them, we are giving them an alternative to a situation that could possibly lead to abuse like auctions and kill pens. Those are most often the sweetest, healthiest donkeys here. The ones we get that need the most help are those we rescue from auction or are surrendered to us after being bailed from a kill pen.

Pictures 3, 4, 5, and 6. Picture 3 is a surrender that came to us from a situation where the owner was in his 90s and unable to care for the donkeys. This is most often what our surrenders look like. They are healthy and well cared for, but life changes. Picture 4 is Judy who was on a trader truck who knows how long and then landed in a kill pen. Picture 5 is Elmer who was bailed from a kill pen and surrendered to us. Picture 6 is Eric who I just got from auction this week. He was not a trader donkey and came from a local individual according to Coggins, but he WOULD have been a trader or kill pen donkey if I hadn't been there.

There are rescues, big ones, who will not take a donkey that came from an auction or kill pen, and they even try to sway people not to support those of us who do. There are rescues that go to auction and only take donkeys whom they know they can easily adopt out. They are traders, not rescues. We are NOT those rescues. We take whatever donkeys need us and seek out the ones who need the most physical and emotional rehabilitation. We feel that is the definition of rescue.

I do not condone bailing from kill pens. I do have a lot of donkeys who were bailed from kill pens and surrendered to us. I prefer to get them at auction instead of letting the kill buyers and traders get them in the slaughter pipeline. You can save 2 donkeys for the coat of 1 at the kill pen, and they won't be full of kill pen disease. Now that is easier for donkeys than horses because the number of donkeys is so few, but that is really the way to keep them out of the trader trucks and kill pens. How can you help: Donating: Your generous donations can make a significant impact on our ability to rescue and care for donkeys in need. Every contribution helps provide essential medical treatment, nourishment, and shelter for these gentle creatures.

Volunteer: Join our dedicated team of volunteers and make a hands-on difference in the lives of rescued donkeys. Whether it's helping with daily care, providing companionship, or assisting with rehabilitation efforts, your time and skills are invaluable to our cause.

Adopt: Consider opening your heart and home to a rescued donkey. By adopting, you're not only providing a loving forever home for an animal in need but also creating space for us to rescue and rehabilitate more donkeys in distress.

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