Christmas time at the donkey rescue
By BOBBIE GREEN
It was Christmas time in Donkey Land on Saturday, December 11 at the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue Center in Scenic, Arizona. The decorations were hung with care, with the hope that Saint Nicholas would be here soon. The donkeys were braving and people were saying “What a pleasure to be here”.
The crisp, crisp Saturday morning air created the perfect setting to participate in this holiday fundraising event, and maybe even visit Santa.
Rescue Manager Joan Dunkle said it was by far the best year ever in terms of donations and recruiting new volunteers. They received over three hundred visitors that day.
Volunteer Sharon Hern was there to greet visitors and answer questions. She moved to the area two years ago and read about this rescue center in Scenic, which is home to donkeys from Death Valley. She said she went out to see the installation and immediately fell in love. âI love all of these donkeys,â Hern said. âI know them all by name. “
The real family, a family of four adults, were eating hot dogs and chatting how impressed they were with this event and the facilities. They are all planning to join the group and become volunteers.
The children present loved to stroke the donkeys. But the opportunity to visit Santa Claus and a donkey at the same time was really special.
Each child received carrots to feed the donkey who was with Santa Claus. Parents were able to take a photo.
Two-year-old Carson Copeskey even found himself a cute six-foot-tall volunteer donkey mascot character to interact with.
The Christmas event is the only time the doors are open for visitors to walk around the entire property. Donkeys are trained on site, with the aim of having them adopted by loving families. But they can also be encouraged here too.
Keeping a donkey costs $ 30.00 per month. The animal stays at the complex, but the adoptive parents can come to visit and play with it. Donkeys get to know their adoptive parents and welcome their visits.
The facility is a permanent home for non-adoptable donkeys, typically those born disfigured or crippled. There are currently 250 donkeys in the complex.
Going to see donkeys, one learns many fascinating facts about them that are not commonly known. For example, donkeys are social animals. They enjoy the company of equines or humans.
Did you know that a donkey can kick back, forward and to the side?
It was an opportunity for the public to get closer to the donkeys. Each paddock had a donkey-supervising volunteer to help visitors enjoy their visit and keep donkeys and visitors safe.
Dunkle was thrilled with the success of this year’s Donkey Christmas fundraiser.
âWe sold almost all of our inventory of donkey accessories, all of our donation jars were full and many gave me checks and volunteered their time,â she said. “We even had a donkey adoption today.”
Dunkel was full of gratitude to the community for making the event a success.
âI want to thank everyone who helped us organize the event and donated,â she said. “Our next ‘Donkey Jamboree’ will be in March.”
Peaceful Valley’s mission is to provide a safe and loving environment for all donkeys that have been abused, neglected or abandoned and all wild donkeys threatened with destruction. It is part of a national network of ranches dedicated to this mission. The headquarters of the organization are located in Texas. The Scenic Arizona facility is one of the oldest on the network.
For more information on Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, call 928-347-4506 or email, [email protected] .