On April 21, 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada held their annual Pet-A-Palooza. Of course we loaded up and headed out to see all the people and pets. Every year we see lots of dogs of every size, shape and color, and that is always fun. This year while walking around checking out all the animal rescues, I saw 2 of the biggest dogs with really long ears. Oh wait, those weren’t dogs…they were donkeys!
Let me warn you, I love donkeys! I have never owned one, but family and friends growing up had donkeys to lead and protect their cattle.
Anyway, as you can see from the pictures, these donkeys were adorable. They loved being around the people, were not of afraid of the dogs that stopped by to sniff and the little black one smiled. No really, he had the cutest smile.
Now that you have seen how cute these animals are and heard how friendly, would you believe they are rescues? Yes, at some time in their lives, they needed a loving place where people would feed, water, and give them care. While I don’t know the black donkeys’ entire story, his caretaker said he was 200 pounds under weight when they got him. Now, that breaks my heart.
Thank goodness there are people who will take in these animals and make sure they have everything they need. That place is called Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue. While the main rescue is in Texas, they have satellite adoption centers 22 states. In fact the donkeys we met were from a satellite center in Mesquite, Nevada.
There were 2 couples from the Mesquite rescue at the event and I have to tell you, they were so nice and knowledgeable. While I knew some about the rescue organization because I wrote about them last year (The Nation’s Largest Donkey Rescue), there was a LOT that I didn’t know (like they have over 800 donkeys now). They told me about all the rescues taking place in Texas due to a drought that happened a couple of years ago and people got rid of their cattle and their donkeys. They also told me about how many donkeys were being rescued in Hawaii. The Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue has taken in over 100 donkeys from Hawaii alone. Loading a bunch of donkeys on a 747 can’t be an easy task.
Now, you can help these donkeys in several ways…you could adopt one! Ok, so there are many of us that really can’t have a donkey in our yard without the neighbors having a fit. Yet, the rescue has a donation page where you can give a little and know that a donkey will be getting the care it needs. Maybe you would like to sponsor a donkey? They have different levels of sponsorship, so pick one that is good for you. And last but not least, make sure you tell others about all the great things that the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue is doing for the animals.
I am not sure that all the ranches allow visitors, but you can check their website to see if one near you has times that you can take the family out to meet the donkeys. If the staffs at all of the ranches are as wonderful as the people from Mesquite, then your trip will not only be fun but also educational. I am a firm believer that kids and animals go together and the more a child learns about animals, the more they will know how to help them.
FYI, I think my neighbor and I may soon be making plans to take a trip to Mesquite and see their satellite rescue.
Sorry this post is so long…now be sure to go see their website.
Images by My Animal Pictures