“That which is called firmness in a king is called
obstinacy in a donkey.” John Erskine
BLM Burro and Miniature Donkey
The farm’s adorable donkey pair never ceases to entertain with their antics. Jack and JJ have the epitome of a “love-hate” relationship– although they hate to be apart and throw a fit when they’re separated, when together they badger one another incessantly. JJ loves to start fights by biting Jack’s legs, while Jack prefers to retaliate by body checking JJ like a grey-haired football player. Their play-fights are a constant source of laughter among the staff!
This match made in heaven began after a Bureau of Land Management Mustang Adoption Event in the northeast. Prior to founding the rescue, the owner was keenly interested in American Mustangs. The owner arrived at the auction, trailer in tow, hoping to be able to purchase a Mustang. As it sometimes goes in life, things come across your path for a reason, and this turned out to be such a day. Instead of coming home with a Mustang, she came home with a 3-year-old stallion donkey! “Jack” (as he was immediately named) may only have been 3 years old but had a very old soul. Though he had absolutely no handling since his capture in Arizona a few weeks previously, it was as if he knew the owner and him were meant to meet. Within three days of arriving at the farm, Jack had a halter on, and was leading around the farm. This gentle heart had found his forever home. He loves nothing more than to have his ears scratched. Despite what seemed an inauspicious start, throughout the years, Jack has never kicked nor bitten anyone. Donkeys are truly special animals that love to connect with people. Often they are labeled as “lazy” or “stubborn,” but we prefer to think of them as having a very well developed sense of survival, and they like to just check out new situations before they make a rushed decision. We highly recommend donkeys if you are looking for something to love, and some big ears to scratch!!
Some years later, we followed up on an advertisement regarding miniature donkeys for sale. Sadly, we arrived to a clear case of animal hoarding. A large hay barn contained a multitude of miniature donkeys of all ages, uncastrated males and females running together in a combination of mud and manure up past their little knees. With no horse trailer available, little JJ was plucked from the muck and bodily lifted into the back of an SUV. While we don’t recommend traveling with a mini in the back of your vehicle, the only regret it left was that we couldn’t take them all. The episode was just one of many that convinced the owner to seriously consider opening a rescue of her own. The experience was worth it to give JJ the sanctuary he deserved, and to provide Jack with a life-long companion on the farm. Although Jack will never return to the wild life he was born into, he and JJ are treated with the respect, love and dignity they may not have known otherwise.