A day in the life of an Equine
Donkeys and horses are gentle, intelligent souls. Donkeys often said to be the smartest member of the equine family but I would say that the both horse and donkeys can learn to do amazing things. It is important to know that they should always have a buddy. This is why you will see rescues will not adopt to someone who doesn’t have another horse or donkey, or want you to adopt in pairs. We support this! They thrive with another companion and will amaze you daily with their amazing personalities.
Donkeys and horses need the same basic care. You do need to watch the amount and type of food they intake due to their ability to gain weight very quickly.
There are so many donkeys and horses that need our help, it becomes overwhelming. So many people love to add them to their farm, forgetting that donkeys can live upwards of 40 years and horses average about 30 years. Caring for an equine is a lifelong commitment. So many people do not geld their Jacks (intact, male donkeys) which leads to herds growing bigger leading to overpopulation. This, of course, is how unwanted donkeys end up in at risk situations, like auctions.
Who buys minis for slaughter? Why would they slaughter mini donkeys and horses? We get asked this a lot. They go to Mexico or Canada slaughter houses, yes, even minis. They are sold for meat, often to zoos to feed their animals. This is why, when we can, we will try to intercept a donkey or mini at the auction so it doesn’t get put in to this situation. We will also try to pull bonded pairs to keep them together or babies at their mama’s side, assuring that they will stay together for life.
Auctions are awful. If you have ever been to one, you know that you would not wish that experience or environment on any animal. It is an awful environment, that they are not used to, being handled poorly by the people working there and people walking in and out of the pens to look at them. Not to mention the infections they are subject to by being thrown into dirty pens with animals from all over that are often sent to auction because they are sick. It is absolutely heartbreaking.
Dealers and kill buyers will buy as many of these poor souls as they can. They do not care about their condition, just the price on their head. As long as it is low enough for them to turn a profit, that is what they will do. Regardless if that profit comes from ‘bail’ or what they price per pound is, the profit is all they care about. It is a business for them and they do not care that a living, loving soul is being bartered for their profits.
Rescuing isn’t for the faint of hearts. It is hard. It is sad. Knowing we can’t save them all is a harsh reality we have to face. It is difficult to be happy about the few lives you have saved knowing you left so many behind. But this is why we are here. This is why we are doing what we do. We do it for the love of the animal, and that will always be our only priority.