Volunteer Shows Sweeter Side Of Donkeys

Shelter Gives Donkeys A Place To Live Between Homes

To combat the overpopulation of animals, we all need to be part of the solution. That is the belief of 7Everyday Hero Kathy Dean.

Dean founded the Long Hopes Donkey Shelter in Bennett. Long represents a donkey's long ears. Hope refers to the hope that this no-kill shelter can help donkeys lead long lives.

"What is not to love? What is not to love?" said Dean.

Well, for those who do not own a donkey, Dean wants to show that donkeys can be docile, friendly, and quite smart.

"They are like big dogs. They are affectionate. They approach people and they are grateful for anything you do for them. A carrot; a pet; a treat; anything, they love it," said volunteer Anne Closson.

"I own two horses and four donkeys, and the donkeys have more personality than the horses do," said Long Hopes supporter Brian Kaehler.

Ironically, that pleasant, hard-working nature may have contributed to donkeys being overbred. Many of them need homes.

"So, we provide that bridge between their last home and their next home," explains Dean.

Some of the donkeys at the shelter have been abused or neglected, but for most their owners just could not care for them anymore.

"They can outlive their owners. They can easily live 30 years. There are donkeys out there that live over 50 years," said Dean.

Since 1998, the Long Hopes Shelter has rescued more than 500 donkeys, and found homes for more than 450 of them.

"You cannot save them all but she (Dean) definitely tries," said Kaehler.

She organized it; she has thought about it, she has plans for succession. It is not just a passion of the moment, but one that will continue," said Closson.

To learn more about the Long Hopes Donkey Shelter go to www.longhopes.org.

Print this article Back to Top