Donkeys rescued after years of neglect led to near immobilization

Donkeys rescued after years of neglect led to near immobilization
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Three donkeys from Mount Vernon could barely walk after years of neglect.

After being turned over to a donkey rescue in Liberal, Missouri, things are looking up for the trio.

On July 3, three donkeys: Morgan, Mickey and Mazda, hobbled off a trailer after being removed from a neglectful home. It’s a memory this volunteer at T&D Donkey Rescue won’t ever forget.

“The first two that walked out, I thought: That’s bad. And then the one that walked out with elf shoes, all curly, at least that’s what I saw coming out, it was just really sad to me. I couldn’t imagine living like that,” said seven-year-old Kylie Grace Haynes, a volunteer at T&D Donkey Rescue.

Like humans with fingernails, donkeys need their hooves trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks.

“You don’t need to know a thing about donkeys to know that every step was painful, tortuous,” said Cratina Haynes, Kylie’s mother and another volunteer at T&D Donkey Rescue.

After sedating the donkeys, a skilled farrier, Josh Hays, carefully cut away the overgrowth.

In a statement, Hays told us in part: “It takes a serious commitment from someone to get feet like this back in shape. It’ll take regular trimming every 6 to 8 weeks for 10 to 12 months to…look fairly normal again.”

“Just because they don’t cry like a human, they don’t have tears coming down their face, it doesn’t mean that they’re not suffering,” said Deanna Kafka, founder of T&D Donkey Rescue.

Kafka dedicates her life to rescuing donkeys, currently caring for 88 equine, when combined with horses, and it’s costly. She spent about $110,000 on care last year alone, but, as Kylie hands over a hand-drawn picture for Kafka, it’s clear, the reward is priceless.

“We don’t make any money. I don’t make any money. We do this seven days a week, just for that. That’s the reward.”

“All they want is to be loved. That’s it. They don’t ask for much. To see them given a second chance, that’s what this is about,” said Cratina Haynes.

“I think it’s kinda donkey heaven,” said Kylie Haynes.

The owner surrendered the donkeys rather than facing possible charges.

Kafka says these donkeys will suffer some permanent damage from their neglect, but will be cared for and loved until they can be adopted out to good homes.

If you’re interested in donating or volunteering, you can learn more here.

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