Just down the road from Gammons Gulch Movie Set is the Forever Home Donkey Rescue. We had called both and made arrangements to tour both on the same day. We made our way to the donkey rescue where we met Tish, one of the owners.
Tish told us how she came to run a donkey rescue, and it shows again that there are just some great people in the world who care about taking care of animals who, through no fault of their own, has had a rough life.
Donkeys are considered ‘worthless animals’ in the west, and as a result many are abused. One such way is by rodeo people who use them to train how to rope animals, causing permanent damage to their legs. Once they are in that state, the rodeo people no longer want them. This is where Tish and her husband (and a great group of volunteers) come in.
The rodeo is just one way they have rough lives, there are many others. But once they make it to see Tish they are in, as their name states, their forever home!
Each have names and individual personalities.
This character I will always remember, Boaz. Tish gave us a pile of animal crackers to feed to them, and Boaz was the first we met, and likely the loudest.
But with a few animal crackers he is your best friend.
Each have their own stall, but fear not, once we met each the gates to the stalls were opened and the donkeys were allowed to roam the 30 acres to their hearts content.
This is Casper, a mini mule. The staff says think of a teen age rebel and that is Casper.
A Jenny is the term for a female donkey. This is Tula, the head Jenny.
She was living in the wild on one of the Native American reservations in Arizona, and is said to still be pretty wild, although she was very calm and happy to see us, with our animal cracker treats.
Tish told us to wait before giving this guy his crackers until he did his trick – which is an amusing display of his tongue. We happily obliged. His name is Jasper.
Jasper came to the sanctuary with really bad hooves from an improper diet, and still has issues with them, but as you can see is a fun guy.
The donkeys are gentle enough that I was welcomed into any of the pens that I wanted, allowing for unobstructed photos.
This is Carter, a fairly recent arrival. They say he is a bit on the chubby side, but I am certain a steady diet of animal crackers will help that (to be fair they don’t only eat animal crackers, the staff is knowledgeable on donkey care and their main diet is much healthier – the animal crackers are used to get them to play nice with visitors.)
Eventually the gates were opened and the donkeys wandered off around the farm, although they stayed close by the pens by their own choice. Here we take another look at Jasper as he is ready to head out of his pen.
Jasper’s close up.
This is Justice. He was a rescue from another rescue, who came in with a hoof issue as well.
Of course Boaz and one of his buddies insisted on a close up.
Boaz and Justice for their close up (or treats). The Forever Home Donkey Rescue and Sanctuary is one of those places doing good in the world. I highly recommend checking them out, and offering them any support you can.
A big thanks to Suzanne from the sanctuary for helping me identify each of them.