A Texas charity has intervened to save 100 donkeys from a trip to a New Mexico abattoir, and expects another 100 will be in its care by the end of the month.
The Humane Society of North Texas hopes that animal lovers will rally to help raise the estimated $US25,000 needed to rehabilitate the animals and find them new homes.
It has launched a fundraising drive to raise the cash, and at the time of writing had raised $US2360.
The charity expects it will take three months to rehabilitate the animals, which came from Kaufman and Bastrop counties.
“As you can imagine, bringing more than 200 donkeys back from the brink of death is a long and expensive process,” a spokesperson said.
The society cited the case of Maybelle, who, over the past three weeks, has seen the best and worst of humanity.
The little white donkey had been abandoned by her former owners and ended up in a Texas kill lot.
Naturally, Maybelle had no idea she would soon be sold for her meat – she had green grass to graze, clean water, and lots of space. Maybelle thought everything had turned out just fine.
Maybelle was sold and forced into a crowded trailer with nearly 50 other donkeys to begin the journey to slaughter.
Luckily for her and the other donkeys, the North Texas charity and the Ark Watch Foundation were able to intervene before she and 99 other donkeys ever reached slaughter plants in Mexico.
Instead, when the doors to the trailers opened, the donkeys were led into a spacious North Texas pasture where they received food, water, exams, medication, and lots of love.
But Maybelle’s ordeal was far from over.
Shortly after she arrived in the humane society’s care, her legs went out and she fell over. She was too weak to stand.
The charity’s staff and volunteers were able to get Maybelle into a home-made sling where she spent five full days resting, eating, and receiving medical care.
She has since regained some of her strength and took her first steps without the sling. The charity said it was an important milestone in her progress, but she still had a long way to go.
The charity said it believed that no animal deserved to be cast aside and forgotten, to live in squalor, or to starve.
It asked people to support its efforts to rehabilitate the donkeys, which it described as amazing survivors.
“Your donations will help us make more miracles like Maybelle’s come true,” it said.
The charity said it took in 140 donkeys in 2015. It has already surpassed that total this year.
People can donate here.