They are a jennet and her foal and they are alive today because a few people cared enough to intervene. The donkeys were living on a farm in Ontario where the owners were only in residence on weekends. The fact that there was no one on site for much of the time was the first milepost on the road to neglect and abuse. The second was reached when the owners failed to leave food and water before a significant snowfall occurred. The third, as bad as the others, was that the donkeys had no shelter.
Fortunately, for these helpless creatures, some observant neighbours recognized that the animals were in need and so they contacted the local SPCA. Days passed while proper procedures were followed; a notice of abandonment had to be posted; and then, finally, the donkeys were trailered to safety and proper medical care, both weak and emaciated and the mother unable to stand.
We will wait to see if the owners are held responsible for their care-less behaviour.
In the meantime, it is best for us to concentrate on the heroic actions of the rescuers. They were determined that the donkeys should be moved to safety and allowed to live under positive conditions of care. These people did not give up and they stayed as closely involved as they could while the legal process ground on. These responsible citizens deserve our highest praise.
Sometimes we have to push and push in order to save animals’ lives.
Sandra Pady, DSC Executive Director
It’s such a familiar image: a little donkey carrying a pregnant woman on its back, while a man walks ahead, hand lightly on the rein. The next scene, of course, is the interior of a stable where several animals, the donkey included, surround a manger that holds the new born child. A child destined to become a man whose message would change the world.
I have often marvelled at the fact that a donkey would be such an integral part of the Christmas story. Then, again, we are told that Mary and Joseph were peasants and so the choice of the donkey becomes clear serving, as it does, to signal their poverty and their insignificant place in the general society.
At the same time, though, there is another dimension to that familiar image. You see, it was thanks to the donkey’s strength and fortitude that the trip could even take place. Without the contribution of that stoical beast of burden, the humans would not have been able to play their part in those awe – some events.
Just by shifting the lens a little, the picture changes and suddenly there is importance, significance where there was none before.
The human effort, worthy as it is, is not everything. We depend on so many other creatures of the earth as we move along the road of life. And now, more than ever before, our future depends on our recognition of the interconnectedness of all beings. Mary and Joseph – and a donkey – made the trip to Bethlehem.
We are new to the world of blogging, but have significant experience in the realm of animal welfare. The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada has been rescuing donkeys, mules and hinnies since 1992, and we are committed to not only the well-being of all animals, but also to the promotion of humane education. We strive to make the world a better place for animals and humans alike. We look forward to sharing our thoughts with you.