Saving the Brays

This past weekend I met Kym Garvey, who has been rescuing donkeys for about 10 years, now as part of the larger mission of Save the Brays Donkey Rescue.

“We are the only registered non-profit donkey rescue in Minnesota,” said Garvey in an interview with the Moose Lake Star Gazette. “There are other rescue facilities that take animals like horses and dogs, that take donkeys as well, but our services are exclusively for donkeys.”

Longtime survivors of my documentation of everything I do short of my personal hygiene on this site will remember that I spent several years volunteering with Wildwoods. Wildwoods is an amazing organization, but the wild nature of their animal clients means that you can’t connect with them. They are cute, they are majestic, but they are distant.

These donkeys are warm — they are domesticated, they want to say hello, to feel your fingers in their hair, scratching and petting. I forget what it can be like to feel a connection with the creature you want to help.

That connection is important, because legal and structural change is required to make the lives of donkeys better in the United States and around the world. The story is sad: Garvey recounts the problems in international cruelty to donkeys in an interview with the Moose Lake Star Gazette. Click if you want your heart broken.

Meanwhile, I’ll drop some science that might interest you even if it didn’t interest me:

A donkey is not to be confused with a mule. A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Donkeys reproduce, while mules cannot. While they look similar, there are a few small differences. The mule has smaller ears than a donkey and is taller. The donkey’s tail looks more like a cow’s tail and the mule’s looks like a horse’s tail. [from the Pine Journal]

Save the Brays has become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and “hopes to expand the rescue to include more volunteers, educating the public and fundraising. Volunteers are needed to brush, feed, clean up and other wise care for the social animals,”  according to the Pine Journal].

They seem to rock, and if you aren’t interested in supporting their work, I also recommend looking at Kym’s business site.

I can’t believe how many cool animal and nature organizations are within driving distance of Duluth.

KBJR-TV covered the rescue.

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