Amid Growing Threats, Donkey Rescuers Protect The Misunderstood Beasts Of Burden

Donkeys, unfairly, get a bum rap. And global demand for their hides is growing. But a foremost donkey defender, who adopts abused and unwanted donkeys, says the smart, playful animals make great pets.
Mark Meyers is the founder of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue in San Angelo, Texas. His sanctuaries protect some 3,000 animals, making it the largest donkey defense organization in the world. Source: John Burnett

Donkeys have been loyal beasts of burden for 5,000 years, yet they still don't get a lot of respect.

In the wild, burro herds are a nuisance. In captivity, they can be mistreated. But in recent years, donkey sanctuaries have sprung up across the country. The largest among them is Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, outside of San Angelo, Texas, where the air periodically erupts with the unpeaceable sounds of donkey braying.

Just like its hee-haw, so much about the donkey is species specific. Their temperament — intelligent, cautious and playful — is unique in

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