Hordes of Mesquite citizens flocked to Scenic, Arizona on Saturday, Dec. 14, to spend Christmas with the donkeys at the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue.  Visitors were treated to free hot dogs, chips and home baked goodies. Donkeys were treated to as many pats and cuddles as they could handle; the number of visitors was phenomenal.

During the event, the public was able to tour the Peaceful Valley Wild Burrow Rescue site across the road as well. Staff members were very knowledgeable about the 350 donkeys they have at PVDR including the ones just brought in from Ft. Irwin, Calfornia, and didn’t mind talking about them with visitors. Donkeys were removed from Ft. Irwin for their safety; they were getting in the way of drills that involved explosives, hiding behind targets.

Donkeys of all sizes charmed and delighted young and old alike with their furry faces and adorable personalities.

Santa Claus wasn’t about to miss the day with the donkeys and showed up with Luna by his side to hear all of the requests from the Mesquite kids who were on his nice list and a few of the donkeys who may have earned a spot on his naughty one.

There are several donkeys at the rescue that are available for fostering and adoption. The cost to foster is $30 per month. Fostering a donkey allows you to reap all the benefits of having a donkey without the responsibilities of taking care of one. Joan Dunkle, owner of PVDR, along with the many volunteers are ready, willing and able to take on the care and housing of the donkeys while your fostering fee provides food and veterinary care.

Fostering a donkey enables you to visit and spend quality time with your donkey on a regular basis.

Donkeys are also available for adoption. The adoption fee covers all veterinarian and hoof care prior to adoption. Adopting a donkey is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Donkeys are highly sociable creatures who don’t like being alone. If you are interested in adopting a donkey, it is suggested that you take a pair for companionship. Homes, of course, will be checked for suitable accommodations prior to adoption and they are very particular. In the time they’ve been around, PVDR has had over 30,000 donkeys adopted with only three being returned. The ones returned just didn’t seem happy at their new accommodations but once returned to the familiar surrounds of PVDR, they perked right back up and are happy, healthy donkeys.  Dunkle would like everyone to know that donkeys are generally heartier and healthier than horses and the vet bills aren’t nearly as expensive.

Christmas with the donkeys was an event that many were glad to attend evidenced by the crowds of enthusiastic spectators around the corral. The donkeys were happy to entertain the crowd with their frolic and play while keeping a close watch on those approaching the fence with goodies for them to gobble out of the hands of delighted guests. There were two four-day old babies the crowd was pleased to see but not touch as mommas stood close watch over their young.

Beaver Dam residents, Laurel and Paul Perkins, were thrilled to finally see the rescue. “We knew this was out here, but we had no idea they had this many donkeys and the place was so big.” “They are magnificent, beautiful and I’m going to look into volunteering, this is absolutely wonderful,” said Laurel.

For more information on how you can foster, adopt a donkey or volunteer, contact Joan Dunkle and the PVDR at www.donkeyrescue.org.