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A Better Life for Burros

Platero Project finds good homes for wild burros

Kind News magazine, Dec 2014/Jan 2015

Jimmy Anderson/iStockphoto

Hundreds of years ago, Spanish explorers brought burros to the Americas as work animals. Some of these animals either escaped or were released into the wild, forming their own herds.

Today, more than 6,000 wild burros roam public lands. As their populations grew, some people thought the burros were competing with cattle and sheep for grazing lands. The United States Bureau of Land Management began rounding up the wild burros. They transport them to government holding facilities where they’re available for adoption. But when adoptions slowed down, the numbers of burros in holding facilities began piling up.

Time to step in

A citizen concerned about the burros decided to help. Through a generous donation to The Humane Society of the United States, the Platero Project was established. Its mission is to protect and find good homes for wild burros, letting people know what great pets they can be.

“They have the most amazing personalities and are just so loving and sweet,” says Heidi Hopkins, manager of the Platero Project.

Clover begins training

Emily Crabtree's Clover was one of these burros. She was rounded up in Arizona, and eventually shipped to Oregon.

Emily's mom heard about two burros nearby being trained through the Platero Project by a 15-year-old girl named Shelby. When they visited the burros, Emily fell in love with Clover. The Crabtrees agreed to adopt Clover when her training was complete. And thanks to Shelby’s patience and ability, Clover went from being a wild burro to the gentle, sweet pet she is today. Because people cared about her and others like her, Clover has a new life with people who love her.

Say no to donkey basketball

Your school probably holds lots of fundraisers. But having donkey basketball games shouldn’t be one of them. It may seem like fun to you, but they are not fun for the donkeys.

The games are played with someone sitting on a donkey as the rider dribbles down the court and tries to shoot a basket. The frightened donkeys can slip and fall or be injured in other ways.

If your community is planning one of these games, speak up for the animals. Tell people that it causes harm to the donkeys.

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