Jess Anselment loves donkeys.
She loves them so much, in fact, that she's now running Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue's (PVDR) newest satellite adoption center - the long-running rescue's first satellite in North Texas.
Headquartered in San Angelo, Texas, PVDR has been in operation since 2000. Mark and Amy Meyers started the rescue once their donkey herd, which started with one, grew into something more substantial than a backyard hobby.
PVDR, which has saved more than 9,000 donkeys since its inception, now rescues donkeys in 27 states with the help of satellite adoption centers, like Anselment's. It's become one of the largest donkey rescues in the United States.
Anselment wasn't always a donkey lover. In fact, it wasn't until she and her young family moved to some acreage near Rhome about 19 months ago that she discovered her love for the animals. The previous owner of the ranchette left behind a 13-year-old donkey named Bunny.
"The first afternoon I spent with Bunny I was in love with her," says Anselment. "I'm an animal lover," she says, "but I have never connected with an animal as I have with donkeys."
Connecting with Bunny got Anselment interested in learning more about donkeys. Her research taught her, among other things, that donkeys need companionship. So, she and her husband purchased a miniature donkey as a companion for Bunny.
"They remember everything...They get emotionally scarred. They get emotionally attached. Which is why you can never have just one donkey," she says.
Anselment's bond with Bunny inspired her to volunteer herself and her property to become a satellite adoption center for PVDR.
A PVDR adoptable donkey has gone through medical and behavioral evaluations. Before being adopted out, the donkey is trained to accept a halter, tie, and have all four feet handled. PVDR will not adopt out a donkey to an adopter who does not have a companion animal. In the event that a qualified adopter does not already have a suitable companion animal, the adopter is required to adopt two PVDR donkeys.
Potential adopters go through a vetting process to make sure they are qualified to own and care for a donkey. If approved, they must pay an adoption fee of $200 per donkey.
Check out this sweet video of Charlie and Ethel's adoption:
You can learn all about Anselment's life as a foster mom to donkeys on her blog, A Donkumentary.
If you'd like more information about Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, check out the organization's official website. Also check out their newest endeavor, Wild Burro Project. The animal rescue facility has taken it upon themselves to transport thousands of wild burros from California to Texas. It will be a big project but one that will help save many donkey lives.
What do you think about this donkey rescue? We want to hear about it in the comments below!
All photos by Jess Anselment via A Donkumentary
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