Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 39

Opposite: Gracie and baby Matilda are two of the more than 100 donkeys lucky enough to have been helped by T&D Donkey Rescue in Liberal.
Above left: Sandra Webster, from left, Shauna Hackler, owners Tom Kohley and Deanna Kafka, Annette Wortman and Mary Funk are some of the
dedicated volunteers who help make the rescue run. Above right: Annette Wortman works with Rizzo to gain trust so he can be broke to lead.
deal of care, Floppsalot enjoyed several more years during which she was
well loved. "When we got her, she had
a deteriorated hip joint and torn ligaments in her hind legs because she
had been used as a roping donkey,"
Deanna says.
Donkey roping is when a donkey is
used in place of a young calf for sport
roping practice. The donkeys are
roped over and over again until they
either quit working from the trauma
or are too injured to continue being
used. At that point they're often sent
to auction for slaughter.
"Floppsalot taught me more about
forgiveness than anyone else ever
could," says Deanna. "She learned to
trust again and we were part of that
process."
The donkey caretaker also shares
that Floppsalot taught her about how
smart and gentle donkeys are.
"People may think of donkeys as
stupid and stubborn, but I don't

think that's true,"
key hoof that was never trimmed.
Deanna says. "They're
Some of these donkeys come to
like giant dogs. They
us with such damaged legs
enjoy interacting with
that they're literally walking
on bone - or hooves like
each other as well as
this."
people they trust. They love
Donkeys have long
being loved."
Liberal
been used as sure-footOver the past seven
ed trail animals, guards
years, T&D Donkey Rescue
for livestock or pulling
has rescued nearly 500
carts in shows or padonkeys, with 100 currently
rades. Their usefulness
roaming controlled grazing areas on
goes back centuries - even Joseph
the southwest Missouri farm. The
had a sure-footed donkey carry Mary
nonprofit also has adopted 239 of the
and their soon-to-be-born son to a
equine to good homes.
stable in Bethlehem.
"By the time we see them, they
Deanna says they've had some
usually look sad and hopeless. Over
well-known donkeys come through
time you see the life come back in
the farm.
their eyes when they've realized we're
"We had a little donkey named
here to help them, not hurt them,"
Petals that was famous on six contisays Deanna.
nents," Deanna says. "She was adorShe holds up a 10-inch piece of
able. We had her dressed in costume
what looks like dried-out driftwood.
within 24 hours of being born. She
"Do you know what this is?" she
loved people from the start."
asks, not waiting for reply. "It's a don-

Below: Deanna Kafka checks the pastures to see if all the donkeys are doing well. "I don't go up to the donkeys," says Deanna. "We want them to
come to us on their own. That way we know they're trusting people again." Bottom right: A curious crew peers through the barn's split door.



Rural Missouri - January 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 10
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Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 12
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Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 50
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - January 2020 - Cover4
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