Rural Missouri - January 2020 - 40
Above left: Isiah Vandenburg comes to the farm as part of the Easterseals Midwest program. Isiah is learning how to be patient as well as how to
give and take direction by helping a donkey named Gizzy learn the same lesson. Above right: The sweet eye of a donkey named Lucy.
Several of the donkeys have been
adopted by the Sight and Sound Theatre in Branson. "If you see a donkey
in the show, you're probably looking at
one of ours," says Deanna.
As Petals grew up, she would follow
Deanna and the volunteers around
the farm to see what was going on.
The foal was working on becoming a
certified therapy animal, but gained
fame after Deanna shared a photo of
the little donkey picking up mail at
the mailbox. The photo went viral on
Facebook and mail began pouring in.
"Petals got mail from around the
world," Deanna says, adding she still
has every card and letter. Amazingly enough, Petals even found time to
reply to the kids who wrote.
Petals died suddenly last spring.
Tests were unable to find the cause.
"Everyone misses Petals," Deanna
says. Tom adopted a donkey for Deanna this summer and she says he has a
similar personality to Petals.
"McGee wouldn't mind getting
mail," says Deanna, "He'd write the
children back like Petals did."
Deanna, Tom and a small crew of
volunteers are the workforce behind
"We have a small but incredible
team of volunteers who love these animals as much as I do, and that's hard
to find," says Deanna.
Amanda Brown, a veterinarian
based at the Animal Care Center of
Fort Scott, Kansas, believes what T&D
Donkey Rescue does is out of pure
"I've learned so much from working
with Deanna," says Dr. Amanda, as
folks usually call her. "It's one thing
to learn about what a body condition
score means when you're studying
books in vet school, but when you see
what a score of 1 out of 9 is in real life,
that puts it into perspective."
A score of 1 out of 9 is an animal
with barely any body fat and near
Dr. Amanda and Deanna met a
few years ago on a call that they refer
to now as "The Liberal 12," where a
dozen emaciated horses and a donkey
were rescued on a cold winter night.
"I think it was about 20 degrees,"
recalls the veterinarian. "We fought
hard and were able to save all but one.
"Honestly, going to T&D Donkey
Rescue is like going to the happiest
place on earth. Those donkeys always
put a smile on my face," she adds.
Last year the budget ran well over
$115,000 for feed, care and rescue.
"We do what we can, but it's really
the generosity of those who care that
make this work," says Deanna.
A donkey is within arms reach of
Deanna. She points toward its nose
and his lip twitches as he reaches
toward her hand. The donkey smiles.
"When you love something this
much, it's not work," says Deanna,
smiling at the donkey. "They're smart
because they know they're loved."
T&D Donkey Rescue is located at
500 NW 110th Lane in Liberal. For
more information call 417-214-9010
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow them on Facebook for updates,
adoption information and support opportunities.
Below: The equine at T&D Donkey Rescue in Liberal enjoying their hay meal. Below right: Deanna and Rizzo sharing a fun moment.
Rural Missouri - January 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2020
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Rural Missouri - January 2020 - Contents
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