More help for donkeys at Turtle Valley

New volunteers learn to care for animals near Chase

It all started with two donkeys… The Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge Society now has a lot more than just a couple donkeys, and also two miniature horses.

The refuge takes in donkeys anywhere from Alaska to Saskatchewan to Washington. Taking care of this many animals cannot be done by just two people, so the farm is taken care of by paid workers and volunteers. On April 7 and 8, the refuge held a volunteer recruitment day. This gave people more knowledge about the care and volunteer jobs needed.

Shirley Mainprize said the volunteer recruitment days were a success with a great turnout thanks to the good weather on Sunday and at least nine new volunteers signed up. The newcomers bring the total number of refuge volunteers up to almost 30.

New volunteers who want to help the groom donkeys will have to take a one-day care course where they are shown the basics of safely putting a halter on the animals, leading them around and cleaning their hooves. Mainprize said there is also a need for volunteers who do not want to work with the donkeys directly.

The sanctuary opens for the season after the long winter on May 1 and have their first major fundraiser on May 13.

For the fundraiser, the refuge will be selling Asiatic lilies as they do every year, but also pie, cheesecake and pumpkin plants. The plants, which are sold for two dollars are planted at the refuge and looked after until the purchasers return in October to pick up their future jack o’ lantern. The pumpkins not taken away are fed to the donkeys as a special treat that Mainprize says they love.

-With files from Kayleigh Seibel

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