Donkeys both receive, give help

Visiting the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge Society is as educational as it is pleasurable.

Visiting the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge Society is as educational as it is pleasurable.

These gentle creatures are more than willing to return the affections of anyone with emotional or physical need. They are protective and sensitive, therapeutic in nature.

Shirley Mainprize and Rob Miller started out small, rescuing one donkey at a time. The herd has grown greatly over the fast five years, beyond expectations. They operate totally by donated funding, dedicating most of their energies to protecting and nurturing miniature, standard, and mammoth-sized donkeys.

There is also a ‘special needs’ barn, where animals injured psychologically or physically are segregated, to avoid further risk of harm.

Miller was given instructions several years ago to get his affairs in order, expecting to have succumbed to the effects of leukemia five years ago. He attributes his new lease on life, now with cancer in complete remission, directly to the therapeutic interaction with the donkeys.

Donkeys were brought to North America with Christopher Columbus. Useful for all sorts of work, they packed heavy loads over great distances, without frequent food or water.

Miller points out a marking on one particular donkey, a dark line across the back and shoulders, considered royalty in lineage. The marking is called a cross; any animal having it is related to the donkey Jesus’ Mother Mary rode to Bethlehem where she gave birth.

Burros are wild donkeys, their teeth are naturally worn down due to desert sand in their food. They also like to eat trees which keep teeth trimmed.

“Donkeys are great for clearing trees out of an area,” Miller says.

He points to a herd up the hill doing a job in an area in need of clearing.”

Animals come to the refuge in distress, some with dental problems such as overgrown teeth to the point where they can’t eat.

Donkeys are a commitment as they have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years. Mainprize and Miller give hands-on care to the donkeys, bringing in professional veterinarians where there is a need.

Information regarding each of the donkeys lines the walls on the inside and outside of the barns. Miller knows each by name, explaining in detail the personality traits.

 

Donkey Days

Donkey Days is happening June 23 and 24, an annual celebration at the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge. Fun family events are planned for both days with some great entertainment in store.

• Music schedule for Saturday, June 23: 10 to 11 a.m – Hypnotic Blend; 11 to noon – String Benders; 12 to 1 p.m. – Tracy Jones Duo; 1 to 2 p.m. – Kamloops Fiddlers; 2 to 3 p.m. – Tyler Neeley; 3 to 4 p.m. – Chris Stevens and Denise Ford – piano and banjo.

• On Sunday, June 24th the music schedule is: 10 to 11 a.m. – Hypnotic Blend; 11 to noon – Monique; 12 to 1 p.m. – Ken Firth, Dust Puppets; 1 to 2 p.m. –  Carlin Xing; 2 to 3 p.m. Chris Stevens and Denise Ford; 3 to 4 p.m. Blu and Kelly Hopkins.

For more information on the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge, see their web page at: www.turtlevalleydonkeyrefuge.com.

Just Posted

Salmon Arm women bring soccer to girls in Kenyan village

Cultural disconnections melt away with learning and laughter

Vandals on ATV damage outdoor skating rink in Silver Creek

Damage delays preparations for ice surface in community park

Letter: Spouse of Shuswap first responder shares challenges, gratitude

One in three first responders suffer in silence, resources available to help them and their families

Water quality advisory issued for Sunnybrae water system

Not a boil-water advisory but users urged to take precaution

Uptown Tim Hortons intersection in Salmon Arm bumped from traffic circle plan

Shuswap Street and 10th Avenue SW, Kal Tire at 5th Avenue and 10th Street SW now top priorities

Get your head out of clouds, North Okanagan

Fall fog sticks around all day in northern portion of valley

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Shuswap farm receives award for high animal welfare standards

Keenan Family Farms also recognized for sustainable agriculture methods

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Keremeos Fire Department acquires new truck

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen approves fire truck purchases for Keremeos, Willowbrook

Most Read