Four weeks after a social media campaign was launched to block a government effort to ship 100 wild American burros to Guatemala, some 75 people have stepped forward to purchase the adorable equines, thus keeping them on US soil, says Elaine Nash, founder of Keep America’s Wild Equines in America.
“We launched the campaign on Aug. 25 after a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) advisory meeting in Wyoming (announced) a plan to ship 100 wild burros to Guatemala to be beasts of burden,” Nash says. “We started to do some research on how burros are treated in Guatemala, and could hardly come up with one picture that didn’t show them suffering; they were pitiful looking, worn down, starving, and so overloaded by their loads of bricks or produce that they could hardly stand.”
The longtime horse advocate years ago launched the successful and growing equine transportation network Fleet of Angels, which connects endangered horses who need a ride to a shipper who can drive them to safety. Though the burro project was a little different, at its heart was the same goal; to help American equines of all varieties to safety.
“We’ve never not done burros. There just hasn’t been much opportunity to help them in the past,” she says. “But we have always treated all equines equally, whether they’re a burro, mule, or horse.”
The newest grassroots campaign asks prospective burro buyers to pay $25 for one burro, but strongly suggests purchasing in pairs—for a very good reason. “Burros bond very tightly with each other and they have buddies now in the Utah (BLM lot) where they’re waiting,” Nash says. “We’re happy to report that almost everyone who is buying a burro has agreed to buy two or four.”
So successful is the burro sale project that the BLM has joined forces, offering to transport the fuzzy creatures to a holding facility in Oklahoma where they’ll await transport.
And to help defray fuel costs to ship the animals, Nash and her team has raised half of the $10,000 goal. “We’re asking for $10,000 because that’s what it’s going to take to ship the burros across the country,” she says. Those wishing to purchase a burro are invited to contact Nash directly via email HoldYourHorses@aol.com. Those interested in donating to the fuel fund may do so via FleetOfAngels.org. Or for further information on the burro effort, please visit the Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/Keep.Americas.Wild.Equines.In.America.
Although the burro effort is off to a great start, time is of the essence, Nash says. The BLM, she notes, is trying to quickly move the animals, well known to be lovable and dependable beyond all measure.
“Burros are wonderful animals. They’re very friendly, curious … and they make wonderful guard dogs. If anything foreign enters their environment, they yell like a siren going off.”
Keep America’s Wild Equines in America would not have been possible without the valuable assistance of friends Marjorie Farabee, Joanne Pfeiffer, Barbara Sunblade and Christy Lee, Nash says, noting that they have helped her with the 20-hour-per-day project to find the burros a home before they are airlifted to Guatemala.
14 responses to “Mission begins: Keep US Equines in America”
I can’t wait to get an application to adopt one of these wonderful creatures.Facebook is down since yesterday and I feel unable to keep up with the progress of this special program. I just hope they don’t run out of these animals before I can get an application!!! My farm is ready for a bit of fun with a longear.
I can’t thank everyone involved with this enough for saving these incredible creatures. Please join us on the Facebook page if you can…..we are working diligently on transport now!!! My gratitude to Elaine Nash, Marjorie Farabee and so many other people is just endless for working on this…. I love the photo bomb also!!!!!
Congratulations to this effort for keeping our native donkeys here and safe. Although I am not able to bring a donkey to my own farm right now, I am a valiant supporter of this effort. I am so grateful to Fleet of Angels , Ms. Nash, Marjorie Farabee and others for their diligent work. I pray all of the donkeys will find new, safe homes where they will be taken care of and given the love they so deserve.
I have an acquaintance that has taken in wild burros. Her experience with them is that they tame down pretty quickly, because they are curious and affectionate by nature.
And, although they do require care like a horse, they do not eat as much, eat grass hay and do not need much in the way of grain. They are easy keepers that will not injure themselves in a moment of flight. Then, there is a comedy factor, deep intelligence and wisdom they have to share. There’s nothing like “donkey time”. So grateful for the donkeys not to be shipped to a place where there is not enough money for them to have a good life.
What baffles me beyond belief is the extent of the stupidity and lack of compassion from the legislatures that are sending these beautiful animals to a certain painful death. I vote we send them instead. They will just do it again. How do we expose the ones that voted for this horrible act?
PS–LOVE the photo bomb!
A rescue near me, Mea Ola’s Place (visit them on marestare.com), adopted a burro named Gasston from Family Horses in Littlerock, CA, a ranch that tames BLM horses and donkeys for adoption. Gasston’s main job is to be a buddy to a rejected Morgan colt named Rowdy, who came to MOP when he was just hours old–he was born May 23. His veterinarian recommended a companion to teach Rowdy that he was a horse. Rowdy lives up to his name (he’s truly full of himself ;o) and Gasston is patient to a point and then it’s “Watch out, Buster!” I wish I had room for two (or four) because they are wonderful little souls.
I adopted two burros from the Utah BLM in the last four years and have partnered them with my OTTB’s. They are all buddies in the pasture, romp, play and also have helped both my offtrack geldings settle in nicely. Amazing to see how they watch out for each other and approach with curiosity anything that has grabbed their attention. Their evening stalls are adjacent to each gelding and while the TB’s maintain the watch, its their burro buddies that let loose with the call if anything suspicious arises. Thanks for this great effort!
There are no excess wild burros on our public lands. I take no joy in knowing that these beautiful creature have been ripped from their families without reason. I do take great joy in knowing we can protect them from harm and provide them plenty of space. I just wish they could remain wild and free as they were meant to be. Thank you Elaine for making sure our American icons will be safe.
To learn more about this mission, please join our “Keep America’s Equines in America” Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Keep.Americas.Wild.Equines.In.America/
Burros (yes, they’re the same animal as a donkey, just the Spanish word) are the best!
But remember, they take the same care as any equine: hoof care, good hay and adequate shelter, veterinary care including yearly vaccinations. And being wild burros they’ll need halter training.
Please don’t adopt unless you can provide all these. And companionship…they really need to come in “twos”.
Thank you, Susan, for helping share the story of the “Guatemala 100” burros. We all love the idea of helping the people in poverty-stricken Guatemala, but we know that to thrust 100 of America’s wild burros into that environment would neither be safe and healthy for the burros, nor would it make enough of an impact on the problem to be worth submitting those equines to a life of abuse, starvation, high risk of being stolen by uncaring thieves, and over-use as beasts of burden.
It is important to note that The Platero Project, an effort run by Heidi Hopkins and managed by HSUS (the Humane Society of the United States)is collaborating with Fleet of Angels on this mission, and is working as liaison with BLM for Fleet of Angels. Heidi is working with buyers on the selection of their burros, and coordinating with BLM to transport some of the burros in groups to drop off locations to lower transport costs for buyers and for FOA. For Heidi’s asssistance, FOA is most appreciative.
I also want to mention that without the daily efforts of Kim Bianco, Billie Douglas, and Peg Fox, Fleet of Angels could not exist. The tireless efforts of Kim and Billie in assisting with the social media aspect of trip networking, and Peg’s data base management have a great deal to do with FOA’s success in transporting hundreds of at-risk equines from danger to safety in our first two years of existance.
Learn about our organization, and register as an angel at http://www.FleetOfAngels.org.
Please join us on Fleet of Angels on Facebook.
Oh, I’d adopt a burro (or two) in a heartbeat if only I had a bit of spare land and enough money to support them…I’m hoping I will be able to do that in a few years’ time. Hard not to scoop them up right now upon seeing their pix but I know that wouldn’t be responsible stewardship on my part 🙂 A big round of applause to these rescuers…and why can’t people treat their beasts of burden kindly?
Nash is her own company of angels. So many heartfelt thanks to her implementing a BRILLAINT and ingenious campaign…that looks so far, successful. Here’s to more and more efforts coming to such fortunate fruition in the future til there’s no need for any of us struggling, praying, working to save our equines from anything cruel or abusive ever again! Congrats to all.