Rescue groups take in donkeys that are abused and caught in roundups on federal lands
Abandoned donkeys recovered by Keith Gantt and his wife Karla Gantt are seen in Athens, La. Prolonged drought in the southern plains coupled with the nation’s economic slump has taken a heavy toll on the humble donkey. / ASSOCIATED PRESS
With pastures withered from a lingering drought, farmers in Texas and northwest Louisiana have abandoned donkeys by the hundreds, turning them into wandering refugees that have severely tested animal rescue groups.
The nation’s biggest donkey rescue group says that since March 2011, it has taken in nearly 800 donkeys abandoned in Texas, where ranchers mainly used the animals to guard their herds. Many of the cattle and goats have been sold off, largely because of the drought and the U.S. economic slump, putting the donkeys out of a job.