Thursday, September 6, 2012

Three abandoned donkeys seized from Kaufman County property taken in by ... - Dallas Morning News (blog)

Discarded donkeys were held at the Dallas County livestock center last year. (Lara Solt/Dallas Morning News

The SPCA of Texas took custody Wednesday of three abandoned donkeys found in a fenced-in area in Kaufman County last week.

The three donkeys were found behind a home, but did not have any food other than the grass they had been grazing on. Neighbors were providing water for the animals.

SPCA investigators found that the owners of the home didn’t live there, though investigators tried several times to contact them.

The SPCA waited for the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department to obtain a warrant so that the donkeys could be taken into the McKinney Perry Animal Care Center. On Wednesday, the department authorized the nonprofit organization to take custody of the donkeys until the custody hearing, scheduled for next week at the Kaufman County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1 Courthouse.

“I appreciate Kaufman County officials and the neighbors who looked after these donkeys and alterted us to their needs”, said Art Muñoz, Senior Investigator for the SPCA , in a written statement. “There is no excuse for abandoning animals, and the SPCA of Texas works hard to be a resource for people who may be struggling and in need of assistance.”

This case follows last year’s trend of dozens of abandoned donkeys in North Texas. Experts said last year’s drought and economic conditions strapped livestock owners who often buy donkeys to guard their cows and horses. Donkeys usually graze on grass available, but with most vegetation dry last year and increased hay prices, the animals became expensive guards.

When times times are tough and owners can’t afford to take care of all their animals, donkeys are often the first to go.

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