When I embarked on writing The Adventures of Little Stubby, I began to learn about miniature donkeys – and have discovered that they need our help! It is my wish to bring awareness to their needs – and as families, do what we can to assist with their rescue and care.

There are about 44 million donkeys worldwide. Originally from Sicily in the Mediterranean, miniature donkeys are a separate breed in their own right.

In the 1800’s, these extremely small donkeys were used inside peasant houses to turn grinding stones for grain – they were blindfolded and attached to the grain mills, and they walked in endless circles. They were also used to carry water and supplies to shepherds in the mountains. In more recent times, they have become popular as pets in the U.S. – where there are many miniature donkey breeders.

Leading up to the release of The Adventures of Little Stubby, you’ll see my visits with donkey rescue farms below, and I’ll share their stories with you.

Little Longears!

I’d like to introduce you to:

Little Longears Miniature Donkey Rescue Inc.
New Oxford, PA

Youtube channel:

Little Longears Miniature Donkey Rescue is a paradise for donkeys, located in New Oxford, PA on 100 acres.

I visited Little Longears this summer and had a very moving experience. I drove 4 hours each way, from New York to Central PA and back, and was never so glad to have made a trip. I signed up for a scheduled tour and ended up being allowed to volunteer for the whole day! I scooped poop and raked hay. Pushed and emptied wheelbarrows, filled water troughs, moved hay bales and fed pats of hay to the donkeys, brushed and groomed donkeys, and petted and hugged and spent time with donkeys of all ages and sizes. They are the kindest animals, very calm and attentive, sensitive, eager to give and receive love, and deserving of all we can do to help and protect them. I learned that donkeys maintain a very strong family bond and if allowed, will remain with the same offspring their whole lives. Val and Cheryl shared many stories about how the 111 donkeys they care for (that’s right!) have come to their rescue farm, and how each one has grown and flourished with being well cared for and given a safe home.

Here I am as a volunteer at Little Longears in New Oxford, PA.

Here I am as a volunteer at Little Longears in New Oxford, PA. I had the most amazing day. You can volunteer too! Or consider making a contribution to help the donkeys in their care.

Little Longears is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and safe sanctuary of abused, neglected or otherwise unwanted donkeys.  We also provide a safe haven for owners to surrender their donkeys in the event they are no longer able to care for them.

The owners and founders of Little Longears Donkey Rescue are Valerie Lowe and Cheryl Pokorny.

Valerie went from being an A-circuit hunter/jumper trainer, showing, riding, teaching, and running her own business, to becoming the co-founder and director of Little Longears Miniature Donkey Rescue. And Cheryl is a retired high school PE teacher and loves all things DIY.  Her home renovation skills even landed her on HGTV’s “All American Handyman” in 2011.

I learned a great deal from visiting with Val and Cheryl and can’t wait to go back! And the tour was awesome. I was there with about 15 other visitors and we spent time learning, watching, listening and petting. Yes, lots of petting. A very special place to take your children and the whole family!

You can sponsor a donkey too…

I sponsor Big Clyde, a mammoth donkey! He was rescued by Little Longears Donkey Rescue in New Oxford, PA.

You can sponsor a donkey too! I felt honored to be able to spend time with Big Clyde once I knew his history.

Big Clyde was the oldest member of a group of mammoth donkeys to which we alerted officials in 2016. Big Clyde had many years of neglect before he arrived here, and sometimes his rough past catches up with him. He requires a lot of specialized care to keep him comfortable and healthy. Big Clyde’s booming bray at feeding time is unmistakable, and we know he’s happy here with his friends, where he gets all the vet and farrier care he needs so that he can live the best life possible.

Why rescue miniature donkeys? Do these animals really need our help?

It’s easy to see why people fall in love with these cute, adorable little guys. They are kind and sweet, gentle and playful. They are basically very easy and fairly inexpensive to care for. They make great pets and wonderful companions for other equines.

However, people forget that donkeys can live upwards of 40 years, and having one is a lifelong commitment. As pets for children the novelty often wears off, leaving them forgotten in the pastures. They keep weight on with very little to eat, but their feet often go completely ignored for years, leading to long, curly, disfigured hooves, causing pain and lameness. Lack of good dental care results in sharp, painful teeth, eventually leading to difficulty eating. Though these guys are stoic, tough little survivors, that does not mean that they don’t suffer when neglected.

Why not sponsor a donkey with your whole family? It makes a wonderful gift for family and friends… or make a one-time donation. Every penny helps!

You can also visit a donkey farm near you! It is an incredible experience for children and the entire family of all ages!

Here’s Erika, a volunteer I worked alongside at Little Longears Donkey Rescue!

Erika drives every month from Maryland to New Oxford, PA to lend a hand. She also sponsors a donkey named Brighty. When Erika sat down out in the field, all the donkeys strolled over to get petted! Erika began volunteering at Little Longears back when their rescue farm was in Maryland. When they moved to New Oxford, PA, Erika decided to make the trip every few weeks to continue to volunteer!

Here’s a donkey named Daniel…

Daniel sticks his tongue out whenever there are treats around. It’s really very funny! He’s wearing a protective shield over his eyes to keep the bugs away, but he can see perfectly well and is looking for those treats! Here is Daniel’s rescue story:

Daniel arrived at Little Longears rescue from a terrible neglect situation. He was timid, beat up and scarred from fighting with intact (not gelded) mules. Daniel wasn’t gelded, either, which increased his frustration with and aggression towards the other equines. His hooves, which had never been trimmed, were in awful condition. Several years later, and after getting gelded, he is one of the sweetest, easiest-going boys at Little Longears! He has a wonderful personality, and a cute trick of sticking out his tongue when he wants a treat. Daniel, always a favorite among visitors, will enjoy his golden years at Longears rescue.

In April 2023, I’ll be releasing my first ever storytelling album! The Adventures of Little Stubby, a sweet young mini donkey with a mind of his own. Hee haw!

Here are some books that I can highly recommend:

Saving Simon: How a Rescue Donkey Taught Me the Meaning of Compassion
by Jon Katz

“In this heartfelt, thoughtful, and inspiring memoir, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his beloved rescue donkey, Simon, and the wondrous ways that animals make us wiser and kinder people.”

The Wisdom of Donkeys: Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic World
By Andy Merrifield

“A literary ode to peace, presence, and fulfillment inspired by a walk taken with a most surprising creature.”

Running with Sherman by Chris MacDougal

“A delight, full of heart and hijinks and humor…McDougall is a gifted storyteller who gets to the heart of the human-animal connection.”
-John Grogan