I went and watched the donkey basketball last night. I had heard a bunch of bad stuff through Facebook where PETA was running a negative campaign against it saying how badly the donkeys were treated and implying horrific abuse. I like to see things for myself and make up my own mind. I thought as a representative of the Donkey Club if it was bad I could appeal directly to the owner and/or the school. I was fully prepared for a fight if need be.
The donkeys were very healthy an obviously well cared for. The guy running it was very sweet and kind to them. He monitored the whole game carefully and was on the court every minute the donkeys were. The “chasing and beating with a stick” written about by PETA was in fact, him following them on the court with a stick like a blind person uses tapping it on the floor behind a donkey if they decided they were not going to move. It did not scare or startle them. They are trained to move at that cue. The donkeys only wore halters so no one was jerking on their mouths. They all got water breaks and each had their own water bucket.
The kids were kind to them. I did not see anyone lose their temper and even remotely mistreat a donkey. I saw a lot of laughing and petting and hugs.
The donkeys were very well trained and looked to be having as good time as the kids. Ears forward. They wore rubber shoes so as not to slip and were very comfortable on the court with the exception of the donkey that didn’t like the red zone. He refused to go near it, which is where the basket is. He wasn’t upset about it, just wasn’t going to do it and if you know anything about donkeys…That’s his final answer. It was pretty funny. They put kids on him that were not going to be doing much anyway.
One donkey decided at the beginning that he did not want to be a part of the thing that night so he was taken outside and loaded back up right way. No pressure to play.
I was impressed. The guy had 10 donkeys there that would probably otherwise have gone to the meat auction or worse. They were happy with good donkey jobs and a good life.
They are loved and well cared for. I saw no abuse. A good time was had by all and the choir made some money.