Saturday, June 16, 2012 ~Tanya Hanson, donkey lover

Ten years ago, my kids “adopted” two abused donkeys for me at the Safe Haven for Donkeys (SHAD)  in Israel, and I’ve long been a fan of these gentle, sentient creatures. They get a bad rap about being stubborn, when the fact is they’re too smart to do stupid things.

Sometimes, they have no choice and are forced into man’s nonsense. Just a few days ago through Facebook, I learned about the horrible “sport" of donkey roping, a cruel practice where the donkey is shocked with a cattle prod until he tries to run away. Once in motion, two people on horseback run the donkey down, one throwing a rope around its neck, the other around its rear legs. Once roped the donkey is then stretched between the two horses. Broken bones and death are all too common during these events.

Whether or not this is the type of post you readers and my fellow Sweethearts want to see here, I can’t help posting this today. I’ve been sick to my stomach since learning that ”donkey roping” is a featured as a sport at the upcoming Van Horn, Texas, Rodeo. I can’t even put into words how this sport isn’t just ridicule, it’s horrific abuse. To think little kids cheer this on!

I’ve got five-year old grandson. At our county fair, the Sicilian donkey in the baby barn is his favorite critter to pet. Good heavens, the donkey brought the Lord into Jerusalem and His mom to Bethlehem!

I’m asking you to click on the link above and sign the petition to halt this horrible event scheduled for June 23. Already 3,500 online signatures have been gathered. With your help, we can do it!

These darling critters do have a friend at the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce, but Ms. Golden is NOT a decision maker. However, she has offered several suggestions.

Please direct NICE, conciliatory phone calls to Jason Owen of Dos Gringo Productions. 432-940-9051, the donkeys’ owner who permits this torture. We need to convince him to understand how this abuse permanently affects their lives and is dreadful thing for children to see.

Also, it is also important to direct emails to Larry Simpson, editor at The Van Horn Advocate:  Letters to the editor could go a long way for Ms. Golden to show the city administrators the ongoing media pressure to end this.

Note that she advises us all to “catch flies” with honey rather than with vinegar. Yeah. We’re angry and appalled but need to rein in our emotions. And of course, we realize most Texans do not take part of this cruelty nor do they support it. On my visit to Bandera, Texas 18 months ago, I attended a Friday night rodeo. NOTHING like this was performed, and I fell in love with every single performer and critter.

If just one person out there could call, sign the petition. Send a letter, then maybe the magic will happen and we’ll spare some darling donkeys this abiding misery. We've got a week.

Next time, I’ll talk about the young adult novel I just sold. But seeing the picture of this precious baby, I haven't been able to stop the tears

~Tanya Hanson 


  1. What a cruel "sport" and I can't imagine the terror and pain the donkey endures. You can bet I send the email and make the call, Tanya. This is a terrible practice and I certainly don't want it started here!

  2. I've never heard of this. How horrible. It still amazes me at my age how cruel humans can be to one another and to helpless animals. This should be a criminal act. It certainly isn't a sport.
    Thanks, Tanya.

  3. Sorry not to be more on the ball. We've been out of town all weekend for Father's Day. I sure hope other readers took this to heart, too. Thanks, Celia and Caroline.


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