More and more abandoned donkeys are being seen roaming aimlessly around Texas and northwest Louisiana after a growing number of farmers abandoned the animals due to a lingering drought that has been going on for the past several years, putting serious strain on animal rescue groups in the region.
While the drought has begun to show signs of clearing up this year, abandoned donkeys are still being spotted throughout Texas. The nation’s largest donkey rescue group says that since March 2011, more than 800 abandoned donkeys have been taken in–and yet there is still an alarming amount roaming the wild.
As a result of the drought that started in 2010, the increasing number of abandoned donkeys being seen roaming Texas is being attributed to the costly price of hay. Mark Meyers, executive director of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, said that it’s becoming too expensive for farmers to keep the donkeys.
“Last week I spent two days on the road and got 20 donkeys each day,” Meyers told the Associated Press. “Hay prices still haven’t come down. And what little grass is growing, people are going to save it for the animals that are going to make them money.”
As the impact of the drought is still being felt, the market for donkeys in the region has dried up to the point that some auction houses will no longer take them.”The last ones we tried to sell, they brought the donkeys back to us. They tried to get a $5 bid for both of them and couldn’t get a $5 bid,” Deputy Bill Pentecost told the Associated Press last month.