Tigger

Tigger

Tigger

Tigger Britt

 

    Name: Tigger

    Type: Miniature Donkey

    Color: Pinto

    Markings: Spotted 

    Sex: Gelding

    Birthday: 1/1/2017

 

Ark Watch logo 2022

In June of 2017, Celine Myers of the Ark Watch Foundation was contacted by Tia Bonkowski of Turning Pointe Donkey Rescue regarding a spotted mini donkey at the Bowie, TX kill pen. Someone had seen a little donkey literally gasping for air and reached out to Tia. Tia, knowing time was of the essence if the little guy was to be saved, promptly phoned Celine. Supposedly, the little donkey was a 2 year old gelding. As is often the case, the people at the kill pen had lied. It turned out that the poor little guy was only about 3 months old, although we didn’t know that at the time. Celine named the small donkey “Tigger” after the character in the Winnie the Pooh novel. We suspect that Tigger had been taken from his mom at just a few weeks of age and sold as a “bottle baby” for someone to raise. Tigger would beat the odds as donkey bottle babies rarely survive.

Celine suspected that he had very advanced pneumonia and to make matters worse, the outside air temperature that day in Bowie, TX was 105 degrees with very high humidity. At that point it was uncertain if Tigger would even make it to the clinic. Celine knew that without immediate intervention, the little donkey was going to die a slow, painful death. Kara Tunnicliff Schardt of the Circle of Friends Rescue in Oklahoma paid the $130 fee to get him released, and Celine sprang into action, having him immediately hauled to the Reata Equine Clinic in Weatherford, TX. He made it but arrived wild and unhandleable and quite frightened of people. Who could blame him, given the rough start he’d had in life!? This wasn’t good – he was already very ill and additional stress might kill him.

Tigger was gasping for air and the vet could hear crackles and wheezes in his lungs. She knew that Tigger had advanced pneumonia and started him on a powerful cocktail of antibiotics hoping he would quickly respond to the treatment. As the days passed, Tigger had several challenges to overcome. Metronidazole suppressed his appetite and the vet staff had to figure out a way to get food into Tigger since he had to have the metronidazole. The hospital staff realized that Tigger would not eat his hay at the front of his stall but he would eat at the back of it. This was an extremely important observation since he needed to eat! This aversion to being near the stall door was likely due to the fact that Tigger wanted to be far from the point where people were entering his space when he put his head down. To an equine foal, humans are just enormous predatory cats who walk on their hind legs and are looking to kill for their next meal! Poor little Tigger had not been with his mom long enough for her to teach him the ways of the world, what was safe and what wasn’t.

Against the odds, and due to the intensive vet care he received, Tigger’s pneumonia resolved. He was able to be slowly dewormed and vaccinated. Just as Tigger was due to come to Red Bell Run, the vet discovered that Tigger’s testicles were dropping! That’s when we found out he was not two years old, but more likely two or three months old, when he was rescued. Eventually, Tigger was castrated, and once recovered he travelled to Red Bell Run with Amanda and Phinneas, two older donkeys that he was familiar with from the clinic. Initially, Tigger stuck close to Amanda and Phinneas, but quickly made several friends and now spends his days sparring with these playmates, enjoying the safety and security a herd provides. It was a very rough start for Tigger but thanks to the efforts of all involved, he is healthy and enjoying life at the Longears Lodge at Red Bell Run! 

Tigger
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Ellis

Ellis

Ellis

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    Name: Ellis

    Type: Standard Donkey

    Color: Grey

    Markings: None

    Sex: Gelding

    Birthday: 1/1/2017

 

Ellis is a gorgeous grey donkey who lives at Longears Lodge with his mother Elinor. These two donkeys are incredibly bonded and you will never see them apart from each other. 

Ellis
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Taco & Consuela

Taco & Consuela

Taco & Consuela

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    Name: Taco

    Type: Standard Donkey

    Color: Red Roan

    Markings: None

    Sex: Mare

    Birthday: 1/1/2014

 

 

    Name: Consuela

    Type: Standard Donkey

    Color: Red Roan

    Markings: None

    Sex: Mare

    Birthday: 1/1/2011

 

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Did you know ears Taco on right Consuela on left
Consuela Taco Mom Daughter
Lenny

Lenny

Lenny

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    Name: Lenny

    Type: Standard Donkey

    Color: Brown

    Markings: None

    Sex: Gelding

    Birthday: 1/1/2017

 

lenny

Lenny as a foal. This picture was the inspiration for our logo! 

Lenny Megan
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Lenny Megan C Smile
Dory

Dory

Dory 

Dory

 

    Name: Dory

    Type: Mule

    Color: Chestnut

    Markings: None

    Sex: Mare

    Birthday: 3/5/2005

 

Dory is a lovely, older red molly mule who came to live at Red Bell Run after being rescued by Turning Pointe Donkey Rescue. Thin and in poor condition, Dory found herself in an auction in North Carolina bound for an unknown fate, in danger of being passed around on the auction circuit until she was sick or sold for meat. After going through quarantine, our friend Tia Bonkowski asked if she could come to Red Bell Run. Dory was not very handleable, on the older side and definitely needed a soft landing with people who were knowledgeable about mules.

Mules, being a cross between a Donkey stallion and a Horse mare exhibit behaviors of both, but they are in general, more flight oriented than donkeys who will stand and think about things before deciding whether to stay or flee. Mules tend to put a good bit of distance between themselves and perceived danger, more like horses. 

They are quick, athletic and one-third stronger than a horse the same size. Mules also have great memories and have been known to hold grudges, so they require consistent and kind handling. A good mule is a great equine companion; those that have been mishandled can take a long time to bring around.

The Longears staff spent many hours convincing Dory that she wasn’t going to be abused and breaking through her wall of fear. Mules never forget and it’s clear that Dory has had some rough handling in the past. It was a day of celebration when Megan Cortez, one of our leads at Longears, was able to pick up all four of Dory’s feet without a fight. Dory, who used to stay as far away from strangers as possible, now comes up to the gates to greet visitors and loves her treats. Dory has decided that Red Bell Run is not such a bad place and has settled in at the Longears Lodge. Her best friends are an Ark Watch Foundation Hinny named Raisin and a 28-year-old miniature horse named Old Spice. They have separate quarters next to each other at Longears and spend their days having the run of the barn, arguing over hay and bossing each other around. Our Dory is a special girl and she is well-loved here at Red Bell Run. 

Megan Dori
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Dory and Old Spice 

Joy

Joy

Joy

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    Name: Joy

    Type: Standard Donkey

    Color: Brown

    Markings: None

    Sex: Mare

    Birthday: 12/28/1992 

“I received a call from the Equine Director at the Humane Society of North Texas. A jenny, heavy in foal, was in a kill lot. Would we help? Yes, we would. We moved quickly to get them to safety. Joy, a lovely dark chocolate, standard jenny, soon gave birth to a little jack that we named “Christmas Beau,”…and then the trouble started. Joy had a horrific infection, pus dripping from her udders, and both became extremely ill, spending the next 9 months in a vet clinic; Beau being bottle-fed and both being treated for the infection. Poor Beau developed pneumonia which lasted months, requiring a nebulizer and intensive care. For months each time the phone rang, we expected the worst. Several times we were told they had very little chance, but they never gave up and neither did we. Today they thrive here at Red Bell Run in our donkey herd. Joy is a gentle soul and Beau has become quite a character and visitor favorite. 

Beau and Joy 2
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