Caroline’s previous owner clearly loved her. “She’s in beautiful shape,” says Kimberly Clark, founder and president of Virginia Donkey Rescue. “She’s a very affectionate donkey.”
In mid-October, Caroline’s person gave her up to a donkey rescue group, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, citing bad health.
That group asked Clark to help out. Caroline’s been with Virginia Donkey Rescue — a nonprofit in central Virginia that aims to protect donkeys from abuse, neglect, and other risky situations — for a couple of weeks now.
It’s been, as you can see, an extremely snuggle-filled couple of weeks.
Clark says that most of the donkeys coming into her rescue aren’t quite so affectionate right off the bat like Caroline.
“Many that come in weren’t treated like she was,” she says — meaning many didn’t have Caroline’s sort of loving home, which means they aren’t so loving in return from the beginning.
“However,” Clark says, “once they get used to positive human interaction, many do become that cuddly and more.”
Which is lucky for you.
Because, unsurprisingly, soon after Caroline’s darling photos were posted to the Virginia Donkey Rescue Facebook page this weekend, she got snatched up by someone Clark describes as the “perfect adopter” — a person who will “give Caroline the attention she craves,, interaction with other equines, and a perfect living environment for a donkey.”
But there’s lots more of these wonderful animals who still need good homes. A whole bunch are failed “livestock guardians” — donkeys brought to then expelled from farms, thanks to what Clark says is a persistent myth that they will keep other animals safe from predators.
“Every farmer that has turned in a failed livestock guardian donkey said the donkey did more damage than all the predators combined,” Clark says.
These guys might not currently be lap donkeys, a la Caroline. But with some time, and some love, you might find yourself in just the same kind of unexpectedly sweet embrace as you see here.
“Donkeys are very similar to dogs. Once they trust their humans, the bond can be incredible,” says Clark. “Given the chance, most donkeys are — or can be — just like Caroline.”