Saturday, September 27, 2003

Do you know this donkey? He's lost and needs a home

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BURLINGTON - He's a little stubborn, loves to have his head scratched, and chases any dog that dares enter his pasture.

After a month's stay in the Boone County Animal Shelter, Clarence the wayward donkey is looking for a home - preferably his own. Today could be his lucky day.

"A man called (Friday) night and said several people told him they saw his burro on TV," said Beckey Reiter, shelter director. "He's going to come out ... and see if it's his."

Last year, the Boone County Animal Shelter responded to 70 calls of livestock running loose. Most were horses that were reunited with their owners within an hour or two.

"Clarence," as the white donkey was dubbed by the shelter's veterinarian technician, is the exception. Animal-control officers captured him Aug. 25, when the runaway donkey darted through U.S. 42 traffic near the Hathaway Road intersection in Union.

"By the time officers arrived with a livestock trailer, he had run into the bushes," Reiter said. "When he doesn't want to move, he just plants his feet. It took all three animal control officers to ... put him in the trailer."

Clarence is a white gelded donkey standing about 31/2 feet tall and weighing just over 200 pounds. He has half of a brown cross on his shoulder, a black spot on his rump and white pigmentation around his eyes.

"He loves mealtime," said Suzanne Ditto, the shelter's veterinarian technician. "When it's time to eat, he just stands by his bucket and stares at it."

Shelter officials talked to farm owners near the intersection where Clarence was found, Reiter said. However, there were no takers for the docile donkey that loves people.

After fielding dozens of phone calls and e-mails from people who wanted to adopt Clarence, the shelter started taking applications from potential owners this week.

"We're taking applications, but we'd like to get him back home to whoever loves him," Reiter said. "It's obvious this animal has been around people on a regular basis."

For information, call the Boone County Animal Shelter at (859) 586-5285.


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