The story of Billy the burro is a sad one. A lonely burro abandoned in the middle of nowhere, on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land between Battle Mountain and Elko. Alone and unable to find enough forage and water to survive, he grew thin. His hooves grew long. He stood by the road waiting for someone to come and save him.
The story of Billy is also a happy one ... a story of people from all different walks of life coming together to save a little burro who needed a friend.
Employees of a mining operation became increasingly concerned about Billy. They always saw him standing by the road. He would climb into your truck if you let him, they said. Billy was very hungry, not only for food but also for companionship. The employees called the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages the remote land on which Billy was dumped. The BLM wild horse specialist, Shawna Richardson, reached out to The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) about finding a home for Billy.
Meanwhile, the miners became so concerned with Billy that they convinced a local ranch manager to bring him home, where he would be safe and fed until a permanent solution could be found.
Everyone wanted to find Billy a good home. AWHPC knew immediately where to turn - to its coalition partner, the Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE) sanctuary in Grass Valley, CA. Already home to rescued burros, we knew the sanctuary would be a little slice of heaven for Billy the burro. An anonymous donor who founded The Platero Project, a program dedicated to promoting awareness about America's wild burros and keeping them wild and free on the range, stepped forward to fund the rescue.
Because Billy was not a wild burro, he was not protected under federal law. As a result, he was classified as "estray livestock," and his fate was in the hands of the Nevada Department of Agriculture, which agreed to allow us to purchase him directly in order to spare Billy the trauma of being run through the livestock auction.
That was one year ago. Billy is now adjusting beautifully to his life at the sanctuary. His weight is perfect, his coat is shiny - he looks so different than when he first arrived at the sanctuary as a very malnourished and depressed burro. He is extremely connected to his herd of five other burros. His best friend, Platero, and he are constantly playing and running around together in the burro pasture. CAPE Director, JP Novic said, "Billy has a distinctive bray that sounds more like a honking fog horn than a hee-haw. He brings a huge smile to everyone's face and we are so lucky to have him at the sanctuary."
After being dumped alone, in the wilds of Nevada, Billy was rescued thanks to great teamwork by the BLM, employees of the mining operation, the manager of the local ranch, the Nevada Department of Agriculture, AWHPC, the Center for Animal Protection and Education, and thanks to the generosity of the anonymous donor. It took a village to save this little burro, and he is now living out his life at a peaceful and serene sanctuary!
America's burros are protected by law, as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West," but they are facing a genetic crisis caused by small and geographically dispersed populations. This could lead to their extinction in the US. The Platero Project, funded by an anonymous donor and managed by AWHPC, is dedicated to elevating the status of burros and preserving and protecting these icons of the West by keeping them wild.
If you would like to support animals like Billy, please visit www.capeanimals.org/make-a-donation1
Featured on the DoDo here: https://www.thedodo.com/on-the-farm/people-are-inviting-farm-animals-onto-zoom-calls
Papa Antonio ❤️ Thank you for joining us in the celebration of senior animals this week! We hope you enjoyed getting to know some of the amazing older animals who CAPE has rescued. It is a total joy and honor to help these animals thrive into their golden years.
Thank you American Wild Horse Campaign for collaborating on Papa Antonio’s rescue and helping him flourish for the rest of his life.
If you would like to support CAPE’s many rescue programs, please donate www.capeanimals.org/make-a-donation1.html
❤️Day 7 of CAPE’s Celebrate Senior Animals Week!!🐴This sweet 22 year old man has been through a lot. He once roamed free on public land, but he was rounded up by the BLM and separated from his family. He spent eight months in a holding pen in a Nevada prison getting little to no socialization.
We can only imagine how much stress and trauma he must’ve experienced. After rescuing Papa Antonio, in collaboration with American Wild Horse Campaign, he stayed with CAPE’s trusted vet for four weeks. She worked on building trust gently, which was challenging at first because he did NOT want to be touched. After spending time learning trust and getting a full health check, Papa came to live at his forever home at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary.
The CAPE staff have been working daily to gain his trust and get him comfortable. After a month of working on this, Papa will now come right up to the staff for scratches and love. He follows us as we walk around the pasture and he he loves a snuggle from CAPE’s Animal Care Director, Jackie.
Papa has been introduced to the rescued herd slowly and we will show you a little later today how well it’s been going! Want to learn more about Papa Antonio? Please visit www.capeanimals.org/burros.html
🌈Day 2 of CAPE’s Celebrate Senior Animals Week!
Celina is a wild burro who lived in a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holding pen for years before being rescued by CAPE. While in the BLM holding pen, she was terrified of her new surroundings and untrusting of the humans who cruelly rounded her up.
Thanks to the work of CAPE staff and volunteers, Celina now lives her golden years running with the herd of rescued burros at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary. At an approximate age of 32, Celina still retains some of her wildness, but with time, CAPE’s Animal Caregivers have earned her trust.
Celina is especially bonded with Pippy, who was rescued from the same holding pen.. She spends her days grazing close to the herd and can be seen playfully nuzzling some of the other rescued burros.
We are thankful that we could provide her with a peaceful life. If you’d like to support animals like Celina, please visit: https://www.capeanimals.org/make-a-donation.html
Help CAPE Celebrate Senior Animals Week!
Meet CAPE's Newest Rescue
An Update on Lorrie
“"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."