As a society, we have a moral responsibility toward taking care of our seniors and that includes our animal seniors as well! When one senior donkey was going to be sent over to the slaughterhouse, animal rescuers knew that they couldn’t let her life end this way. So rescuers promptly headed over to save her. However, they had no idea that thanks to their help this sweet donkey would soon meet a friend that would change her life forever.
20. Senior Donkey
Sweet donkey Hattie was around 34-years-old when she was put up for auction. The auction that she was placed into was for a slaughterhouse. This was a terrible way for a donkey who had lived so long to go.
19. Treated Horribly
Not only was Hattie being placed into a horrible auction, but it was also obvious that she had been treated poorly throughout her entire life. The poor donkey was significantly underweight and her hooves were long and overgrown. No one had been looking out for her well-being.
18. Animal Rescuers
When animal rescuers from Longhopes Donkey Shelter in Bennett, Colorado found out about Hattie they were brokenhearted over her. They knew that they had to step in and rescue her life as well as the lives of all of the other donkeys that were going to be sold in the auction. So they headed over and began to take the donkeys away.
17. Successful Rescue
The animal rescuers were able to save the lives of all of the donkeys that were going to be sold off to the slaughterhouses. Once they had gathered up all of the donkeys, they were then able to place them up for adoption. Many people were interested in adopting these amazing donkeys!
16. Different Situation
It was incredible satisfying knowing that all of the donkeys were placed into better homes that would now care for them. However, when it came to Hattie, the animal rescuers decided to go about things in a different way. They decided that they wouldn’t place Hattie up for adoption.
15. Hattie’s New Life
Animal rescuers decided that, due to Hattie’s age, it would be better if she wasn’t adopted. They decided that she would continue to live with the rescue for the rest of her life. That way she would be looked after and cared for throughout her old age.
14. Important Decision
“We made that decision because we believe that animals should be treated with dignity, love, and respect,” Victoria Schroeder, executive director at Longhopes Donkey Shelter, told The Dodo. “We felt that Hattie did not receive that prior in her life and that’s why someone dumped her to be slaughtered. But since the first day she arrived at Longhopes, she has changed everyone’s life.”
13. Living Well
Hattie has now been living at the animal rescue for a few years. She has been greatly enjoying her life while at the rescue and her personality has only continued to shine through more and more. The rescue workers have been so happily surprised by just how sweet, caring, and patient Hattie is.
12. Extra Senses
Not only is Hattie extra sweet and patient, but she also seems to be able to sense when someone is in need of some extra help or care. She has taken on the role of foster mom to many of the young abandoned or orphaned donkeys that are brought into the rescue. She is able to sense when someone is feeling anxious or upset – both with donkeys and humans!
11. A True Teacher
“We usually have our brand-new volunteers learn their skills with Hattie,” Schroeder said. “Other donkeys sometimes get nervous when a new volunteer handles them. But Hattie knows that they are new and she lets them pick up her hooves, brush her, lead her, without difficulty. She is truly a teacher here. She always shows us the way and makes us understand that everyone needs time to learn new things and it’s OK when we make mistakes … we will get it next time.”
10. New Friend
Thanks to her role as mother and helper to all, Hattie was able to make a new friend that would greatly impact her life. Another donkey named Gertie was rescued from the same place Hattie was in just a few months later. Gertie was still a young donkey, so she had been put up for adoption and animal rescuers were happy that Gertie was finally living a good life.
9. Bad News
Unfortunately, just a few years later, the rescue center got some pretty bad news surrounding Gertie. It seems that her adoptive owner had grown tired of her and had her placed in a boarding facility where she was all alone. She had no other donkeys to socialize with and she was alone and desperately lonely.
8. Bringing Her Back
“The moment we parked the truck and trailer, we could see her run from where we were,” Schroeder said. “Gertie saw us and she couldn’t believe it. She started braying so loud and was so anxious to come with us. We hugged her, kissed her, cried with her. We told her everything would be OK now and we loaded her in our trailer. We brought her back and that’s when she went to Hattie to get some comfort.”
7. Living There Forever
The shelter decided that Gertie would also become a permanent residence at their facility. They realized that the poor donkey had gone through enough hardship and deserved to live a peaceful life. When she was finally brought over to Hattie, Gertie immediately fell in love with her. It was a stunning relationship that soon blossomed!
6. Best Friends
Gertie immediately fell in love with Hattie and soon refused to leave her side. Even after Gertie’s anxiety subsided, she still always wanted to be around Hattie. The two of them are the best of friends and can always be spotted together.
5. Comforting Friend
Now, Hattie has found a friend that is always around to make sure that she is okay too. The animal rescue is so happy with how the friendship between Hattie and Gertie bloomed. After all, it’s not everyday you see a friendship so strong shared between animals that have had such similar pasts.
4. Always Together
“They are always together and they cry nonstop when they get separated,” Schroeder said. “They eat together in the same stall every morning. And in the winter, even with blankets on, they still stand right next to each other for comfort.”
3. Different Personalities
Gertie and Hattie love to run around and play on the property when they are together. Hattie is definitely more on the outgoing side and loves to interact with people, however, this has helped shy Gertie get more comfortable with interacting. Everyone in the shelter knows that these two are the inseparable duo.
2. Waiting for Food
“They hang out by the door and window of where their food is stored, and when I go in there to get their food ready, Hattie opens the door. Literally,” Schroeder said. “They also bray really loud right on the window to let you know it’s breakfast time!”
1. A Special Bond
Hattie and Gertie have both been through so much hardships in their lives. The two of them deserve their new lives of playing, eating, and thoroughly enjoying their time here on earth! It is a miracle that the two of them were able to meet and bond so amazingly.