Friday, July 21, 2017

The Little Women are welcomed with open arms at MSSPA by Jennifer Davis

The term, The Little Women, often invokes sweet memories of the March sisters from the novel of the same name written by Louisa May Alcott. However, the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals (MSSPA), located at 279 River Road in Windham, has recently welcomed a group of seven beautiful donkeys that the staff pleasantly refers to as The Little Women.

The Little Women arrived at MSSPA at the end of June. For over 40 years, MSSPA has been providing a home for horses that have been neglected or abused in Maine and nurses them back to health and then can hopefully be adopted. Having donkeys is a new experience for MSSPA, but these donkeys were welcomed with open arms.

Abby, Star, Lilly, Cindy, Buttercup, Kit, and Martina are the names of the seven donkeys currently living among the many horses at MSSPA. I had a chance to visit The Little Women this past week, when I was met by Jessica Braun and given a tour of the donkeys and the MSSPA facility. 

“The donkeys arrived at the MSSPA at the end of June,” Braun said. “They will remain in quarantine
for 28 days to ensure that they do have anything contagious that could spread to the rest of the herd.”  
Braun could not provide specifics as to exactly why the donkeys came to MSSPA. “The MSSPA do not share specifics regarding any animal's arrival at the farm and the circumstances that lead to their seizure or surrender,” Braun said. “This is for confidentiality and legal reasons.”  No matter what the reasoning for the donkeys’ arrival, they are already loved by the staff.

Upon admission to MSSPA, each donkey had a checkup and a plan was put in place for their care and hopeful adoption. If the donkeys, or any other animal are not adopted, they remain at MSSPA for the remainder of their lives where they will be cared for there by the staff and the many volunteers.  

“Upon arrival, each donkey was seen by a vet and farrier [a specialist in equine hoof care],” Braun said. “In conjunction with the barn manager, Jeff Greenleaf, individualized plans were created. Following quarantine, the donkeys may stay however long it takes to get healthy. It is at the discretion of the vet and barn manager to determine if and when any animal is fit to leave the farm to join a family.”  

The MSSPA has an in-depth adoption process for the animals in their facility to ensure the perfect home for each animal. The Little Women are about nineteen years old but have plenty of life and love to share with a family, as donkeys have an average lifespan of thirty or more years. 

“The adoption process begins by interested people completing the preliminary adoption application found on the MSSPA website,” Braun states. “The adoption committee meets regularly to review applications. They conduct interviews, check references and perform site visits to the potential home. The goal of adoption is to find the best fit for the animal and the adopter.” is open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day in June, July, and August and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily for the remainder of the year. Anyone can visit during these times. MSSPA is also available to set up group tours with a staff member who can share a little bit about each animal and the facility.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Comments Help Improve Your Community.