Our recent close call with our Baby Donkey Myka, got me thinking of donkeys in general.
Our Myka is, in my family’s mind, a companion and a pet. That’s not at all a typical relationship for a donkey to have with a human being. There are very few people who keep donkeys as pets, and it’s my bet that most of the people who do, live right here in Southern California. Certainly most of us live in the USA.
The rest of the world
For the great majority of the rest of the world, the donkey is a work animal, and not a pet at all. This is particularly true in the developing world, where “…there are around 200 million working animals… and over half will suffer malnutrition, exhaustion, disease or injury in the course of their working lives.” (Spana.org)
The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA) is a voluntary British organization with the objective and purpose of providing veterinary care to working animals in communities around the world.
SPANA was founded in 1923 by British woman Kate Hosali and her daughter, Nina. Working mainly in North Africa, West Africa and the Middle East, SPANA helps to treat “working animals”, such as donkeys, mules, and camels, whenever they are mistreated, neglected or struggling to survive, using methods such as in-country hospitals and mobile clinics. It also aims to teach people how to prevent unnecessary harm to working animals. In 2005, SPANA treated over 370,000 animals in countries like Morocco, Mali,Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Ethiopia and Jordan.
Notable supporters of the charity include Prince Asem bin Al Nayef, SPANA’s honorary president in Jordan; Lady Odile Slynn, a former president of SPANA, Francis Newall, 2nd Baron Newall, the current president of SPANA; John Craven, a patron of the charity; and Jim Broadbent, who presented a program about the work of SPANA on This Morning in March 2006. – wikipedia
I came across SPANA in my research about donkeys. I don’t know if there is anyone else, anywhere, doing as much for donkeys as they are. I am a regular donor. As you study Spana’s site, should you decide to donate as well, I would love to hear from you.