With pastures withered from a lingering drought, farmers in Texas and northwest Louisiana have abandoned donkeys by the hundreds.
The nation's biggest donkey rescue group says that since March 2011, it has taken in nearly 800 donkeys abandoned in Texas, where ranchers used the animals to guard their herds. Many of the cattle and goats have been sold, largely because of the drought and the nation's economic slump. That put the donkeys out of a job.
Mark Meyers is executive director of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, the largest such group in the country. He says the drought that began in late 2010 is over now, but the flood of donkeys is continuing. He says he has taken in 600 last year and 172 so far this year.
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