Texas law says sheriff's offices must take responsibility for stray livestock ...
It's tough because sheriff's deputies either have to divert time and resources to catching and hauling the animals, or they have to hire someone else to do it ...
And the costs keep adding up.
Meet Pappy ... A peppy donkey who's temporarily living at a facility in Burk.
"Pappy's a nice donkey."
Wichita County Sheriff's Office
"I just want to find him a home. I feel sorry for him."
Pappy's not alone. All throughout Texoma counties, people are abandoning donkeys, horses, & other livestock -- in increasing numbers.
WCSO Patrol Captain
"Then the taxpayers end up having to take care of them in some sort of way -- just like we have right here."
The costs add up to feed, water, & house animals. Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons says his county has spent more than 12- hundred dollars in the last year caring for abandoned donkeys and a few goats.
Clay County Sheriff
"You have to pay somebody to go get em, you have to pay somebody to house em, & then when you have an auction to auction the animal ... Nobody's there to purchase the animal!"
"Nobody wants donkeys ... they don't want horses ... cows are fine, cause you have a cow auction sale that you can take them to & they have a good value. But a lot of these horses & donkeys -- there's not any value to em these days."
As if on cue ... Pappy seemed to express his disdain for that sentiment:
"There's no market for a donkey ..." "He's sad! He wants a new home!" "Mm hmm."
"When you have bales of hay selling for 12 & 15 dollars a bale, round bales selling for up to 150, 180 dollars a bale, some of these folks that have these animals that don't have a use for these animals find it hard to take care of them."
As unfortunate as that may be ... counties say one thing's for certain:
"I stress this -- we can't ignore the problem. It will not go away."
If you're interested in adopting pappy, call the Wichita County Sheriff's Office at 766-8100.
Officials say donkeys are good at protecting other livestock from coyotes.
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