- Dr. Jason BottiglieriSuperintendant
- Tina PickettState Representative
- Gene YawState Senator
- Joseph McMahonSchool Board
STATE WIDE BAN Donkey Basketball in ALL our schools and at Wyalusing School District
STATEWIDE BAN for PA! Stop and Ban donkey basketball at the Wyalusing Valley Junior-Senior High School District on April 6th and ALL school who participate in Pennsylvania.
We are not the first peaceful protestors in this event so I have learned and yet it still continues. And we will not be the last!
We and our community of donkey owners are strongly offended by use of donkey basketball as a fund raising event.
Many of us have dedicated our time, property and resources to provide rescues & rehabilitation for donkeys in the slaughter pipeline across the USA and have rescued many from near starvation, abuse and neglect. Saving the lives of some very scared, sick donkeys.
The donkey is a Heritage animal. My mission is to improve the plight of the American Donkey by changing the way donkeys are viewed and dispel a general and inaccurate reputation. Unfortunately, the donkey’s reputation is unjust. They are ridiculed and considered to be second class equines. To the contrary, they are extremely intelligent, discerning and stoical animals who are very sensitive to their environment and the people around them. They mourn the loss of their own just as you and I, I have seen this first hand. Their “stubborn” reputation is a result of their intelligence. They are very observant and cautious and will resist if they find a situation to be worthy of caution. Their true nature is playful, forgiving, noble and very loyal. They typically adore children. Think big dog.
I do not consider myself to be an “animal activist” but I am advocate for animals when they are in circumstances of neglect, abuse or placed in situations that could be harmful both physically and mentally. Donkey basketball clearly falls into the latter category. Several aspects of this event are of concern. First, if weight is evenly distributed, donkeys can comfortably pack or ride 20% of their body weight which puts the max load for a donkey at 25-130 lbs. Considering the average weight of most adult and youth participants this becomes an issue. Also, donkeys are very emotional animals. Forcing them to be in a chaotic environment where they are jumped on, tugged on, kicked and whipped is abusive treatment of these kind companion animals. Certainly, our desire is to encourage the public to enjoy the company of donkeys in play and sport but this event pushes the boundaries of mutual respect and is lacking sportsmanship. We consider donkey basketball to be a form of bullying.
Donkey basketball is usually not employing well trained donkeys who have a relationship with their rider. They are random heavy riders on small donkeys who just jump up there. Donkeys, because of their stoic nature, may not respond at all. Does not mean they aren't scared. They do not understand what is going on, because they have no preparation, no training, and no relationship with their rider. Again, this spot is only for laughs, and it demeans the donkeys as well. Donkeys, on the other hand, have very thin skin! They also have very delicate joints and ligaments. In Donkey Basketball, the donkeys are usually ridden on a hard, slick surface by people who are FAR FAR too large to be on them. Anyone who knows anything about equine joints understands that this will cause lasting damage over time as we all know, donkeys are one of the MOST abused and neglected domestic animals on our planet. By putting them into spots that demean them and only give them value for laughs at their expense, we are perpetuating the stereotypes that have kept donkeys low in the esteem of humans for so long. It also perpetuates the myth that donkeys are stupid and not worth much unless we can laugh at them or harm them. This is NOT ok. Some of us work very hard to clear misconceptions about donkeys and what they can do.
Historically, the donkey’s roll spans thousands of years across the globe. From a religious standpoint, the donkey served as the Biblical vehicle for Mary and Jesus. The donkey carried our savior to the cross and stood with him. The donkey is mentioned 132 times in the bible and is the only animal that was given a voice.
Revered by Kings and Queens for their loyalty, countless donkeys are interned beside Royalty.
The contributions donkeys made to the development of the United States are vast. They served as our tool in multiple industries such as construction, logging, mining, farming and as soldiers during war time. Many parts of our country were created on the backs of donkeys. Donkeys have paid their dues to this country, if nothing else, we owe them respect.
Therefore, rather than supporting mistreatment and disrespect we encourage you to educate your students about the wonderful attributes and contributions of the American Donkey, as well as , the enormous role donkeys continue to play in development throughout the world. We assure you, it is a fascinating and heartwarming study.
I believe that a person or community who contributes to; or condones, the activity of using these delightful heritage creatures for the purpose of cruel entertainment does not understand their gracious temperament. We look upon these situations as an opportunity to enlighten the public, thereby, improving the plight of the American Donkey. We respectfully request your assistance with our mission.
I hope I have outlined why exactly it is abuse to exploit donkeys for our pleasure and excitement.
I sincerely ask you at the Wyalusing Valley School District to cancel this event and find an alternative fundraising method. It is not about the almighty dollar. It is about animals matter, donkeys matter, humane activities matter. Not to mention that it has started to become viral on social media. Bringing attention to a small town school with many negative comments against this horrible act of cruelty. I ask that you to step up and be the better school district, cancel and ban donkey basketball from your school on April 6th, 2017 and thereafter.
I have been told that this has been protested before, but yet it still continues to go on every year in our public schools. I conducted a peaceful protest yet the Wyalusing School has made it an example of exactly why this should not be allowed in our schools by bullying myself and others like me.
I have also been threatened by several students and parents on this matter as well as comments made to even "Maybe we should whip the donkeys."
This may help you if you ever need to explain to another why these "sports" are not ok.
Thank you for your time in this matter,
From the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada:
Animal Use and Abuse
The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada does not support, endorse or condone donkey-roping.
In this terrifying practice, donkeys are crammed into a cattle chute, shocked by an electrified prod to make them run, and then are roped by their head and hind legs again, and again.
The fact the donkeys need to be prodded in order to run speaks to the stress and pain they suffer by being forced to participate in this activity. Hurting and frightening an animal in order to force it to do one’s will is not only unacceptable but by definition is criminal animal abuse. It is downright cruel.
Roping donkeys often are forced to participate until they cannot continue either from exhaustion or injury. Severe rope burns, to the point of bleeding, have been found on many donkeys rescued from these events. In addition, donkeys are sensitive equines and their temperaments are completely unsuited to an event such as this. There is potential, in donkey-roping, for these gentle animals to become literally terrified to death.
For more information about donkey roping and its effects, visit: http://donkeysdeservedignity.weebly.com/1/archives/09-2012/1.html
Donkey Baseball and/or Basketball
During donkey ball activities, animals are often slapped, dragged and kicked by children or adults who usually have no experience handling them. The lack of skill, combined with the adrenaline of competition and the excitement of the crowd, creates an environment with potential for extreme abuse. As well, most participants are much too heavy for the donkeys they are riding. According to The Donkey Sanctuary in the UK, the average standard donkey (the size usually used for these events) should carry no more than 110lbs. Any more weight than that can cause permanent damage to tendons, ligaments and the skeletal structure.
Donkey basketball and baseball events send young people the message that it is OK to abuse and humiliate those who are in a helpless condition. Children who are exposed to animal abuse are taught the dangerous lesson that cruelty is acceptable. (*from: www.express.co.uk/posts/view/188848/Why-does-the-world-pick-on-the-donkey
The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada does not support, endorse or condone donkey basketball or donkey baseball. In physical and psychological terms, basketball and baseball were created by and for human beings. The naturally cautious, gentle temperament of donkeys is in no way suited to the competitive, rapid movements required during the playing of these sports. In addition, too often donkeys are included because it is anticipated that their participation will be seen as a source of derisive humor by the spectators. It is both cruel and inhumane to involve and treat these gentle equines in this way
"The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men."
Dr. Jason Bottiglieri
- State Representative
- State Senator
- School Board
STOP Donkey Basketball in our schools and other organizations that use this event
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