Remove Clopper the donkey from outdoor display
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The holiday season, which is a time of love, compassion, charity, and neighborly friendliness, is once again upon us. In light of this, many organizations and other places of the like have begun preparing for the festive season.
Lasalette Shrine, a community church, in Attleboro Massachusetts, has been putting on their famed Festival of Lights display since 1953, which attracts thousands of people from all over the state and neighboring states. The illuminations began in on November 24th 2016, and run until January 1st, 2017. This year, in addition to the Festival of Lights and other holiday attractions, they have on display, on loan from a local farm (Clemmey Farm, Mansfield, MA) in an outdoor creche (pen), a live, 10 year old Jerusalem burros donkey named Don Quixote- better known by his stage name as "Clopper".
With plummeting temperatures, it is imperative that all creatures have access to warmth, adequate shelter, water and food- all of the basic needs which any creature requires in order to not only survive, but also thrive.
Domesticated donkeys are found all over the world, but prefer dry, warm areas. Donkeys' coats tend to be longer and coarser than those of the horse, and they do not
produce as much natural grease as horses. Donkeys are therefore more susceptible to
climatic conditions such as rain, wind and snow, making rugs and/or shelter necessary in the winter.
Donkeys are very social and usually live in a group called a herd. Donkeys don’t like being kept on their own although a single donkey will live quite happily with goats. Donkeys form very strong bonds with other donkeys and animals, and even short term
separation from a companion can be stressful. When a friend dies, you may even need to leave them together for at least 30 minutes to help them “understand” the loss.
When kept in pastures, donkeys should each have at least a half-acre of grazing area
available. A stable area of 3.3m/donkey should ideally also be available year
Donkeys are voracious eaters. A donkey can consume as much as 6,000 lbs. (2,722 kg) of food per year, according to The Global Invasive Species Database.
At lasalette shrine, Clopper is kept alone, for several hours everyday in an outdoor pen, as an extension of a nativity scene, regardless of the weather. And although his pen is covered, he is still susceptible to The frigid cold, wind, and other inclement weather.
On two separate visits, it has been reported that there was either a bucket with no water in it left for Clopper or a bucket full of water that had been frozen over solid. There was also, based on those visits, no food left out for him.
Though it is free to enjoy the lights and other attractions at Lasallette, there has been someone stationed right outside of his pen, accepting donations for the church, with $10 donations getting you a stuffed Clopper donkey.
This petition was created in hopes to bring awareness to the situation in which Clopper is kept, and to have him removed from the outdoor display at Lasalette and returned back to his farm.
In closing, to quote Lasallette's own website:
"Our doors and grounds are open to all who need a place to quiet down, relax and find the strength to begin anew."
I think however, that have failed to include Clopper in their compassion.
Please have a heart and extend your own compassion to Clopper this holiday season and urge lasalette Shrine to have him removed from their outdoor display. Thank you!
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