It Started with 3

The Story

I love what I do

The Story - chapter 1

In 2005, Kim Aurich’s wanted to add a mini donkey to her neighborhood mini petting zoo located at her house in Las Vegas, NV.

Kim had always had a love for animals since she was a little girl and wanted to share that love with her community. Her mini petting zoo consisted of a mini cow, 2 mini goats, 2 mini pigs and 2 mini horses. She wanted to add a mini donkey to the petting zoo and she found an ad on craigslist with mini donkeys for sale.

When she arrived at the location she was horrified to see over 50 mini donkeys shoulder to shoulder in a 20×40 horse corral with barely room to move. Animal control was alerted and the donkey hoarders were required to rehome them.

One little mini donkey that was much smaller than the rest really stood out to Kim. Because it was smaller she was really drawn to her but upon closer inspection she noticed her hooves that had gone untrimmed for years. The hooves were over 10 inches long and it looked like she was wearing “Elf Boots.” Kim felt so sorry for this cute little jenny (a female donkey) but was afraid that she might be crippled and knew that the potential vet bills would be extreme.

So she opted for a slightly larger pinto jenny named DOMINO. Domino was sweet and friendly from the beginning. She also needed her hooves trimmed but they were not extremely deformed. Kim paid $500 and into the trailer she went. Kim had her burro! Yee-haw!

Being new to burros (another name for a donkey), Kim and her husband Jon had lots to learn and some the hard way.

They returned home with Domino and bedded her down in her own stall next to Kim’s mini horses. As soon as they walked away Domino began to BRAY and BRAY and BRAY! That little burro would’t shut up! Mini burros might have small bodies but their BRAY can match or beat that of a full size donkey! They had no idea that burros were that noisy! After a full night of listening to BRAYING Jon and Kim were wondering if it would ever end. Kim suggested that maybe Domino needs a friend? Jon replied. “ I don’t think we need that BRAY times two! It has the horses for friends, it’ll be fine!”

The next day Kim called to see if they had another donkey available to hopefully comfort Domino. Can you guess? The only donkey left was the little one with the “Elf Boots.”

Kim decided that if it would comfort Domino so she would “shut up”, then Kim would take her chances on the feet.

Kim was working in her mobile dog grooming truck with her assistant at the time and didn’t have access to a trailer. They figured that that little donkey was smaller than a Great Dane or Saint Bernard so they helped her into the truck. One person in the truck with two on the butt (ass) and up she went! My assistant rode in the back with her and fed her treats to keep her still. Upon returning home they thought, “what now?” After a little encouragement the mini burro hopped out of the truck and both donkeys were over joyed to see each other again. Domino stopped braying (which was just her way of morning the loss of her family).

“I learned from further donkey education that donkey’s NEED a second donkey or a herd to live with.”

Domino’s new, old friend, SUZIE needed 3 visits from the farrier to remove the skis from her feet and once removed you could never tell she has a foot problem.

The two Jennys were awesome together and loved by many visitors. It was decided that they wanted to add some more minis to the family and they came across a jackass on Craig’s list. So, BLACK JACK was added to the herd. He did not have the sweet temperament that the Jennys did but he knew why he was there! The next spring, Domino, the only one to conceive, quietly hid out to give birth in the wee hours of the morning while everyone slept. As Kim approached Domino she could tell that Domino and her foal did not survive. Apparently the foal’s front leg got caught during birth. Kim was devastated.

The following Christmas Black Jack was part of a family nativity play. The gentleman that borrowed Black Jack said his kids had fallen in love the little jack and asked if he was for sale. After loosing Domino, she wasn’t going to risk loosing Suzie too, so she agreed to sell Back Jack.

Now they were back to only one donkey but Suzie had already made a friendship with Kim’s mini pinto stallion, Mocha. The two remained friends for many years until Suzie’s passing on Mother’s Day 2019 at the age of 36 years old. In her lifetime she cuddled many children and was the favorite of the petting zoo. Suzie was an ambassador for her breed, participating in Goldfield Days, parades and nativity scenes. She never met someone she didn’t like.

Luckily, Domino had loudly and consistently brayed, which led them to adopt sweet, little Suzie so many years ago. Suzie had a heart of gold! She was only sick one time in the whole 15+ years that she was with Kim and family.

“To know a donkey, you need to own one. Those who don’t, don’t know what they’re missing.” Kim Aurich

Because of their life changing experience with those 3 little burros the Aurich Family with never be burro-less ever again.

How can I continue to help these wonderful animals?

The Story - chapter 2

Coming Soon