Wild Horse Education

Special Home Needed for Donkey (Marietta, 2017)

Marietta Burro Range: The range is located south east of Hawthorne, Nevada and encompasses nearly 66,500 acres of public land. Marietta is a Burro Range (an upper case “R”). This area is a great place to see wild burros in the old mining town and is one of the few places in the West managed “principally, but not exclusively” for burros. This area is an old mining area, open mine shafts, shaky buildings, unstable rock ruins and rattlesnakes are common. But is a great off the beaten path place for long-ear lovers to visit.

BLM does roundups of burros in Marietta as the “Appropriate Management Level” (AML) they set is 78-104. In 2017, one such roundup took place.

EDIT: Please contact Palomino Valley Center north of Reno to check on the status of “Petunia” or to get an application approved for the other longears captured and in need of homes. 

EDIT: Petunia has a home! 

This burro was captured in 2017 as a 2 or 3 year old. 

We rarely do stories like this one, but this girl needs a special burro savvy place to call home. 

There is a tendency to treat donkeys as if they are small horses, but donkeys are different. Donkeys have different needs physically, mentally and emotionally. If you know donkeys, you know her coloring is pretty special.

We started calling her “Petunia” today. She has a really sweet side.

I regularly visit holding facilities to try to track condition of horses and burros coming in from range, get tag numbers for prospective adopters, etc.

For over a year, when I pulled into PVC there has been this white donkey in the pen near the office; sometimes other burros are in there, sometimes just her.

Every time a door opens (car, office, port-a-potty) she snorts. I started calling her Miss Snorty Pants. When you walk towards her she snorts, get closer she does a bit of display, gives you the “stink eye” and then when you say “C’mon” and put your hand on the panel she walks right over and gives her shoulder for scratches… and she just melts.

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I thought maybe she had been “adopted” by the facility as kind of a mascot. I finally asked about her.

Petuna was captured in 2017. She was adopted pretty quickly. Early on, she (it was said) killed a dog and a goat. However, her adopter kept her anyway in a pen by herself. About 16 months ago, the adopter moved and could not take the burro. This pretty girl is now around 9 years old.

The adopter never applied for title. If the burro had been titled, BLM could not have taken her back.

BLM wants Petunia to go to a burro savvy home and will not approve a home for her if there are small children present or small animals. Even though they have a respectful “caution” for her, we can tell they really want her to go where she can have a successful placement and get some “loving.”

BTW: She likes carrots. I brought one up for her when I gave her the second round of “fly spray on a rag.”

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We were asked yesterday if we would return today to try to get some fly spray on her (her face was covered in flies) because she was letting us touch her pretty much all over including her midline (underside). We soaked rags and were able to get her face, ears, neck, half her body and one of her front legs done through the panels. She accepts pets from two people at the same time on opposites sides and even seemed to “take a nap” resting her head on Marie’s arm (she seemed to feel safe). I was able to rub the base of her ears, scratch the length of her ears and remove eye “buggers.” Marie was able to run her hand down her front legs. So she may have killed a dog (burros will do that), she seems to have a really calm side.

Sanctuary would be awesome for her. A burro savvy home could give her the time and attention she deserves.

We started calling her Petunia today because… we were remarking on how long she has “had to be strong and tough,” but she has a real soft side. Jokingly we said she needs someone to put a lilac ribbon in her hair and feed her carrots on Sunday so her soft side can shine. However, never forget she has that smart, tough and self-protective instinct in spades.

If you know someone looking to add a burro to their burro clan contact Palomino Valley Center north of Reno. 

If you live in the area and want to help show her people can be kind and want to give her a soft pat and and scratch, it might help her acclimate a bit and help with boredom. Boredom is bad, bad, bad, for donkeys.

EDIT: Petunia has a home!

Our team is covering roundups and working on the backside. We will have more soon. We are trying to make time to catch up on updating all of you.

If you are a burro lover, don’t forget that there is an open comment period for Three Fingers in AZ, the largest burro herd in the US. Comments close October 11. You can find more info HERE.

Our wild ones should live free on the range with the families they hold dear. Our wild ones should also live without abuse. WHE carries ongoing litigation to force BLM into open public process to create an enforceable welfare standard for our treasured wild ones. 

Thank you for keeping us in the fight!

As holiday shopping begins, you might be able to find a gift for yourself or the horse lover in your life at our WHE storefront on Zazzle. All proceeds support our work for our wild ones. HERE. 

Our new calendar is available for order on Zazzle, click image.


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Black Mountain, Hardtrigger, Sands Basin

Devils Garden (USFS)




Categories: Wild Horse Education