Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Donkey's plight helps spark donations for animal shelter


Henry, a 20-year-old miniature donkey, was seized along with five other miniature donkeys, four goats, three horses, and one sheep, from a farm in Washington Township. The animals are in foster homes.

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FREMONT -- The Humane Society of Sandusky County credits the plight of Henry the miniature donkey for tugging at animal lovers' heartstrings and generating thousands of dollars in donations.

The Fremont shelter has received upward of $5,000 since it was publicized in various news outlets and on Facebook that Henry and his barn mates were seized.

"Henry saved the day for us," said Joanne McDowell, board president of the group.

The 20-year-old donkey was dragged for nearly a mile by his former owner behind a tractor when she was trying to move him from one barn to another. He suffered severe cuts and abrasions and damage to his eye. He was treated by a veterinarian and is recovering surprisingly well, Ms. McDowell said.

"I cannot believe how well he is doing," she said.

Henry, who is in a foster home along with 13 other farm animals, was consequently seized from Jenny Secrist of Washington Township. Also removed from the farm were five additional miniature donkeys, four goats, three horses, and one sheep, all of which are being fostered by five local residents.

Donations are still needed and can be made online at by clicking on "donate" in the upper right hand corner of the Web page, or by mail to 2520 Port Clinton Rd., Fremont.

The shelter is having to dig deep into its savings just to keep the doors open, Ms. McDowell said. With ongoing fund-raising efforts, the shelter will remain open through December, but after that it is up in the air, she said.

It costs $10,000 per month to run the shelter with costs including payroll, veterinary fees, utility costs, food, and medicine. The nonprofit organization receives no government funding; all operating funds are derived from local contributions and fund-raising. It is not affiliated with the national Humane Society of the United States and receives no funds from that organization.

One current fund-raiser is a shoe drive, in which residents can drop off used pairs of shoes for which the group receives monetary credit when volunteers send them to

Besides dropping shoes at the shelter, there are donation boxes at the following locations: Mint Condition Nutrition Center, 1612 W. State St., Fremont; Jenesis Salon, 607 Walnut St., Fremont; Renaissance Salon, 1105 East State St., Fremont; Our Town's Brewin', 115 S. Main St., Clyde, and Angles Hair Studio, 123 South Main St., Clyde.

The shelter will also benefit from a drive-thru chicken dinner fund-raiser Aug. 24 at Wendt Key Realty, 1403 W. State St., Fremont. Tickets are $7.50 and are available at the shelter or Wendt Key Realty.

The group made $3,000 on two dinners held earlier this year.

Contact Tanya Irwin at: or 419-724-6066.

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