Animal Services Department Offers Burros for Adoption

If you're looking for an unusual Christmas present or simply have room in your stable, the Riverside County Department of Animal Serv...


If you're looking for an unusual Christmas present or simply have room in your stable, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services might have just what you're looking for:

A burro.

Wild burros recently removed from land near the site of a new Metrolink project in the Highgrove area north of Riverside are being offered for adoption at a fee of $50, according to a news release. Nineteen burros were impounded and more are expected to be brought in as part of an ongoing operation.

"We’re trying to round up roughly 40 burros from a sub herd of the much larger herds famous in the Reche Canyon area," Animal Services Director Robert Miller said. "This herd is the only known grouping in this particular pocket of Riverside County. Our intent is to preserve this sub herd by removing it from what will be a dangerous situation."

The action was necessary because of a Metrolink project scheduled to begin in 2016. A new train will run through the area where the burros often wander. Although they are described as wild or undomesticated, officials say they exhibit very docile behavor. This is attributed to a tradition of passersby feeding them carrots and apples, drawing them closer to populated areas.

"They are very easy to be around and approach," said Animal Services field commander Rita Gutierrez. "You can pet some of them without the animal getting skittish. Can they be domesticated? Yes, but it’ll take a lot of effort and time. Eventually, they can become very tame."

Riverside County Chief Veterinarian Dr. Allan Drusys, whose expertise is in equine veterinary work, said the burros are in very good health. He, did, however, caution adopters from considering the burro similar to a horse that can be broken.

"An adopter shouldn’t think they’ll be able to put a halter on one and lead it on a rope from one place to the next," he said.

Of the 19 burros rounded up so far, two juvenile burros and one adult female have already been taken in by DonkeyLand Rescue, a local, nonprofit organization that has operated as a sanctuary for injured burros.

"The intent of this operation is to ensure we don’t lose a burro to another serious car accident or incident along the train tracks," Miller said. "We know these burros have many advocates in this area, and we want to ensure these folks that the burros are being removed to make sure they live long, healthy lives."

For more information, contact the Animal Services Department at 951-358-7387.

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Riverside County Department of Animal Services 7795595501058261568

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