Columbia Memorial Health (1) Careers

Soft Paws: Rescuing Donny: A tale of hope


By Aaron Clause

For Capital Region Independent Media

Donny is a donkey who was one of three equines seized under NYS Cruelty to Animals laws in the town of Catskill in January. After treating him for dehydration, weight loss and lacerations on his neck and upper hoof, Donny is now on the mend and adopted, and his previous owner could face up to a year in jail. Contributed photo

In the heart of a neglectful situation, one resilient soul stood strong – Donny the donkey. Recently rescued with the assistance of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society’s SPCA unit, Donny’s story is a testament to the crucial role these organizations play in intervening against equine cruelty.

Donny’s journey began with two haunting lacerations, one on his neck and another on the coronary band, the top of his hoof. These wounds not only marked the physical toll of neglect but also mirrored the broader issue of animal cruelty that exists in our communities.

The resilience exhibited by Donny as he has healed speaks volumes about the transformative power of compassion and intervention.

Equine cruelty often lurks in the shadows, hidden from the public eye. Without the vigilance and dedication of local SPCA units, many animals like Donny would continue to suffer in silence. The removal of Donny from his neglectful situation was not just a rescue; it was a stand against the injustice inflicted upon innocent beings.

The story of Donny underscores the importance of swift and decisive action when it comes to intervening in cases of equine cruelty. Local SPCA units act as the frontline defenders, stepping in to rescue animals facing unimaginable hardships. They are the voice for those who cannot speak, the advocates for the defenseless.

Donny’s journey from neglect to a loving home serves as an inspiration for us all. It highlights the transformative impact that local SPCA units can have on individual lives and the broader fight against animal cruelty. By supporting and empowering these organizations, we contribute to building a community that prioritizes compassion and stands united against cruelty.

Having local SPCA units is not just a luxury; it is a necessity. These organizations are the eyes and ears of our community, tirelessly working to ensure the well-being of our four-legged friends. They bridge the gap between neglect and nurturing, providing a lifeline for animals in distress.

Donny’s triumphant story reminds us of the power of intervention, the significance of local SPCA units and how grateful we can be that we have one, and the collective responsibility we bear in creating a world free from cruelty.

As we celebrate Donny’s recovery and adoption, let us also recognize and appreciate the vital role played by a community of heroes dedicated to making a difference, one rescue at a time.

Feel free to call us with any questions at 518-828-6044 or visit our website at Our food bank is open to any from the public in need of pet food or for those wishing to donate food from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Spay/neuter clinics for cats are $100 male or female, including a rabies vaccination and a 5-in-1 feline distemper combination vaccination. Nail clipping services are available every Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at the shelter for a donation of $10 for cats and $15 for dogs (currently prepaid only).

Aaron Clause is an administrative assistant at the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA. He may be contacted at

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