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Save Your Ass Rescue Newletter



The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

A little bit about us..

I have never been happier to see a year come to an end. 2019 has been the most difficult year for Save Your Ass Long Ear rescue since our inception as a non-profit in 2007. At this time last year, I was recovering from a broken leg and messed up ankle.
This is when my friend, and most amazing employee Hannah Exel, stepped up to the plate. She has not backed down since. Hannah has been an animal lover since her childhood; nurtured at the knee of her grandfather Elbridge Bellows. His love of his draft horses got and kept Hannah especially interested in equines.

The “manure hit the fan” in April when we took in six sick donkeys which changed our workload dramatically. Hannah went into overdrive. She worked, and continues to work closely with our wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Kristen Clapp and super tech Remington Morancy, in keeping on top of what animals need and setting up appointments to make sure those needs are taken care of. Hannah is no stranger to hard work and totes hay bales and snow plows driveways and paddocks, and feeds the rescues and cares for them 5 days out of the week. She has become a fencing wizard, ensuring all animals are safely confined within beautiful, straight fence lines. It has been an amazing experience for me to see this young woman who came to work at SYA in 2015 blossom and become a real force to be reckoned with. I am proud that Hannah is not only a valued board member, but Shelter Manager, and has gotten the positive reinforcement bug big time and has become a phenomenal trainer. She is taking Ben Hart’s training course and will be starting Dr. Susan Friedman’s LLA class this month. I would not have made it through this last year without the knowledge that she had my back. The trust and friendship that has developed between us really came into the forefront in 2019. We are in this together.

I also want to thank the wonderful volunteers who help us out in so many ways. We would not be where we are today without the help of Joan Gemme, Andria Elliot, Pamela Kissell, Mike Dunham, Pamela Simmons, Logan, Jennifer Molnar, Regina Molnar, Johnny Carroll, and my amazingly supportive, fun loving B.O.D.; Hannah, Elise Paffrath, JoEllen Barton, and Jean Cross. Hannah’s fiance’ Trevor Allen, and my most amazingly supportive husband Jeff who had no idea what he started when he got me a donkey for my birthday close to thirty years ago. Lastly, but certainly in no way least; YOU!! Our SYA “family” who have been over the top with your support; both emotional and financial this year. Asking for help is very hard for me and I have hated to have had to have done it so often. You folks stepped up big time!!

Hannah and I are very grateful to you all. Best wishes to you all for a healthy, happy, peace and loved filled 2020.


Hi everyone this is Hannah chiming in as a PS!
I am going to share a little bit about Ann now..

Heres a little info on the Founder of Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue; Ann Firestone. Ann has always loved animals ever since she was a very young age, she used to rescue squirrels, chipmunks, and other small injured animals that crossed her path. Being an animal lover one of her favorite books was Brighty of the Grand Canyon. Since that book, she always wanted a donkey of her own. Ann got her first donkey in 1990. Be Bop a Lula was her name. A small brown miniature donkey with tiny little legs and sweet soft eyes. Ann and Jeff, her husband brought her to their home in South Acworth and their long journey of donkey rescue began!

She took in many other animals people couldn’t take care of anymore, mostly donkeys as you could probably guess. Being a Vet tech for many years she knew how to nurture them to health and either re-home them or keep them as part of her family.

The Rescue has been ongoing since 2006 but officially got the 501c3 status in 2007! Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue was born! Ann and the rescue have adopted out on average 30-40 animals per year, that means SYA has adopted out roughly 400 donkeys and mules, (and one miniature horse) in 13 years! She has been many things over the years, a certified dog trainer who is dedicated to positive reinforcement training, a Vet Tech, a licensed wildlife rehabber, and currently the Co-Founder and President of SYALER. This year has honestly has been a crapshoot. If not for our supporters being so generous the rescue would not still be here.

We have been working double time this whole year just to catch up and to keep the rescue going. I am fortunate to be able to go home from all the chaos at the end of the day and on weekends, but Ann is in it 24/7. I have never met some on who gave so much of themselves and their life to saving animals.  Often times Ann is up late replying to emails, sending thank you notes, and filling orders, she works very hard to keep this whole thing going! She is an amazing person who deserves to be recognized but would never mention any of this herself, so here I am!

Happy New Year to all,

Hannah Exel


SYALER eNewsletter


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

August 14, 2018

Ears the news…

These two donkeys are simply adorable and at first glance they look very happy and well cared for. They came from a hoarding situation. SYA has been able to help their owner by taking in donkeys from her as she was emotionally able to part with them over the last five years or so. There is no doubt that she loved them all dearly. The woman is in her eighties and in poor health. I am not sure of how long it’s been since she has been able to go outside as she is wheelchair bound, let alone to do anything with or for the donkeys. These two beautiful cousins had been living in a filthy barn/stall/paddock area. Their manure had not been cleaned in years. The only water they had available to them was about six inches of green, thick scummy soup, and full of rotting leaves. Their hooves look ok in this picture, but several have major flares, and one has part of a hoof wall missing. In fairness to their owner, she did have someone in to “care” for the donkeys but was obviously unable to check and see how the donkeys were faring.

As is often the case with donkeys it seems, rather than being too thin, they are very overweight. They both have fat pones on their necks and flanks. Obesity in donkeys is something we see more often than underweight animals, and is in my opinion, a form of neglect. Donkeys are NOT little horses with big ears. They are a species that has evolved very successfully over a very long period of history getting by on very little forage, of often fairly poor nutritional value, that they had to walk over miles of stony, rocky, hard ground to reach. We plop them down in rich, grassy pastures and are then surprised when they develop hoof and other health issues.

I would rather take in animals that are too thin as it is so much easier to put fat on to a donkey than to take it off. A fat donkey is not a healthy donkey. I recommend a dry lot for all donkeys for at least part of a 24 hour period. They do need to graze for their behavioral needs to be properly met, but their grazing time needs to be supervised. Please be aware that allowing a donkey to become obese is shortening their overall life span and can, and often does lead to a myriad of other health related issues.

I am very happy that we are able to take in animals like these and get them on a regulated feeding program and an exercise plan that will help them slowly lose some excess pounds. A great way to help us do this is to join our Take a Long Ear to Lunch program. This enables you to make an on-going monthly donation to SYALER. All of our money to run the rescue comes via adoption fees, merchandise sales, and donations. The grants available for donkey rescue are very specific and we do not qualify for many. Any grant writers out there who want to donate their time and expertise would be more than welcome! Your monthly gift of any amount goes right into our operating cost fund and helps with everything from buying hay, supplements, equipment, to veterinary and farrier costs. Knowing we can count on a certain amount each month is a very comforting.  To become a member of the program use the following link for complete details. Take a Long Ear to Lunch!

Summer will be winding down soon and I am looking forward to crisp, fall days already. We have a lot of fun things coming up. Our annual Benefit show will be held at Millot Green, Alstead, NH on Saturday, October 13th. A week after that I will be heading out to U.C. Davis Vet School for yet another Donkey Welfare Symposium. I am looking forward to that as it is always a wonderful chance to meet up with donkey friends I only see once a year at this event, and to learn more about how to give the best care possible to the animals we take in to the rescue. November brings Equine Affaire which is always a fun, if not exhausting gig. We are working on a couple of ideas for seminars/workshops at the rescue. We’ll keep you posted on those.

I hope to see you out and about at our upcoming events.



President & Shelter Manager








Ears in the news


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

Wow! How did it get to be July already?  It was a very long winter and spring here, with a lot of animals waiting to be adopted.  I’m very happy to say that we now have a much more reasonably sized group of individuals and bonded groups looking for new homes. Big thanks to all of our recent adopters!  I’m sure this roll will continue.

We had a lovely turnout and nice day for our first of what I hope will be many Clicker Training workshops with Lyndsey Lewis. Lyndsey is great at teaching people as well as animals.  It was a lot of fun.

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