Rescuing horses is all about strategy – and fortunately we have one. In today’s challenge, we have a Momma and Baby tagged separately at New Holland Auction. This means they will be auctioned off separately. Since baby is too young to live without Momma, our goal is to purchase both.
If the killbuyer were to purchase them, he would try to resell them to rescuers online at a much higher price. If they did not sell at the higher price, he would haul them off to another auction, then another and eventually they might land in a horrible place like Bowie or Bastrop killpens. And trust me, if you are a donkey, you don’t want to ship to Mexico.
Momma is unwanted. She is unhandled and clearly terrified. She will probably sell for under $100 and is a good candidate for the Zoo Guy. The baby on the other hand is cute and manageable. Therefore he will go for more (perhaps as high as $250). However, his cuteness will wane and being shuffled from auction to auction will make him untrusting and hard to handle. Plus soon his value for resale will be limited because people will start to compare the value of a cute baby donkey against the expense to castrate the donkey (which can be up to $600 in some places). SO it’s only a matter of time until he too is unwanted.
ERN’s PLAN A is to play by the rules. Our ERN volunteer will contact the auction veterinarian to have him access the pair. If the baby meets the legal criteria, Baby must be sold with Momma.
If that plan fails, PLAN B is to bid on both if they sell separate. If Baby goes for more than we can afford, we will take note of who won the bid. We will stay in the bidding war, watching the crowd closely. Once the killbuyers drop out, so will we. At that point the baby will be bought by an individual.
Next we track down whoever bought Baby and offer Momma to them. This way we keep them together. Of course, we would have them sign our contract and contact us if the choose to rehome Mamma once the Baby is weaned.
If that fails, our last hope is to buy back the baby. This is the least attractive option as it usually winds up costing ERN more….