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California Breakfast Burritos take in unwanted donkeys and help them find forever homes

The non-profit was created in 2020 and helps 'gentle' wild or neglected donkeys.
Posted at 2:30 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 17:30:38-04

RIDGECREST CALIF. (KERO) — “There’s good people and bad people but there’s only good donkeys,” said Karin Usko.

Karin Usko and John Auborn are the founders and operators of California Breakfast Burritos, a non-profit.

“California Breakfast Burritos is the space between adopters and donkeys, where we take in donkey’s that need a home for whatever reason.”

It started out a passion project in 2015 and turned into an official non profit in 2020. The non-profit ‘gentles’ - which means train and socialize - both wild donkeys and those who come from neglect.

“Most of them need to either go on a diet or gain weight, most of them come in with trust issues, so we try to fix all this and then find them a new home."

Usko says it’s all about gaining their trust and working with the donkeys.

“They’re very very sweet, they are very forgiving, which is a reason why they are so easy to be abused, they are just incredibly sweet and therapeutic animals.”

In addition to fostering donkeys, they have some of their own, and go pack mule racing with them.

“Unlike running, when you run with a donkey it depends on your communication with the animal. How to convince the animal to run, why to run, and how fast depends on your legs and how well you communicate.”

There is a demand for what California Breakfast Burritos does, just a few miles from their grounds is the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse & Burro facility.

“Horses and donkeys, where the desert can’t have them anymore for whatever reason, if the water resources get abused by them, because they are very prolific, the BLM gathers them and puts them in these holding facilities and then processes them.”

Thousands of animals get processed in these corrals every year, which include castrating the males, vaccinating, and chipping all the animals.

“The donkeys almost all get adopted,” said John Auborn.

Usko says Donkeys have a reputation that they don’t deserve

“Donkeys are very misunderstood, and they have a terrible reputation that they didn’t earn. Usually we’d call them stubborn, and all it is, is they are very analytic, and you can tell an animal to do anything, but a donkey will always question your reasons. Is it really safe? So we don’t train them, they train us.”

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