You’ve heard of stray dogs and cats. But in the Lake Country area it’s been stray donkeys this week.
And as of Friday morning, the owners of the donkeys are still M.I.A.
“I’ve been doing this for so long (36 years) and normally we get a call from the owner by now,” said Mark Hess, operations manager at the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha.
Two donkeys were found wandering the streets in Waukesha and Jefferson counties – one on Wednesday on Highway 59 in the Town of Genesee and the other was located on Thursday in Oconomowoc before it was tracked down on Main Street in Ixonia at a veterinary clinic parking lot.
The first donkey is in the ownership of H.A.W.S., 701 Northview Road in Waukesha.
H.A.W.S. Director Lynn Olenik said it’s quite unusual to have a donkey in its possession.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a donkey before,” Olenik said.
Olenik said the first donkey was spotted at 11 a.m. Wednesday after a person found it roaming around their yard.
The home owners called the Waukesha County Sherriff’s Department, who then tried to chase it down before they gave up and called H.A.W.S. around 2:30 p.m. Hess arrived and began knocking on doors in the area while the donkey was tied up to a tree.
But when he had no luck finding the owner, he returned to H.A.W.S. around 8 p.m. with the miniature donkey. Hess said he doesn’t think the animal traveled many miles and believes it belongs to someone in the general vicinity in which it was found.
Hess also said it’s very strange that no one has come looking for the missing donkey, which he said is most likely a hobby farm pet.
He added that the donkey is in good health and has even been groomed recently as the clipper marks can still be seen on the animal, making it odd that no one has contacted H.A.W.S.
“I’m concerned we won’t have anyone come forward, and we’ll have to find a place for it in a week or so,” Hess said. “Normally we get a call, because the typical response for most people that have animals, like a dog or cat, is that they usually begin to panic when they are missing.
“The animals are like part of your family.”
Currently, the donkey is in an outdoor kennel that Hess said H.A.W.S. set up temporarily on Wednesday.
“There may be an explanation (why we haven’t gotten a call) and I would love to hear it,” Hess said.
Hess said he heard about the second donkey after stopping by Casserly Veterinary Services in Ixonia on Thursday. He returned to his office in Waukesha to hear that a second donkey had been located after being seen walking on railroad tracks on Highway 16.
“It’s very strange,” Hess said about the missing donkeys. “They’re quite a distance apart, so I don’t know if there’s any correlation between the two.”
Olenik said anyone with information is encouraged to call H.A.W.S. at (262) 542-8851.
“He’s got to belong to someone,” she said. “He probably just snuck off and a lot of people don’t automatically think to call the shelter for the rare and unusual.”