Bella the Burro was only two-months-old when she was taken away from her mother by a negligent breeder. She was malnourished and anemic due to the separation, and on a -15 degree Minnesota night, she suffered hypothermia and frostbite in all four legs. Luckily, a woman named Ann rescued her. She immediately brought Bella to the hospital for treatment, but vets were convinced the best thing to do would be to euthanize little burro. “They really strongly wanted to put her down,” Ann told The Huffington Post. “Donkeys don’t have any value in society.” However, Ann saw Bella’s determination to survive, and refused to let her be killed. They started a “Save Baby Bella” effort, and after a successful campaign, Bella was taken to a highly-skilled equine physician who amputated the frost-bitten leg and gave her a new lease on life!
The demand for prosthetic donkey legs is quite low, so it was difficult for Bella’s humans to find her a proper fit. Luckily, they eventually got one from Wyoming’s Hanger Clinic.
As Bella grew, she needed a prosthetic that would grow with her. Thankfully, Arise Orthotics was able to replicate Hanger’s initial design and give her a new leg that fit her adult frame.
It took several months of rehabilitation and a lot of hard work from Bella and her caretakers, but now, this lil’ burro is trotting around like a natural!
“She’s so happy,” Ann said. “She literally does not know she doesn’t have a leg.” It seems like Bella is always “smelling the roses!”
And despite everything she’s been through, she still has her amazing smile. “She has a story to tell,” Ann explained. “There are other options out there for animals, for disabled animals, they do very well, they thrive.”
Now, Bella spends her time running, playing, eating, and spending time with her Nigerian dwarf goat siblings. She has even served as an inspiration to children with disabilities, who have been encouraged by Bella’s incredible tale. This stunning little burro is living proof that with the help of kind and compassionate humans, animals with disabilities can live full and happy lives! After all, broken is only a mindset – and it’s clearly not one that Bella has.
All Image Source: Bella Burro