Target: OUR House Executive Director Rebecca Duranleau
Goal: Demand child protection group OUR House back down from plans to hold a “donkey basketball match.”
A Vermont group that investigates child abuse cases is planning on fundraising with a donkey basketball match. The group, OUR House, provides important services to families and young people in central Vermont, such as aiding survivors of sexual abuse. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year OUR House has announced it’ll be holding a community event to draw attention to the plight of sexual violence survivors. Slated for April 28, the event will also serve as a fundraiser for OUR House.
It’s a worthy cause, but sadly OUR House has chosen to mark the occasion with a match of donkey basketball. This game is much like a regular match of basketball, but with players riding donkeys. Advocates say the game is nothing more than some silly fun. After all, donkeys can be stubbornly difficult to maneuver, and are comically clumsy on a basketball court.
It’s all fun and games, until a donkey gets hurt, according to Katie Jarl of the Humane Society of the United States.
“During donkey ball events, participating animals may be subjected to a variety of abuses. Donkeys are often pushed, pulled, kicked and punched by their riders, or are injured by misthrown balls or by falls on slippery surfaces,” she argued back in 2014.
“Between exhibitions, the donkeys have little opportunity to lead a ‘normal’ life. They spend much of their lives in crowded trailers while being shipped around the country. They are usually deprived of food and water during transport. Donkeys may injure each other in the cramped trailer, and frequent trailering increases their susceptibility to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia,” she said.
OUR House Executive Director Rebecca Duranleau has told the Associated Press her organization carefully vetted their donkey provider, and said measures are in place to keep the donkeys safe during the April 28 event. However, if you believe OUR House should find a different way to fund raise, please sign our petition.
Dear Rebecca Duranleau,
Your organization, OUR House, does amazing work for families and young people in Vermont. However, we ask you to reconsider plans to hold a donkey basketball match during your fundraiser on April 28.
Donkey basketball is considered a form of animal cruelty by groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. These organizations say the game can be dangerous for both the donkeys and human participants alike. Animal rights advocates have also warned the transportation process for game donkeys can exacerbate the risk of the animals suffering from potentially life threatening illnesses like pneumonia.
The incredible work of OUR House in the Vermont community shouldn’t be tarnished by concerns over animal cruelty. In this spirit, we demand you find an alternative form of fundraising. Donkeys don’t belong on basketball courts.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: Celia Looney