Tiny Donkeys a Big Hit at Ozarks Fairs,
Special Ed Classes

By: Nathan Vickers

Published/Video Date: November 8, 2012


BUFFALO, Mo. -- A retired couple is earning a big reputation with some tiny animals. If you've ever seen a miniature donkey you know just how cute they can be.

They are small and docile, and that makes them an ideal animal for Jerry and Vicki Pegelow of Buffalo, Mo.

Jerry Pegelow harnesses up his donkeys at least once a week. It helps them stay well-trained and well-behaved for local fairs and shows.

PICTURE 1

"They're docile, friendly," Pegelow said. "The more you work with them, the more friendly they are. The easier they are to handle."

Pegelow's donkeys are easy to handle because they weigh just two hundred pounds each.

"We're fun sized!" he joked.

Pegelow and his wife, Vicki started raising donkeys as a retirement hobby.

"We fell in love with miniature donkeys in Spain when we visited friends there," Vicki recounted. "The little ones ran the streets like wild dogs.
PICTURE 2 They say the hobby became a full time obsession once they realized how much fun the miniature donkeys could be.

"When we got here and got retired we needed something to do," Vicki explained. "So we built the donkey Hilton that we're standing in. Then we went ahead and went donkey shopping."

These guys might look small but they can actually pull more than three times their body weight.

We're really way into it now.

Now they travel regularly from fair to fair, showing off their heritage bred animals and custom-built Mennonite harnesses. But the animals are so docile, the Pegelow's can also use their donkeys as therapy animals for visiting special education classes. The loveable, long-eared critters have even helped out at the Special Olympics.

"You have a real bad day or something," Jerry said, "you come out here and they'll pull the stress out of you. You lose all your troubles, inhibitions, all that."

We have a wonderful time with them and each one has their own personality. You really bond with them.

All because the animals are small, docile, and sweet. That's why the Pegelow's miniature operation is anything but small.

"They're easy to work with," Jerry said. "They won't push you into a wall like a horse. I have not been kicked yet in seven years." The Pegelow's will be traveling all over the Ozarks this Holiday Season.



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Vicki with Cappuccino Swirl born 10/7/2012, along side her Mom.
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