Donkey goes to Sheridan for new leg - KOTA Territory News

Donkey goes to Sheridan for new leg

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Stacy Smith from Minneapolis, Minnesota says she rescued Bella the donkey from a bad breeder in October.

Not long after Bella developed frostbite on her right, hind leg. To save Bella's life Smith sent Bella to Sheridan in December.

"Her amputation's been done. She's in a temporary prosthetic and she walks around just fine on it. They have to walk on it right after surgery and any human would not be walking on your stump right after surgery. You'd let it heal before you would be fitted for a prosthetic," said Dr. Ted Vlahos, the owner of Rocky Mountain Equine Hospital who did Bella's procedure.

Vlahos says he's put prosthetic legs on dozens of horses, but it's rare to get a call for a donkey.

"There's one that we helped the folks at Auburn do last year. And those are the only two that I now of in the country," said Vlahos.

Bella won't need the cast for much longer. The prosthetic leg should arrive this week and she'll get to go home a few days later.

"When the prosthetic arrives we'll just remove her cast and it clamps on just like a ski boot," said Vlahos.

"She's walking really well on the amputated leg. All of the limbs are fine. She's bright. She's trying to run away from me in the mornings when she sees me come towards her with the medications, which is always a good sign," said Dr. Alex Parkes, a veterinarian who checks on Bella every day.

Parkes says Bella's become quite popular at the hospital.

"Everybody loves her. She's such a great little character. She's adorable. Everybody just gets along great with her," said Parkes.

"Bella's a pretty special little patient. She's got a big fan club on Facebook," said Vlahos.

Bella's owner says she hopes to take Bella to hospitals and nursing homes as a therapeutic animal.

To learn more about Bella or to donate to help pay for her many medical and travel bills, you can visit her website, http://www.bellaburro.com/.

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