Hacienda de los Milagros
(House of Miracles)
PVDR Rescue Case #17858270
In 2009, PVDR was asked to take all of HDLM's donkeys, an AZ based "sanctuary". Upon investigation by PVDR staff it was determined that the vast majority of the donkeys were infested with parasites, both internal and external. These findings were confirmed by the "sanctuary" manager, who said: "We don't believe in poisoning our animals". The donkeys were also found in various stages of hoof neglect ranging from moderate to extreme. Other findings included: untreated tumors, obvious dental problems and malnutrition.
PVDR agreed to take all of the donkeys under certain conditions, one of which was that HDLM was to not take in anymore donkeys. PVDR felt that the neglect that was so obvious on these donkeys was justification enough to make the request. HDLM refused our terms and our offer was withdrawn.
At that time HDLM had over 120 donkeys and 30 horses on their 6 acre "sanctuary". In contrast, PVDR sanctuaries are comprised of thousands of acres. The donkeys on HDLM properties were on dry lot, meaning that they had to be hand fed each day. At the time of the 2009 inspection by PVDR staff, there was no hay present on the facility and the majority of the animals looked thin.
In 2013, PVDR was once again contacted by people representing HDLM. We were asked to intervene on the donkey's behalf and our original terms were restated. PVDR received paperwork recorded through the local county giving PVDR access to the donkeys. PVDR staff was met by police and other people claiming to be the legitimate representatives of HDLM and refused us entry. PVDR staff was called off but not before seeing extreme cases of hoof neglect as well as open sores and other health issues.
HDLM board members made many disparaging comments about PVDR and myself. The most ridiculous being that they would not surrender their donkeys to us because: "Mark Meyers takes his donkeys to slaughter." A statement not worthy of rebuttal.
For the record: PVDR is the ONLY professional animal rescue organization in the country with the resources to not only take in large numbers of donkeys but also provide transportation, nutrition, medical, dental and hoof restoration.
After being pressured by outside forces and their apparent lack of money, HDLM agreed to surrender the donkeys and horses to two horse rescues: Hoofprints of the Heart and Triple R, both of Arizona.
PVDR was then asked to take the majority of the donkeys into our care. The donkeys with the most apparent medical conditions were transferred to PVDR-Marana, a PVDR Satellite Adoption and Rescue Center, and the rest were trailered to PVDR's main Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in San Angelo, TX.
None of the worst cases witnessed by PVDR staff 4 months prior were among the surrendered donkeys. Somewe were told, were euthanized onsite because their conditions were so advanced that they could not stand. This still did not account for the many others. According to many people living near HDLM and others familiar with this case, as many as 30 of the worst cases of neglect were disposed of before the balance of the animals were surrendered.
Unlike PVDR, who tracks all donkey information including rescue case, medical conditions, physical location, adoption, etc., HDLM kept no such records. It would be impossible to state with any accuracy how many donkeys actually came into HDLM's care and what ultimately happened to them. Few, if any, were adopted out as this would have been in direct violation of HDLM's Bylaws.
This is the official report for PVDR Rescue Case #17858270
All facts stated can be verified by PVDR eye-witness accounts.
Mark Meyers, Executive Director
Zac Williams, Operations VP
As a footnote: Wynne Zaugg, founder of HDLM, has launched a new non-profit called Circle of One. It is our hope that animals are not included in its mission.