Donkey basketball fundraiser criticized as cruel

Animal groups are upset about donkey basketball games in  Massachusetts.
Caption
Animal groups are upset about donkey basketball games in Massachusetts.

Credit: Boston25News.com

Credit: Boston25News.com

Donkeys and basketball. It's a fundraising tradition to some, but cruel to others.

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Deborah White shelters rescued animals at Winslow Farm in Norton. She criticized a Facebook discussion on the Norfolk Agricultural High School Alumni Association's page about a fundraising event called Donkey Basketball, in which players shoot for baskets while riding donkeys.

"It's just very unnatural. I can think of better ways to do fundraising," White said

But as a fundraising mechanism, donkey basketball has been around for a long time. What surprised some alums is that there was discussion about it among graduates of Norfolk Aggie, a school that preps students for such animal-caring careers as veterinarian.

Some alumni expressed concern, but one longtime veterinarian in Walpole says that's not necessarily true, provided the players aren't too heavy.

"Donkeys have been pack animals for a long time. They're used to go down the Grand Canyon and take people and supplies, so I don't see why this would be cruel to the animals," veterinarian Marge McMillan said.

Efforts to reach the alumni association were met with an apparent response on its Facebook page indicating "there have been questions about alumni fundraisers. Currently, there are no fundraisers being held."

The post then references an event in August, but a scroll down the page shows an older post alluding to the donkey basketball fundraiser. It ends with "concerns regarding the donkey basketball fundraiser have been noted and discussed and we will notify you all on this page of any updates."

White said she hopes that update won’t happen.