Categories: Business

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue: Rhonda and Jim Urquhart’s devotion to donkeys

written and photographed by Joni Kabana

Rhonda and Jim Urquhart of the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, had no idea what they were getting into when they decided to uproot from their arid Arizona homes and “move to green” after visiting an Oregon farm with its caving red barn. “I think we’re home!” exclaimed Rhonda during their first viewing, while driving past the front gate. They returned to Arizona and rounded up their dogs, loaded up a van and followed a leap of faith into lush Oregon territory.

Fast forward more than a decade to present day—it is apparent they found their calling: fostering neglected and misunderstood donkeys via the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue organization and working with the Wild Burro Project. After adopting their first two donkeys soon after moving to the 40-acre Oregon City farm, they immediately “fell in love with this invisible equine.”

“They aren’t stupid or stubborn animals,” Jim Urquhart said. “They meet a human’s energy. They aren’t fast like a horse, so they must take time to assess each situation. They are deliberate in their approach to things.”

The Urquharts welcome guests to visit and spend time with the donkeys. Recently, one of their donkeys had a positive effect on a child diagnosed with autism and another donkey expressed noticeable affection for a woman who was dying and whose last wish was to spend time around donkeys. “They know,” Rhonda Urquhart said, tears brimming in her eyes.

The Urquharts believe they have learned a great deal about forgiveness and trust from fostering numerous donkeys over the years. And in turn, their own devotion grows.

Share
Published by
1859 Magazine

Recent Posts

A mother-daughter duo writes a YA novel set on the Oregon Coast

interview by Sheila Miller Kim Cooper Findling and her daughter, 14-year-old Libby Findling, seem to have pulled off a near-impossible…

3 weeks ago

An architect and interior designer fashion a modern Tetherow home befitting the high desert

written by Melissa Dalton In this house, the formality of a traditional enclosed entryway is a thing of the past.…

4 weeks ago

Summit Arts Center’s creativity stems from a desire to preserve history in Government Camp

written by Catie Joyce-Bulay photography by Daniel Stark Most people head to Mount Hood for the epic skiing and hiking,…

4 weeks ago

A solar apiary combines solar power and pollination

written by James Sinks Honeybees dance and dip among the lightly shaded wildflowers in this patch of Rogue Valley farmland,…

4 weeks ago

New Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Nataki Garrett seeks to broaden marketing and season

What I'm Workin On interview by Sheila G. Miller The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced earlier this year that its new…

4 weeks ago

My Workspace — Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center

Rehabilitating wildlife is a way of life for this former vet tech written by Catie Joyce-Bulay photography by Joni Kabana…

4 weeks ago