Although Payton Dankworth had never thought she would become a parent to a lonely baby donkey one day, she is one now, and a very loving one at that.

Payton Dankworth

Dankworth, a high school junior from Texas, got a call two weeks ago from a friend who lives on a horse ranch. Apparently, he had come across a starving baby donkey while out for a ride. The poor donkey was abandoned by his mother and really needed help. As he knew he couldn’t care for the animal himself, he called Dankworth for help.

“He asked if I would like to try to keep him alive,” Dankworth said. “He told me that he wasn’t in very good health and he probably wouldn’t make it through the night. I am such an animal lover, and there was no way I was gonna let that baby die.”

That is when Dankworth encountered Jack, the donkey for the first time.

Payton Dankworth

The emaciated donkey was very uncomfortable in his new home for the first night. But Dankworth was there with him, up all night, cuddling and introducing him to food slowly.

Payton Dankworth

Then, in no time, they started forming a strong bond. Jack finally felt like he was at home.

Payton Dankworth

“This was the first time I have ever taken care of a donkey,” Dankworth said.

Each passing day, Jack became more and more strong and Dankworth proved to be the perfect mom to him.

Payton Dankworth

“Jack has shown me that he depends on me, and he really does,” Dankworth said. “He gets a bottle about every two hours, and when I feed him it just makes me happy.”

She had fed Jack regularly and showered him with all the love and affection she could. And finally, Jack began showing his true personality.

Payton Dankworth

It has now been a few weeks after Jack’s rescue and he is thriving!

Jack is an important member of the Dankworth family, although that’s pretty unusual.

Payton Dankworth

“He’s fitting in so well!” Dankworth said. “I take Jack on walks and he rides in my car with me, too. He’s kinda like a dog and follows me everywhere.”

Payton Dankworth

Although adopting a donkey was completely out of thought for the Dankworth family, they luckily had enough space in their property to keep him for a lifetime!

In fact, it’s not just Dankworth who changed Jack’s life. He has changed her life too!

Payton Dankworth

Dankworth was not sure about what field she was going to study in after her high school graduation. But because of Jack, she aspires to help other creatures for a living.

“Jack has really inspired me to go into that because I just love animals,” she said. “Seeing how far he has come — from barely having enough strength to stand up to now being able to run around and chase my dogs — is one of the greatest things I could ever ask for. I’m so proud.”

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