Jack went down the hill, without Jill, and next thing he knew he was in police custody.
Jack, a donkey, took a half-mile stroll down Jackson Avenue on Thursday.
A motorist flagged down City of Warren Police Lt. James Jordan and told him a donkey was on the road and posing a potential traffic hazard.
When Jordan found the animal it had taken a right turn onto a steep driveway under construction.
More officers and Warren County Humane Society Director Karen Kolos and Animal Handler Tera Darts arrived to help manage the donkey, but not before the animal got tangled in the rope attached to its halter and took a tumble down part of the hillside, according to Darts.
After the roll, Jack displayed some of his breed’s stubbornness and pulled Jordan a little farther downhill.
“That poor thing went through quite a bit,” Darts said. Other than one small cut, Darts didn’t find any obvious signs of injury on the donkey after the tumble.
Jack then seemed content to stand at the top of the driveway.
Darts and Kolos kept the animal calm and contacted Milton Wallace of Double Rainbow Farm in Russell.
While the officials waited for transport, the donkey took a small bite from a handful of hay offered to it. An officer remembered passing some apples on the way up the driveway and, when some were retrieved, Jack crunched through all that were offered.
With police vehicles, a humane society van, and other vehicles blocking one lane of the road, traffic was slowed.
An animal the size of a donkey on the loose poses a potential danger to traffic. “That was bigger than any deer you’re going to hit,” Darts said.
Adult donkeys can weigh well over 400 pounds.
In cases of lost large animals in the city, Darts suggested the owner call county control at 563-3500. Anyone who sees a large domesticated animal on the loose can report it to the same number, but, if the animal is on the road, Darts said a call to 911 is justified.
“Call the police,” she said. “Then call us.”
“We have experience with large animals and we have connections with Milton and other farmers who can help us,” she said.
Wallace, acting on a volunteer basis for the humane society, was prepared to take the donkey back to the Double Rainbow Farm if the owners could not be found right away.
But one passing motorist had more than a passing interest in the situation. She stopped her car and yelled up the hillside. “You guys find a donkey?” Carol Collins asked. “That’s mine.”
She drove away saying she would be right back with her husband.
Carol and Stephen Collins arrived at about the same time as Wallace pulled up with a horse trailer.
Stephen Collins yelled Jack’s name up the driveway with a disappointed tone.
“I tied him out and he took off,” Collins explained.
He thanked the officers and officials and said he could walk Jack home. Wallace volunteered to drive rather than have a man and a beast of burden walk a half-mile up the hill along the side of the road.
Jack exhibited some more of that donkey stubbornness when Wallace and Collins tried to coax him into the trailer. After several minutes the job was done and Jack was on his way home.
“I’m just glad he’s all right and nobody got hurt,” Collins said.
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
Out on the town
Jack, a donkey owned by Stephen and Carol Collins of Glade Township, poses for a picture at the top of a driveway off of Jackson Avenue where he was caught by police after escaping from his home about a half-mile away.