Aroostook Co. donkey's survival story inspires 'joy'

NOW: Joy the donkey inspires on social media

SMYRNA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Luetta Goodall and Brandy Clark, of Smyrna, have rescued neglected several farm animals through their non-profit organization "A Life Line" Rescue. However, there is one animal that has captured the hearts of many people.

That animal is a one-year-old donkey named Joy. Joy's story is one of survival. Last year in July, she suffered a life-threatening neck injury before she even turned three-weeks old. Doctors said she only had a slim chance of recovering.

"One woman says the first thing they do everyday is to get on Facebook and see how Joy's doing," Clark said.

Joy began to recover after taking antibiotics and steroid treatment. However, this July she began to have trouble walking and maintaining her balance. It turned out Joy would need surgery to fix her spinal cord which was damaged during a recent growth spurt.

Goodall and Clark turned to Dr. Barrie Grant of California, who performed a live-saving surgery in New Hampshire. Goodall says it was made possible in part due to donations from the community. This week Joy is back home. She's not able to run around the farm just yet, but Joy is recovering slowly but surely.

Goodall has survived a stroke and also a neck injury, which makes it difficult for her to talk at times. She has drawn inspiration from Joy's story, calling her a fighter.

"It just has brought life to people," Goodall says.

Clark says the mother-daughter team found Joy on display at a fair in 2016, when they discovered her severe neck injury. They hope her story will inspire people in Maine to fight for stricter laws regarding farm animal abuse.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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