Joy the Donkey inspires hundreds with story of recovery


SMYRNA (WVII) -- An animal in Smyrna has beat the odds, miraculously recovering from a deadly situation.

Joy the donkey has brightened the lives of those who have faced hardships like she has.

"She's got a huge personality," said Brandy Clark, manager of A Life Line animal rehab and rescue.

Joy is a donkey living at A Life Line animal rescue in Smyrna.

"We rescued Joy when she was 21 days old. She had been on display at a fair," Clark said.

When Joy was young, she had a broken neck that went untreated, causing an infection that spread to her spine.

"This is all scar tissues, that was abscesses on top of abscesses on both sides of her throat," Clark said.

"We told the vet, when we first rescued her, and they said she should be put down," said Luetta Goodall, president of A Life Line. "But we said she fought this hard."

So the non-profit rescue consulted animal surgeons, like Dr. Michael Davis from New Hampshire, as well as Dr. Barrie Grant from the west coast.

"He graciously looked at her x-rays and told us what we needed for him, and he flew from California and donated his surgical time to fix her," Clark said.

Now, Joy is recovering. But even with the donated surgery and time, the procedure left A Life Line with a hefty bill - $12,000.

"We are not state funded, we are only here because of money we put into it, and the money from people's generosity," said Clark.

The non-profit is looking for help paying for Joy's care, so this miracle donkey can continue bringing smiles to the hundreds of people following her story.

"Her name certainly fits her because she gives everyone joy that is around her," said Clark.

"Something about Joy just gives them a ray of hope, this little donkey who's been through everything," said Goodall. "It was meant to be."

To donate to A Life Line, visit You can also send donations to A Life Line, 73 Smyrna Center Road, Smyrna ME 04780.

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