New Canaan Neighbors Offer Support For Ailing Donkey

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Chipper, a 20-year-old miniature donkey, is pictured here in an earlier photo. He has received an outpouring of support from New Canaan residents after being attacked by two dogs this week. Photo Credit: Bethany Zaro
Chipper, a 20-year-old miniature donkey, has received an outpouring of support from New Canaan residents since he was attacked by two dogs. Photo Credit: Bethany Zaro

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Bethany Zaro is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from her New Canaan neighbors for her pet donkey, Chipper, as the animal recovers from a dog attack.

“I can’t tell you the number of people who’ve reached out,” said Zaro, who has had the miniature donkey at her North Wilton Road home for about 10 years. 

The support includes get-well notes, phone calls from friends, a pony blanket to keep Chipper warm and bunches of carrots to eat.

It’s nice, Zaro says, “to see the community come together for something and have sympathy for [Chipper]. I never thought of the outpouring being like this. I never realized the joy they get from these donkeys.”

Chipper's condition was “stable” as of Friday afternoon, Zaro said, two days after being bitten by two dogs that strayed from a Lantern Ridge Road property. The New Canaan Office of Animal Control fined the dog's owner for allowing her animals to roam.

A veterinarian checked Chipper on Friday, and Zaro has been giving him medicine every three hours for pain and to prevent infection in the puncture wounds on his body and his left eye.

“I’m so nervous about him,” Zaro said. “He’s hanging in there. I’m just like a nervous mother with a sick kid. I want him to be OK, and I’m going to do everything I can. But you never know.”

Once Chipper gets healthy enough, Zaro said, she will ask friends who have visited with her donkeys over the years to come by and help him regain the trust that has been shaken since the attack.

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Comments (5)


The owner of the dogs was only fined!?!?!

Not only should he be made to pay the vet bills, the dogs should wither be confined permanently (since they have shown they will attack) or be destroyed.

Or will New Canaan wait until they get loose again and attack a child before they act reasonably.


Veteran - that's all the law allows on a first incident of this nature.

The owner can certainly be made to pay the vet bills, but that's done in a lawsuit (if one is needed - the owner may already have agreed to pay). The point is, though, that in these circumstances the dog warden has no legal power to order it.


He is a miniature donkey, and they make great little companions. I'm glad to see the neighbors coming together, and I hope he will make a full and speedy recovery!

Linda Johnson:

Can someone tell me why somebody would own a donkey in New Canaan? With that being said, how sad. I hope he makes a full & speedy recovery & that the owner of the dogs has the decency to pay for this poor little guys vet bills.


Our prayers are with your donkey.

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