Mrs. Lily Jones Fund

At Tomten Farm and Sanctuary, a large part of our mission is to provide peace, protection and possibility for animals in need. Sometimes, however, by the time our lives converge, it is too late for us to provide possibility. The best we can do is protect that animal from future pain and give her the gift of peace in her final hours. And so, we established the Mrs. Lily Jones Fund to help us do just that:

As funds and circumstances permit, Tomten Farm and Sanctuary will facilitate and fund
humane euthanasia —a final gift—for an animal we witness exhibiting exceptional pain at auction
and who, in our opinion, is at high risk of experiencing insufferable pain
as it is transported to and awaiting slaughter.

Our Inspiration, Mrs. Lily Jones

If you follow our
Facebook page you may remember there was another donkey that we brought home from auction with rescues Figaro Brayburn and Beatrice Poppins Braymore (and her stowaway in utero baby, the now adorable Braynard Boddington Jones).

We named that high-risk donkey Mrs. Lily Jones and, for those of you who may have  missed it, this is her (condensed) story as written on Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's Facebook page in 2015.

March 14th - 15th, 2015

While we were able to save two amazing lives (and really three when you count the birth of Baby Braynard Boddington Jones 8 months later) there was a third donkey we had our eye on—a beautiful, friendly, female that was obviously with the jenny that we saved. Despite the many animals in their pen, these two sweet souls stayed within inches of one another for the duration of the auction day. It was obvious they had a real bond and with such similar looks we can only guess they were a mother & daughter duo. This sweet girl had no sticker (meaning no sale, no chance to be saved).

After spending a few moments with her, we realized that she was incredibly sore. She had foundered.*

As the day wound down, in an unlikely turn of events, we had the unforeseen opportunity to privately purchase this donkey mare who had stood there all day in extreme pain. We had the chance to keep her with her friend/mother(?) and off the wrong trailer. We had the opportunity to save her from enduring a grueling trip to Canada, tortured days in a feedlot and, ultimately, a horrible death. In an emotionally charged action, without thinking twice, we said "yes," determined to give her the humane passing she deserved in the caring hands of strangers who already loved her.

Calls were made, emergency appointment scheduled, pain killers administered, nerves blocked. In the safety and comfort of our trailer, beside her likely mother, she lay down as we made a detour from our original route to quarantine and headed directly for the clinic, all of us quietly hoping for a miracle.

Arrival at the emergency clinic was disheartening and it was obvious any medications she had been given prior to the sale had worn off. Anyone could see her pain, even when just standing still, was excruciating. Yet, she still tried her best to unload and lead, perking up at each interaction. She was a truly beautiful soul. Everything possible was done to make her comfortable and we are incredibly grateful to Dr. Bedenice and the great team at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University for providing amazing care filled with compassion and possibility. Her last hours were no doubt the most comfortable she experienced in years and I am thankful we were able to offer peace.

I am posting one of her x-rays (lower image) and for comparison another photo (upper image) of the same area in a healthy animal so you can see firsthand the difference as well as the assessment made by Dr. Bedenice. There is no doubt she would have died a horrible death had we not stepped in and one can only imagine what she would have endured prior to that fate. There is no doubt we did, in fact, offer her protection from having to face her final hours alone.

Such is the face of rescue if you take the time to look. I do not know how to fight the amount of injustice we see. I often question how we will make a difference. Then I see all our beautiful saves and I know, together, we DO make a difference, one life at a time and for Mrs. Lily Jones, that was all the difference she needed.

* Laminitis is the inflammation of a horses' hooves in the laminae which can be a major cause of lameness in many equines. Acute laminitis can lead to "founder."  It is the acute phase of laminitis and can be deadly for the animal. Basically it means the blood flow to the hooves has been compromised.


 X-ray of how a healthy equine's hoof and leg structure should look.

Mrs. Lily Jones' X-ray…
"Due to the severity of the bony changes and abnormal hoof configuration she would not have been able to lead a comfortable life. She had marked rotation of the coffin bone (last digit); with extensive bone remodeling due to long-standing disease. Terrible hoof conformation due to untreated laminitis as well. " —Dr. Berenice, Cummings School veterinarian who x-rayed and examined Mrs. Lily Jones.



We decided to donate Mrs. Lily Jones' body for student teaching at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in hopes it will help educate future veterinarians, who in turn will educate owners about proper equine care. I hope you agree that It would be selfish not to aid those who aided us (and her) well into the night in our time of need. We hope this gift will then gift others with the knowledge to do and be more and continue helping equines for years to come.

Our hearts goes out to Mrs. Lily Jones. She was less than ten years old, young in the life of a donkey. How unfair for her to suffer such sadness and hurt. We honor her passing and celebrate her short presence in our lives; it was a true gift that will have an impact on us for a long time to come. May she be standing knee deep in alfalfa and sunshine, pain -free forever more.

Thank you for offering the gift of peace to animals whose time on this earth is limited and who deserve a peaceful and humane death. They will benefit from your compassion and generosity. Please be sure to indicate your donation is for the Mrs. Lily Jones Fund. Thank you.

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Did You Know...

…That your donation to the Lily Jones Fund may also be directed toward an animal that Tomten may rescue at auction as part of this program but then, happily, surprises us when examined by the veterinarian in preparation for humane euthanasia. If said animal is diagnosed by a medical professional who then predicts that the animal would be able to have a good quality of life/additional time and/or live in sanctuary with conscientious pain management if given necessary medication, surgery, therapy, etc., your donation may be diverted toward that effort. Donating to the Mrs. Lily Jones Fund implies your consent that you trust Tomten Farm and Sanctuary to utilize your donation wisely and to the benefit of rescued animals in both situations.

Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing peace, protection and possibility to animals in need.

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