Donkey Shot at Request of Owner After Escaping Into Traffic

mendocino sheriff's cloth badgePress release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:

On 04/11/2018 at about 1530 hours the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service from the California Highway Patrol regarding a donkey running in traffic on Highway 101 near mile post marker 8.

Deputies and Animal Control officers responded to the location where they met with members of Caltrans. Also on scene was the owner of the animal.

On 03/26/2018 a motorist collided with horses on Highway 101 near this location which resulted in injuries to the driver.  Currently animal control officers are awaiting tranquilizing drugs from the Mendocino County Veterinarian however are not currently in possession of the necessary drugs to tranquilize large animals.

Upon arrival, officers surveyed the area and found the donkey was posing a significant danger to motorists on the highway.  Officers estimated the weight of the animal in excess of 500 pounds.  Officers were able to haze the animal off of the roadway onto a small hill located just above Highway 101.

The animal was extremely aggressive towards officers who were forced to continually haze the animal to keep him off of the roadway as the animal was above a blind turn on Highway 101.  The weather was deteriorating and driver visibility was rapidly declining.  Officers requested CHP to respond to the scene to complete traffic calming measures while they continued to haze the animal off the highway.

The animal made repeated attempts to enter back onto the highway and had to be hazed by officers at the scene to keep it out of traffic.  The owner of the animal was on scene and had fallen and received minor injuries while attempting to keep the animal off of the highway.

Officers spoke with the owner and learned the animal was approximately 40 years old and had never been halter broke, therefore the owner had never been able to lead the animal with a rope.  Deputies learned the animal had traveled approximately one mile down the highway from the farm where it had been kept.

Officers learned the animal was extremely aggressive and according to the owner it had injured and killed other animals on the farm.  Due to the aggressive nature of the animal, it was recently placed into a pen separating it from other animals on the farm.  After the animal had been moved to this new pen, the animal had broken out of the pen and traveled down the highway.

The owner of the animal did not have a firearm or other humane means to dispatch the animal.  The owner requested Animal Control Officers dispatch the animal stating he feared for the safety of motorists on the highway.

Due to the extreme danger to motorists the situation was posing, Animal Control Officers agreed to honor the request of the owner to put the animal down.  Animal control officers shot the animal, the initial shot injured the animal however did not kill it.  The animal traveled up the hill away from the highway as officers followed.  Officers were able to dispatch the animal once it moved further from the highway.  The owner was able to procure a small flatbed trailer and was assisted by officers in removing the animal from the property.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all motorists, we live in a rural county with ranches and livestock.  Please drive safely and be aware of the possibility of livestock on the highway when driving through horse and cattle county.



  • If you’re a violent Jackass ,you will be shot by the police

  • Concerned Trinity County Resident

    Good for the owner who recognized that this animal could do severe harm to motorists on the highway; sometimes the right decision is a hard one but this seems to be the right decision and being a horse and donkey owner, I sympathize with this owner.

  • Lone Ranger: Best comment EVER!

  • So the officials frightened the animal and then assassinated the poor creature…

    Remember this when YOU get old and cranky…

  • I can just hear the old jackass muttering and swearing as he worked his way down to the road. Damn whippersnappers speeding by I’ll slow the sons of @#$%* down

  • Possibly the MCSO deputies need to spend a bit more time on the firing range, if they can’t kill it on the first shot only wound it!!!

  • And kym deletes my sheep jokes 🙄. Jeezz

  • Hazed? Or tazed .. Kym I’m confused

  • so A donkey, a rabbi , and a priest walk into a bar….?

    • The priest says “ can I get some holy water?” No we are not that type of bar, sorry. Rabbi says “ can I get something kosher”? Bartender says,sorry we are not that type of bar! Donkey pulls up n says “hee haw!” Bartender says…that’ll be 10 bucks, but you have to turn the TV to channel 17! ThNks kym

  • It’s not the donkeys fault the way it’s brain is wired, it needed rehab or a safe space… or probation


    Dumb donkey.If he was in HumCo he would have been given probation.

  • The officers probably used an AR- 15. The reason they have large capacity magazines is because they are not very accurate, low quality bullet hoses. The 5.56 bullet is not meant to kill, it takes 2 soldiers to remove a wounded soldier from a battlefield, it was designed to produce victory by attrition. Wound but not kill.
    My lever action 30-30 is dead accurate, 9 round tube magazine, made for dropping large game. I hope they didn’t use their service weapons, no bigger than a 45cal pistol, shooting and running after the critter blasting away.

    • 44 mag lever action. Hey. It’s not a “assault “ gun though! My AR holds only 10 rounds after a complete breakdown of action. Gotta love California!

    • Sorry but AR15’s are plenty accurate, 3 to 5 inch groups at 100 yards are not out of the question. If you are willing to shell out some hard-earned cash, or some taxpayer’s hard-earned cash if you are law enforcement, a very accurate AR is easy to find. Animal control is probably rolling with 308’s too.

  • The whole event is just sad ,and wrong poor donkey

  • I was absolutely on the donkey’s side until it started acting like a jackass.

  • More disappointing humans. The owner should have never had the donkey in the first place if he didn’t know how to deal with animals that are obviously smarter than he. No haltering in 40 years. Pathetic. These animals are cantankerous by nature. This animal was obviously already bored in his “pen”, and was most likely in his mind making fun of the poor pathetic humans. Too bad there wasn’t someone on the “scene” to take him to a better place where he could’ve lived out his life in peace. Sad. As for the deputies telling people to watch out for animals on the road, if this is where you patrol shouldn’t you be equipped for animals on the road too? Why wait for CHP to arrive to redirect traffic. No orange cones? No carrots or apples?

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