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New Canaan Donkey Recovers After Attack By Dogs

Bethany Zaro of New Canaan stands with her donkeys Chipper, left, and Poppy. Chipper has recovered after being attacked by a pair of dogs last month. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason
Chipper, left, the miniature donkey recovering from an attack by dogs, walks along owner Bethany Zaro's field followed by his friend Poppy, a full-size donkey. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason
Chipper the donkey stays close by owner Bethany Zaro. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason
Poppy, right, the full-size donkey owned by Bethany Zaro of New Canaan, walks in front of her friend Chipper to protect him. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

NEW CANAAN, Conn.  – New Canaan’s favorite donkey, Chipper, is all better and mostly back to normal a month after being attacked by a pair of dogs.

Chipper is back to doing what he does, though his full-size donkey friend Poppy makes sure to stay close by him.

“He’s just grazing in field and that’s how he likes it,” said Bethany Zaro, Chipper’s owner and caretaker. “Less is best when it comes to donkeys.”

Chipper has largely healed from the Jan. 23 attack. Two German shepherd-husky mixes belonging to neighbor Erin Newlin strayed from Newlin’s Lantern Ridge Road property and went after Chipper.

The miniature donkey suffered injuries to his rear legs and left eye. Newlin, who was bitten by Chipper while trying to get her dogs off the donkey, was fined for letting her dogs get loose.

Zaro said a veterinarian has given Chipper a clean bill of health. He’s no longer taking medicine, though there are still scabs on the wounds. That he was wounded when the weather was cold was helpful, Zaro said, because it helped prevent infection from setting in.

New Canaan neighbors and others reached out with cards and carrots to support Chipper as he healed . He’s also less fearful of greeting strangers when they drop by, though he doesn’t let everyone pet him just yet. Zaro said many of her neighbors say hello to Chipper and Poppy as they pass by.

“He’s back to being his curious, silly self,” Zaro said. “It’s unfortunate what happened, (but) it’s a happy ending.”

Chipper will also have new roommates. Zaro said she will bring at least one more rescued donkey to her North Wilton Road property in the spring.

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