Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Pebbles named Good Will Ambassador


August 9, 2018

Reporter Lois Johnson scratches Crow, a two-week old donkey foal, under the chin at Save the Brays Donkey Rescue.

Pebbles, the mascot of Ma and Pa Kettle Days in Kettle River on August 10-12, makes her home with 20 other donkeys at Save the Brays Donkey Rescue near Barnum.

"Pebbles is quite the little star," said Kym Garvey, owner of the donkey rescue. "She's been on an elevator, to the casino, at several Christmas programs, walked in parades and she's done the big walk."

Garvey explained that Pebbles, a miniature donkey, is five years old. This is the first year that she will be a Good Will Ambassador at Ma and Pa Kettle Days.

"She will be in the parade behind the grand marshal," said Garvey.

Garvey explained that Pebbles and three other donkeys were going to take part in a walk from Hinckley to Kettle River the week before Ma and Pa Kettle Days but one of the human walkers had a health problem and the walk had to be canceled.

Pebbles and her donkey companions will also be appearing at the Carlton County Fair this year, said Garvey.

"There will be no draft horses at the fair this year so we will use that barn for the donkeys," she said.

Pebbles has come a long way since she was rescued.

"When she first came here you couldn't touch her," said Garvey. "Now she is docile. We don't have to worry about her with kids. She's been with us for almost three years."

Pebbles and her fellow donkeys at Save the Brays Donkey Rescue found a quiet refuge at the farm and with the Garvey family.

Kym explained that some of the donkeys have emotional problems, while others have been neglected. Some have been protectors for herds of cattle but weren't suited to the job.

"People always ask me why do donkeys need rescuing," said Garvey. "They need rescuing the same as cats and dogs and people. We have 21 donkeys. We have 15 rescues here right now. Some have permanent health problems. Some have emotional issues where they don't feel safe."

The donkeys are rehabilitated at the farm and some are adopted out. Others will make their permanent home at the farm.

Garvey has always loved animals.

"We had horses when I was growing up," she said. "I would take care of little baby birds, frogs and pigeons."

She got her first donkey in 2003.

"He was a kind of rescue," she said. "All of this started from there."

Chickens, pot-bellied pigs, geese and dogs and cats wander around the farm. Kym and her husband, Donavan, and three of Kym's four children also make their home on the farm.

The donkeys come from all over the nation.

Lois E. Johnson

Pebbles will be the Good Will Ambassador of Ma and Pa Kettle Days this weekend.

"We have donkeys here from Tennessee right now, also Louisiana and West Virginia," said Garvey. "There are other donkey rescue places all over the United States but we are the only one registered in Minnesota. There are none in Wisconsin.

"We specialize in their nutritional needs. The chemical makeup and training of a donkey is different than it would be for a horse."

The donkeys gather around behind the fence when people come to see them," said Garvey. "It is good for them to see people. They like attention."

Visitors can call and make arrangements to visit the farm and get to know the donkeys.

Call (218) 591-7001 to make an appointment. Visit savethebraysdonkeyrescue on Facebook. Paypal donations can be sent to


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