The Longhopes Donkey Shelter was incorporated January 2000 but began in 1998 when the founder, Kathy Dean, went looking for her own donkeys. She knew there were unwanted donkeys needing homes but she was unable to find them, because unwanted donkeys were usually sold for slaughter at local sale barns. Wanting to offer an alternative, Kathy learned that rescuing donkeys was impossible without a facility where the donkeys could be rehabilitated and trained until a new owner was found.
In August 1999 Kathy and her husband Alan Miller bought 20 acres in Bennett. That month Kathy took in Rocky, a 42 year old donkey whose owner could no longer keep him. By January 2000 Kathy had 9 donkeys. That was when Kathy decided to formalize her passion and create an equine shelter to serve donkeys in the Rocky Mountains.
Over the last 10 years the Shelter had rescued over 570 donkey has already found homes for over 500. The average census at the shelter is 30-40 donkeys.