Pavliscak rescues miniature baby donkey


Photo credit: Karen Pavliscak

Archie, a mini-donkey, lives at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center nearby Griffith Park. Associate Head of School Karen Pavliscak rescued this miniature male baby donkey from Oklahoma.

By London Sinclair, Podcast Editor

While dogs are a prominent aspect of student life at Archer, creating a “sense of family” and adding to the “joyful culture,” as stated on the school website, the community is welcoming a new animal onto campus. Associate Head of School Karen Pavliscak sent out an email on Oct. 5, inviting Archer students to name a new miniature male baby donkey. The email described the donkey as smaller than a Golden Retriever and covered in cinnamon spots. Attached were also images of the miniature donkey and Pavliscak’s dog, Mr. Hubble, residing at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

The miniature donkey lived in Oklahoma and was born on May 1, into a “desperate situation,” Pavliscak said. The donkey had been removed from its sick mother, and its previous owners were older and unable to care for the donkey. When Pavliscak rescued it at just 5 months old, he had deformed hooves, was covered in fungus and undernourished.

“It was heartbreaking, and the vet said, ‘don’t get too attached because we rarely have we seen a baby in this condition,’” Pavliscak said.” However, the power of love is such that with everybody at the barn taking such good care of it, the excitement of the Archer girls and the naming process, this baby mini donkey is thriving.”

After receiving over 350 possible names for the miniature baby donkey, Pavliscak released a survey with the top nine contenders and students had the chance to vote on their favorite. The survey results showed a majority, 22.5% of students voted Archie as their favorite name for Archer’s new miniature donkey. 

Eighth grader Lucy Williams initially suggested the name Archie during the first round of name suggestions. Pavliscak stated that multiple students proposed Archie on the anonymous form, but Lucy is the only student to come forward.  

“I was just thinking about a name that would capture the spirit of Archer in a really cute and fun way. All day during my classes, I was thinking and playing around with the name Archer, the panther mascot and Archie just came to me,” Williams said. “I think it is pretty perfect for the baby donkey and I know it brings up my spirits to see cute videos of Archie and all the pictures that Ms.Pav is sending.” 

Fellow Eighth grader Shaya Mossanen echoed a similar sentiment, stating that Archie’s presence has recently boosted her overall positivity. 

“[Ms. Pavliscak] is so open, and she is always trying to make everybody feel like they are included in the Archer community,” Mossanen said. “I think animals always connect people, and they keep our minds off all of the negativity and now we have something to look forward to when we get back onto campus, which is nice.”

Now that Archie is in better health, Pavliscak and the many employees at the farm are training him to be well-mannered and ready to adapt to the culture at Archer. 

“He loves to nibble, so we’re working on no nibbling, just licking,” Pavliscak said. “The challenge for him will be how soon can he meet everybody. I spoke to Ms. English; she very much supports the baby mini donkey being the Archer unofficial mascot and the baby mini donkey loves dogs, so there you are. Archie is ready for a visit when we’re back on campus.”