Monday, April 30, 2007

April 26, 2007: She's baaaack!

Look what's in the newspaper one more time:

Jenny the donkey's owner cleared in court

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel Thursday, April 26, 2007

PITTSFIELD -- The woman who owns Jenny the donkey has been cleared of any wrongdoing in connections with the animal's escapades earlier this year.

Mary Gaeta was in Somerset County District Court in Skowhegan on Wednesday to answer a summons charging her with animal trespassing.

Gaeta's donkey, Jenny, made headlines across the nation in February after escaping from Gaeta's farm, Mary's Garden, and spending more than a month avoiding numerous capture attempts.

Pittsfield police issued Gaeta the summons in response to neighbors' complaints on Feb. 20, just a day before Jenny was captured.

Gaeta said the case was dropped on Wednesday.

"They called my name and some man got up and said, 'This has been dismissed in the interest of justice,'" Gaeta said. "To me it was a waste of my time."

District attorney Evert Fowle said his department took Gaeta's age, 70, and her clean record into consideration in dropping the charge. Fowle also noted Jenny had not been free since she was captured in February.

"Our office thought that human wisdom dictated giving her a second chance in this regard," Fowle said. "Justice tempered with mercy sometimes is the way to go."

Jenny, who made headlines thanks to her ability to avoid human contact, now receives regular pats on the head from Gaeta and her partner, Joe Varricchio. Equine expert Karina Lewis, who was instrumental in coaxing the donkey into captivity, continues to work with Jenny.

"She's not as skittish as she was," Gaeta said. "I can pat her and I can brush her hair."

Craig Crosby -- 861-9253

retrieved April 30, 2007 from:

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