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Home / Articles / Columnists / Animal Heroes /  RESCUED! Leroy the Mule
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Monday, August 9,2021

RESCUED! Leroy the Mule

By Susan Hargreaves Author-Activist-Educator of  
“Free Mule” the sign said on my local grocer bulletin board. “Well, this could bode ill,” I thought. Whenever anyone is giving away other animals for “Free,” it invariably attracts all sorts of horrific occurrences. I took the sign down, as you do, and called the phone number. “There’s someone picking up the mule tomorrow from Craigslist,” said the woman on the other end of the line. I assured the person the situation I had lined up for Leroy the mule would be a guaranteed safe, loving home with no risk of harm or abuse like that experienced by so many other animals given away for free on Craigslist. She was shocked to learn of the many instances of animal abuse associated with Craigslist and the practice of giving away “free” animals. Dear Happy Herald Reader, having re-homed many nonhuman animals in my 40-plus years, I advise a home check and a signed contract stating the adopter cannot give their new family member to someone else, and must contact me if there are any changes impacting the fate of the companion animal.

I assured the person on the phone I would take care of the transportation and everything that needed to be done this week. I was determined to not let any hesitation or doubt stand in the way of ensuring Leroy the mule was going to be happy. People often say to me – too often – “you can’t save the world, Susan.” The animals crossing my path who are in need of help, plus all of the animals saved by my choices to buy vegan products, the decision to not go to aquariums, zoos, rodeos, or wear fur, leather etc., and my advocacy and activism for other animals – all of those species of animals I can positively affect. I would be remiss to neglect to mention the interactive, empowering education programs fostering empathy and the “Animal Hero Kids Voices for the Voiceless” and “Veganza Animal Hero” books. So, no, I can’t save the world, but I can save a good amount!

Leroy’s Village

Once again, I wished I had a few acres in the zone of my local school district to offer rescue and refuge for other animals needing help, and to educate students to prevent animal abuse. The good news is I know some very kind and helpful people. So, Animal- paid for transport costs for a very safe hayfilled drive from Gainesville to South Florida – thank you to Elaine West from Rooterville. I breathed a sigh of relief when Leroy walked off the trailer ramp, and I saw his soft brown eyes in mule for the first time. I was ready with treats for him as he was hesitant at first. Yvonne and Julian Gibson-Serrtette, of vegan Super Fit Gym fame, welcomed Leroy, temporarily, into their lovely yard with a pond, until we could find a bigger space so Leroy could have some equine friends. Fast forward after Jordan David, another muscled vegan body builder, ensured Leroy was neutered. Finally the day came when Leroy would live with other equines. He arrived at Three 7’s Animal Sanctuary, and the first day there I was thrilled to see him roll around on his back in the grass like a puppy, and greet his new hoofed family through the fence, while they became used to each other in a gradual introduction. Leroy was home at last!

One of the AnimalHeroKids. org crew members, Ella, helps her mum care for all of the animals fortunate enough to have found a haven in the care of Three 7’s Animal Sanctuary. Today Leroy is living large! He was saved from a potentially lethal fate and has landed in a lush, green oasis, enjoying the companionship of his new family, both two-legged and four.

What You Can Do! Adopt, Not Shop!

This is a phrase I created 20 years ago when I worked to help spayed and neutered rabbits find homes. The saying has since caught on, and now continues to highlight the need to give homes to all of the animals who are currently in pounds, shelters, or in foster care, and to not support breeders, or the breeding of companion animals, until we have found homes for those who exist right now.

Support Animal Hero Education

The only way to prevent cruelty from happening to other animals is to educate and foster empathy starting at an early age. These are the type of programs I have created and specialize in, and they are free, so go to the educate page at to find out more.

No Ticky, No Cruelty

The good news is many circuses stopped using animals as more people realized wild animals belong in the wild, thanks to the many years of investigations and demonstrations. More people are aware today that wildlife have their own families and natural homes, Thanks to Animal Planet and the Discovery channel showing films like “Planet Earth,” ticket sales for zoos and aquariums are tanking.

Please, go to for more details, to book a free program, or to support our vital animal cruelty prevention work.


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