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Veterinary couple, students journey to remote regions to treat horses, donkeys

Each year, they make three trips to Mexico and two to Nicaragua to support local veterinarians and care for donkeys, or burros, still heavily used for transporting goods and people. During the summers they find themselves in the Dakotas treating horses that otherwise would get no veterinary care.

Near the edge of California’s Delta where the pavement turns to gravel before disappearing into native grasslands, University of California, Davis, veterinarian Eric Davis and his wife, Cindy, live with three horses, five donkeys, a pair of scrappy Chihuahuas and a pond-full of koi.

They are horse people in the best sense: sun-weathered, energetic, frank and compassionate. Their modest country home is a gateway to the world and what Eric calls “its most forgotten creatures.”

Each year, the couple makes three trips to Mexico and two to Nicaragua to support local veterinarians and care for donkeys, or burros, still heavily used for transporting goods and people. Summers find them visiting Native American reservations across North and South Dakota to treat horses that otherwise have no access to veterinary care. Eric has made the trip to the Dakotas more than 20 times, with Cindy aboard for 15 of them.

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