NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - If you had asked Bernadette Deerkoski 10 years ago if she would have a donkey as a pet she'd tell you she knew nothing about the species.
Her group of friends already shared a love for horses. Debbie Miller wondered how different could a pet donkey be?
The two ladies are part of a group known as EEAW -- it's an acronym for East End Ass Whisperers and also the noise a donkey makes.
Cathy Springer has four donkeys. The women started the group more than five years ago after they heard about miniature and Sicilian donkeys in different parts of the country going to auction.
The donkeys serve an important purpose. They make trips to nursing homes, veterans' hospitals and special-needs programs for children and adults.
They're no strangers in the community. They dress up on Fourth of July, Halloween and even kiss Santa Claus.
It's a unique bond that strengthens friendships while saving donkeys.