Yup. You can mail order a real Mexican Burro! And a "Mess Less" pet, aka a rabbit-fur cat toy. Oh Spencer Gifts. And I thought inflatable dolls, Bongzilla, and Christmas Pornaments were your only seeds of poor choices.
Now, to be fair, I myself have mail-ordered many a living thing in my day. Namely, bunches and bunches of fuzzy day-old chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery. It seemed strange the first time Dad picked them up at the crack of dawn from the post office and brought the softly peeping box home. We would gently lift each one out of the shipping box and dip each beak into the water and then into the feed and then set them free into the refrigerator box in the basement, complete with brooder lamps. We only had one "bad" order where a few of the poor things perished on the journey. Other than that they were usually wonderfully healthy, bright, and alert upon arrival.
But a DONKEY!?!?! Mail order?
"What years of pleasure this real live Mexican Burro will bring you and your children. Loveable, huggable, long-earred, extra tame, extremely intelligent. Friendly to other animals. Easily hitched to a small cart. Economical to raise. Eats anything-straw, hay, alfalfa, corn, oats, grass, bread, etc." BREAD!?!?! Oh that's where the weirdos on Animal Hoarders got the idea. Easily hitched to a small cart? Easily HITCHED, yes. Easily trained NOT to run your children through a barbed-wire fence or into traffic? No. Safety was clearly NOT first here.
AND the best part is that they suggest a 3 month old BABY burro for "Children up to 5 years", and a Yearling for children up to 10 years. And I'm sure that didn't result in any injuries to child or burro!! I wish these ideas of "growing up together" had never started. That is a great idea for the family dog, not so much for the family Equine.
And my curiosity got the better of me and I HAD to find out if there were other examples of the insanity of mail-order critters and I found these...
Strombergs is still in business. My dad and I even visited them once in Pine City, MN. I can't remember if we bought anything. Ducks maybe? Sadly they are no longer in the endangered Ocelot business. That 1970's catalog of monkeys and anteaters placed the business in Fort Dodge, IA, but the logo is the same.