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Viejo's Story

When our first big rescue arrived on January 8th, 2021, Viejo was the first donkey to walk off the trailer. He walked right up to me (Ron) and put his head on my chest. It felt like he was saying hello to me as his new human. He has been my best friend ever since.


It’s hard to imagine how Viejo ended up at an auction. He is fully trained, walks perfectly on a halter and lead role, and loves humans. He definitely came from a good home. I often wonder what his story was; his owner must have loved him, trained him, and taught him to trust humans — maybe they passed away or could no longer take care of him, and he ended up in the auction system. It breaks my heart that he spent time in such a terrifying place, with stickers superglued to his hide and experiencing the trauma of the slaughter pipeline. I’m so glad we got him. 


Viejo is not motivated by food or treats — he’s motivated by the companionship of humans. When our staff and volunteers are out scooping poop, he is right there over their shoulder, walking step-by-step with them, hanging out all day. He’s also one of only two donkeys at our sanctuary who know what a hug is and intentionally give and receive them! Viejo is truly incredible. He will live out his life here at Oscar’s Place, helping to train other donkeys and spreading love to every human he meets.

Change the life of a donkey in need.

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About the Photographer:

Johanna Siegmann is an internally award-winning portrait and architecture photographer, specializing in photographing people with their pets. A collection of her unique images, which capture the relationship between humans and animal, has been published as In Good Company (Notable People with their Pets), available online globally and via special order from your local bookstore. Johanna believes in giving back to the community, and a portion of the proceeds from the book are going to charity. She has donated her time and talent to Oscar’s Place for this calendar project.

About Oscar's Place:

Donkeys are some of the most loving and trusting creatures on Earth, and when they suffer because humans are unkind, Oscar’s Place steps in. While we’re just a team of everyday individuals, we deeply care for and are committed to providing a safe haven for donkeys in need.​  We focus on donkeys because the world's donkey population is being decimated. Not by disease, global warming, or predators. But because there is a high demand for their hides in the creation of a traditional Chinese medicine. 

They deserve better than to be abused, crowded into horrifying transport containers, and shipped off to slaughter factories. Our mission is straight-forward: To every donkey that makes its way to Oscar’s Place, we will do everything in our power to keep that animal safe, healthy & happy for the rest of its life. 

We love animals, and quite frankly, we need to team up with other people who also care about what happens to these beautiful creatures. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to make a big difference.When you make a donation, you help a donkey recover emotionally and physically from its past.


You are restoring their belief in humans as caregivers. Your impact even makes it possible to re-home donkeys to carefully-screened adopters, which enables us to bring more of these precious animals into our care system. Again, we’re not special, but our team consists of caring employees, volunteers, veterinarians, and farriers – all with a singular objective: to help donkeys recover physically, mentally, and emotionally. Every person on-site is committed to hands-on interaction with our donkeys, every day.Loving them. Calming them. Healing them. We want to show them that humans can be good. Can you save a donkey’s life today or can you share this message?


Thank you so much for caring.

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