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MARCH 2024



Patches' Story

Patches is the most documented case of abuse that we’ve come across at Oscar’s Place. When he arrived on May 31st, 2021, he was unable to stand. So I (Ron) picked him up off the ground and laid him on a trailer and drove him straight to the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital. The vets told us that he was dying of starvation and would not make it, but they needed a name to write down on his medical charts. Because big patches of his skin came off onto my arms when I unloaded him from the trailer, I chose the name Patches. 


Patches had gone so long without food that his body had started consuming itself for energy. His eyes were sunk into the back of his head, making him blind, and he was missing about 10% of his skin and 50% of his hair. That an animal could be treated so horribly by humans was unfathomable. 


After being on an IV for several days, his body — miraculously — switched to converting carbohydrates for energy. He rebounded, and came back to Oscar’s Place for a very long road to recovery. He was skin and bones; we had to get weight on him and get his skin, hide, and hair to grow back. Unfortunately, his eyesight will never return due to the starvation that he suffered. 


As Patches recovered, he became very loving and trusting of humans. When he was healthy enough, we had him castrated and seen by a dentist. They found that his tongue was completely severed on both sides, held together in the middle only by cartilage — indicating that he was a work donkey, pulling loads entirely too heavy for him. He probably wore a bit that was too small and never taken off (even to sleep). Patches was worked so hard that it literally ripped his tongue out and almost killed him. When he could no longer eat and began to starve, his previous owners dumped him at an auction for slaughter. Luckily, he ended up here. 


Today, Patches lives a very happy life and is completely loved by many. When he recognizes the sound of our voices, his ears perk up and he walks towards us. The fact that Patches trusts humans again is a testament to his resilience, forgiveness, and love.

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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