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Merle's Story

Merle is such a great donkey, and a favorite of many of our staff and volunteers. He is so large that he’s almost considered a mammoth. What’s funny about Merle is that he doesn’t really like other donkeys. It’s not that he’ll fight with them—there’s no aggression—but he just doesn’t care much either way! He’s often seen alone, or more likely, with a human (he LOVES humans just as much as they love him).  


But recently, sweet Merle has formed a few select friendships. Zeus is one of them. While they aren’t as outward about it as some of our other bonded pairs, Merle and Zeus can be seen off to the side as the evening rolls in, scratching each other’s backs. 


Merle spends his days with Farley, our completely blind donkey who lives in a special pen by himself to prevent him from running into things and getting hurt. Merle hangs out with Farley every day, and really likes this routine. He’s often at the gate in the morning, letting us know that it’s time for him to visit his friend. Then, Merle will wait at the other gate at the end of the day when it’s time to go back to his own pasture and hang out with Zeus. It warms our heart to see Merle form these two unique friendships!

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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