Adopting a donkey (or two) requires four basic things, including food, water, shelter, and just as importantly—love, lots and lots of love. When people decide that they want to adopt from Oscars Place, a Donkey Sanctuary in Hopland, CA, they agree to follow all of our steps for a successful adoption and of course, love is right at the top of the list.
Wendy loves her “little family” of Baby Pia and mother Mariah, both adopted from Oscar’s Place.
For Wendy Floyd of Willits, CA, her initial idea was to adopt a donkey to befriend a mule (Babe) and a retired rodeo horse (Vic) that her sister owns on their 40-acre former dairy farm whose grandparents started 75 years ago. To begin their search, Wendy and her sister Stephanie started asking around until someone asked them, “Did you know that there is a new donkey sanctuary in Hopland?” “How cool is that,” Wendy said.
Stephanie sent an email to Oscar’s Place and was surprised when Ron King (aka, The Donkey King) responded promptly. “Right at the beginning, we knew that this was going to be a good experience because Ron King and the rest of his crew were so professional and super friendly,” Wendy said. “So, my sister and I traveled to Hopland to meet some donkeys.”
Wendy was immediately impressed by what she saw. “We kind of expected a dusty old barn with a bunch of donkeys hanging out, but when we saw how clean and well maintained the property is, we knew that this was the real thing,” she said. “Oscar’s Place makes the donkeys’ lives their number one priority and it shows, so that made us comfortable right away.”
Wendy visited Oscar’s Place in Hopland, CA to accompany her sister who was looking for a donkey, but once she saw several pregnant donkeys in the herd, she changed her mind. “I thought, wouldn’t it be great to have our own little donkey family at our place? They are so smart and very social. When we first went to meet them, a donkey named Calico was led over to us and he was wonderful. We wanted to connect with the donkeys organically, so we visited with almost everyone. But when my sister met Red (the largest donkey in the herd) she fell in love, and adopted him after going through the vetting process.”
Wendy decided to add a donkey family to her family and decided to adopt three during her second visit two weeks later. The mother is Mariah and the dad is Buckley and at that time, mom was pregnant with Pia. When Pia was born three weeks later, she stayed at Oscar’s Place until she was strong enough to be transported to Willits.
To make sure that Wendy’s farm has all of the right infrastructure and amenities to accommodate the donkeys, Ron visited their property and then gave them the thumbs up. Red has turned out to be a wonderful companion and the entire experience has Wendy braying about Oscar’s Place.
When the new donkeys hit the farm, Wendy realized rather quickly that Buckley was not an ideal match, so Ron came back and re-housed the donkey. “This is one of the things we love about Oscar’s Place,” Wendy said. “Buckley is now guarding sheep for a veterinarian, so it worked out well. The difference between horses and donkeys is that horses will run when they encounter any drama, but donkeys will confront a threat every time, which makes them great security guards.”
Baby Pia has been an absolute delight since day one, Wendy said. “She loves cuddles and attention and is super playful. She loves her treats, being brushed, and now she’s a little local celebrity. People drive by and stop to see Pia, yelling out things like “Your donkey is so cute!”
Mariah is a chill mama, but very attentive and protective when it comes to Pia. All four donkeys are happy and content and they all got a great start at Oscar’s Place, thanks to Ron King and his crew. “We feel blessed to know Ron and Oscar’s Place because they’re dedicated to saving these animal’s lives. They are educating people and already getting more folks involved, so we are proud to say that we are the very first adoptees from Oscar’s Place, with their first baby—Pia!”
100% dedicated to her new donkey family, Wendy has embraced her role and the responsibility that goes with it. “I work at home, so I am here day and night at the farm, and we are very hands-on,” she said. “We want to be good stewards and that’s why we will always focus on keeping Pia, Mariah, and Red happy and healthy for their entire lives.”