One day, Josh saw a post on social media about a donkey an hour away who was in trouble. He was a very senior, very skinny donkey whose owner had just passed away. There was nowhere for him to go. The next day, we drove out to the coast and found Amigo. Loading him onto the trailer was one of the most difficult loading experiences we’ve ever had. He hadn’t been on a trailer in over 15 years, and made us work for it. We were extremely concerned about wearing him out due to his lack of nutrition, but we finally got him loaded and to Oscar’s Place.
We called our veterinarian en route for an emergency visit. Dr. Kerry met us at our ranch and said that out of a body score of 1–9, this donkey was a 2. It’s not only that you can feel his ribs and hip bones when you touch him, but you can see them protruding from a distance. He had a very poor demeanor, with his head hanging low, terrible hooves, and in dire need.
After his vet visit, we immediately started Amigo on our deworming protocol, and we worked to quickly (and carefully) get weight on him while taking into account his weakness and age. We shredded his hay and mixed together beet pulp and alfalfa cubes soaked in a soup-like mixture to encourage him to eat. His appetite is improving, and we treated him for a stomach ulcer. Today, Amigo is off of the sugary beet pulp and eats the proper amount of food. He is starting to gain some much-needed weight.
We started taking Amigo to Gabriel’s yard to graze and spend his days, and would try to bring him back to his quarantine pen to spend the night. But as old and as weak as he is, Amigo made it clear that he did NOT want to go back to his quarantine pen. Gabriel came to me and said, “He doesn’t want to go back to his pen. He wants to stay here.” I said, “Fine, but that means he lives in YOUR yard. Are you ready for that?” Gabriel said, “Absolutely.”
So now, Amigo lives full time in Gabriel’s yard (a short walk away from the rest of our pens and pastures). He has giant trees that he hangs out under. He takes naps, walks around, and gets all the love in the world from the volunteers. Amigo ate Gabriel’s bed of azaleas, and instead of being angry, Gabriel rewarded him with a slice of watermelon.
I’d say we’re seeing a 1–2% improvement in Amigo every day. Progress is very slow, but it’s an improvement, nevertheless. His health is not getting any worse. Amigo is doing the best that he can. While his future is still uncertain, and he is likely in his final chapter, he is living a nice, relaxed life with zero stress, great medical care, lots of nutrition, and a ton of love. Amongst our staff of 9 and volunteers of over 100, Amigo is definitely a favorite. He is stealing hearts and giving a ton of love back in return. Be a friend for Amigo on his long road to recovery!
When you sponsor a donkey, you’ll receive:
Quarterly email updates on your donkey
A printable sponsorship certificate
Exclusive monthly updates from our sanctuary
Occasional insider invitations to virtual events and livestreams