Vinnie was the very very first animal we rescued and have never looked back since. My first date with my husband Chris was to a sanctuary in Simi Valley to look at a donkey they were advertising. I had wanted a donkey to keep Elvis company as all the mustangs had formed a herd and wouldn't let him in. We fell in love with Vinnie and Chris made a donation to the sanctuary and the next day they emailed us to say that they had saved three horses at auction thanks to his donation. It was the first time I found out about horse auctions and horse slaughter and it started us down a road of saving other horses and eventually to opening Skydog Sanctuary......all thanks to this little donkey.
Vinnie is a flashy red roan donkey with the fluffiest face and Elvis like mutton chops that never disappear even in the height of summer. We love him x
FRANKIE AND JOHNNIE
MAMA AND BABY DONKS
We found Frankie and Johnny in a kill pen in Texas. The photograph of the mother donkey gazing at her week old baby broke our hearts. The pride shone out of her eyes as she looked at him and as we were saving a mustang from the same kill pen (LOVE) we decided to help them out too. We had them all taken to Reata Equine Hospital and sadly mama and baby were very sick. They spent over two months in the hospital with pneumonia and many other respiratory diseases. Eventually they were ready to leave and came to Malibu where they were loved on by everyone including some pretty amazing VIP's. They now live at Oregon Skydog x
BAA BAA and LA LA
(and Barkley the sheep dog)
We found Baa Baa Black Face and LaLa Baby Girl at an auction in California. We work regularly with HiCaliber helping them save mustangs that end up there but one day they called to ask if we would take a few lambs or goats as there were some people there buying them and killing them in the parking lot. What could we say - we said YES!!!! The two lambs were days old and we started bottle feeding them the second we got them in the truck. It was one of the most rewarding and adorable processes and as a result they follow us around like dogs and come to their names. We obviously had never kept sheep but we absolutely love and cherish and care for these little creatures more than you could ever imagine. LA LA is the queen of Skydog as she is Chris's favorite and she is a little spoilt and drives around in the vehicles with him having the time of her life.
PAULIE, RED AND ROSIE
OUR NEW BLM DONKEYS
These three gorgeous donkeys were found at a livestock auction in California about to be bought by the kill buyer that frequents the place looking for cheap horses and donkeys to sell. People don't eat donkeys but their hides have become in great demand particularly in China where they have been importing millions of donkeys annually to slaughter. Paulie, Red and Rose are not wild but not tame either. They are friendly enough except when you try to catch them but they let you pet on them and will eat out of your hand. The two girls Rosie and Red have BLM brands and Paulie isn't branded but may well be the son of one of the Jenny's as they are very bonded.
BILLY and Chile
We saved Billy and Chile from a livestock auction with another sheep we called Gracie. Goats are the most fun EVER. Tell me you can watch a baby goat hop and jump and skip and not laugh with joy. They truly are the easiest little animals to keep and take care of - not messy, easy keepers, not really any work at all. They are just fun. It has been the biggest joy having them in our lives and to begin with they lived in Malibu but came up with all the other animals a few months ago and love all the space and other friends they have made. They live in a special pen with the sheep and a few donkeys and they all get along perfectly which is great. I hope hope hope that people coming to visit spend time with these animals and realise that they are living breathing sentient beings with feelings and friends and think twice about eating so much meat. I never try and tell anyone never to eat meat or become a vegan but eating LESS meat makes so much difference - especially cows and sheep which are one of the biggest threats on public land to wild horses.
LADY BETTY DONKEY
Lady Betty was rescued from a kill pen in Colorado. We were saving two mustangs Swayze and Priscilla and in every single photograph of either horse there in the corner or behind the horse was a jigsaw of a donkey. Two feet on the ground, the tail of a donkey, two big ears sticking out, and finally half a donkey !!! We called the feedlot to ask if they had any and they had an older Jenny and a minature Jack. We were sending a four horse trailer so their fate was sealed. They were SAFE/SOLD. I have always thought these two are the cleverest and luckiest donkeys in the world. Maybe they got together and thought standing behind or next to the horses up for rescue would get them spotted and out of there and it worked. If you dont have the space to get a horse but have a little land rescue a donkey, you will never regret it - amazing animals and incredible watchdogs x
Cassidy was spotted in a kill pen in Waco Texas when we were rescuing LOVE. He was standing there in the photo looking so so lost and scared so that was that. We had some reports of him before he got here about his kicking the vet when she took blood for coggins and he dragged the hauler down the steps at a run as he tried desperately to hold on to his halter. But we wouldn't trade him for the world. He is just the funniest, smartest, cheekiest, silliest boy and thinks he is a wild stallion mustang. When there is danger spotted he leads the herd of horses ten times his size. He is fearless and has the heart of a lion and oh he is super cute too.
ZZ THE ZONKEY
ZZ isn't a mustang but he is so loved by all the staff and volunteers at Skydog. He was saved from shipping to a kill ranch in Texas - places where people pay money to go and shoot exotic animals. For fun. Or Sport. Not the kind of fun we have here. The only shooting we do here is with a camera lens and it is glorious to see ZZ in all his glory running around up and down hills. He is a bit of a jerk, he runs horses twice his size off feed, and if they won't move he turns and kicks more times per second than anything I have ever seen. But he never seems to land one - it is just for show. He is all bluff and bluster and we call him the hooligan but he is a fantastic horse exerciser as he has the energy of a dog and never stops chasing and running. He is halter broke and I have even seen video of him being ridden but those days are over and he is free to live out his life here.
PLEASE donate to Skydog to help us keep providing for these animals and be able to take in more in the future. They deserve their lives and we would love to home more animals in need. They are all available to sponsor for 50 dollars a month and for that you will get a special behind the scenes newsletter and more information on the animal you sponsor as well as regular updates on their progress. Thank you x