About Us

Rancho Burro Donkey Sanctuary (RBDS) is a nonprofit (501c3) organization located in the rural Edna Valley area of Arroyo Grande, California; whose mission is to support and give homeless or mistreated donkeys, a good safe and healthy home. RBDS provides the shelter, feed, vet care, medicines and exercise needed to accomplish this. Funding is provided by the owners as well as through donations.

RBDS’ inspiration began with an encounter with a lonely donkey name Harry in a field on the side of highway 101.  (Pictured below right).  He belonged to the property owner, but the owner was not living there.  They were treating him as their lawnmower. Although his health was rapidly declining, Harry was still a sweet and gentle being. He ultimately died due to neglect. It is a gross misconception of many that domesticated donkeys are OK when left to their own devices. This inspired the idea to create RBDS with the mission to save  donkeys from conditions like the fate that Harry encountered.

Our education is ongoing, because diseases and health issues arise unexpectedly. We have encountered and dealt with many health problems over the years such as colic, abscesses, skin issues, deformed hoofs, etc. We rely heavily on local vets for major problems, as well as Alamo Pentado Veterinarian Hospital in Los Olivos, Ca. for serious issues. We attend the annual Donkey Welfare Symposium at UC Davis to keep abreast of donkey well being and health care techniques.

There are many health challenges that can and do arise as a result of a donkey being displaced from his natural environment. RBDS takes in donkeys that are in danger as a result of abandonment or lack of care.

For example, we have a donkey gelding named Jojo, (pictured below), who was used for rodeo roping practice.  He was repeatedly pursued on horseback and caught and tied like a rodeo calf.  When he couldn’t run anymore he was sent to auction and was about to end up on a truck to slaughter.  He is 24 years old and physically challenged from his past abuse.  Now, he has a good home here at Rancho Burro and receives physical therapy for his injuries to enable him to move more comfortably. After all of this trama, he is the still the sweetest, most gentle donkey.

RBDS maintains this website, Instagram and a Facebook page which  provide stories of our organization and individual animals.  Through these media vehicles, we answer questions, provide information and educate the public as to the goodness of donkeys. The goal being to reduce misperceptions about them; which can often lead to their mistreatment and/or abandonment.

RBDS welcomes and encourages individuals or groups to visit and engage with our donkeys.

RBDS operates on contributions from its principals as well as outside donations. Anyone interested in helping can make a donation through PayPal or a check directly to our facility below.

For more information about our programs and facilities please contact us:

Jim & Carlen Eckford

Rancho Burro Donkey Sanctuary
1604 Tiffany Ranch Road
Arroyo Grande, CA 93405

[email protected]
[email protected]