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Meet the Donkeys (& Mule)


Half donkey, half horse, and all mule, Lola is one of the hallmarks of the sanctuary. Though she can be shy around visitors, she never turns down a treat if you're willing to buy her affection! If you ask nicely, she may even reward you with one of her trademarked smiles!

Lola came to us in 2012, when she was about 7 years old. She had been living on a local ranch, but was feral and unwanted.

Lola is incredibly energetic and playful. She is the biggest flirt on the property, and probably the most intelligent one as well (that includes the caretakers). Since her move-in, Lola has figured out how to unlatch gates and acted as teacher to train the other residents to do the same. Because of Lola and her educational classes, we have has to add chains to the enclosure fences.

One of Lola's most memorable traits is her smile -- for Kathy she will actually give a "kiss and smile", and will sometimes share this with guests, if they are willing to purchase it with a treat.


Bruce, known affectionately as the "velcro donkey" is one of the sweetest animals you will ever meet. Always up for a scratch behind the ear or to lend a hand with cleanup, Bruce makes sure you know he's there.


Once you get to know him, its hard to believe that he was once a wild burro. After being rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management and freeze branded (you can still see the remnants of his tattoo on his neck), he found his way to Saving Grace.


Don't let her size fool you! Grace may be the "mini" donkey here at the sanctuary, but she likes to believe she's the big boss. She has no problem telling her brothers to stay in line, and she makes sure to let you know if you're taking too long to feed her. 


Meet Gus, one of the sanctuary's two brown donkeys. Before calling Saving Grace home, he was used as a practice roping target for rodeo competitions. He was the shyest donkey when he first came to the sanctuary (and who can blame him considering his previous interaction with humans?) but he has since realized that he is safe at home and is warming up to being loved by visitors. You can tell Gus from Rufus, the other brown donkey, by his "torn" left ear.


Rufus, one of the sanctuary's most personable ambassadors, spends his days playing with his donkey brother, Bruce. Rufus is one of the most friendly animals at the sanctuary, and won't pass up an opportunity to get a few scratches behind his ears. Utilizing his classic donkey stubbornness, he even stands still waiting for attention when he's in the way! If you're looking for an afternoon of animal affection, Rufus is your man.

About Donkeys

Donkeys are exceptionally intelligent, they have phenomenal memories and can even recall complex routes and recognize animals they haven't seen for years. They tend to have a logical, flexible approach to problem-solving.


Anyone who has met one of the donkeys at Saving Grace Animal Sanctuary knows that they are smart, personable, and affectionate. In fact, they seem to have a ne sais quoi...a calming presence that affects all of the residents, volunteers, and visitors.

Unique Fact      

It is believed that a donkey's memory is so strong, that they can remember faces, places, and other facts around 25 years after they occur.

Donkey FAQs      

1) What actually is a donkey?  A donkey is a breed of its own, not a hybrid or mixed-breed animal. They are a member of the horse family and are a domesticated version of their wild ancestors, the African wild ass.

2) What are a male, female, and baby donkey called?  A male donkey is called a jack, a female is called a jennet, and a baby is called a foal.

3) How long do donkeys live? Donkeys can live for 25-30 years in the wild, and closer to 30 years in captivity.

4) What do donkeys eat? The most appropriate feed for donkeys is straw, hay, and grass. They also get healthy treats, like carrots, apples, bananas, pears, turnips, and swedes.

5) Why do donkeys have a cross shape pattern on their back? If you look closely, all donkeys across the world, whether they are grazing in pastures or gracing the big screen, share one mysterious feature — they have a dark cross on their backs, running down their spines and across their shoulders. There is a Christian biblical story that many believe explains the coloring that appears on donkeys...


When Jesus was carrying his cross to the mount, a little donkey tried to help him but wasn't able to get through the crowd. When the crowd eventually dispersed, the little donkey approached Jesus on the cross and stood beside him. As the sun went down, the shadow from the cross fell across the donkey's back. And now, every donkey has an imprint of that shadow.

Help us feed and care for the Donkeys with a one-time or monthly donation

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