Our Purpose ~ Our Life’s Work
First and foremost, our life’s work is to rescue and care for unwanted/abused donkeys and wild burros who have been removed from their home on our public lands. Each animal is loved. Each animal is given individual care every day. They deserve to be treated as if they matter because they do.
Our life’s work is to provide our donkeys with a permanent home: They will not be uprooted again or separated from family members and social groups.
Our life’s work is to make every possible effort to protect the many wild animals living at Amberwood Sanctuary.
Our life’s work is to replace the many misconceptions held about donkeys with accurate information.
Our life’s work is to promote decisive actions on behalf of the wild burros and mustangs living on our public lands under the protection they have been afforded through the 1971 Wild, Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
Our life’s work is to promote respect and compassion for all animals, wild and domestic.
Our life’s work is to promote changes in attitudes and actions to address our ecological crisis.
This is a tremendous responsibility but with your support, we are up to the challenge. We must be! The destiny of these animals lies in the hands of all of us who care enough to take action. Stand with us in speaking and acting in their behalf.
Amberwood Sanctuary: A Special Place for Donkeys
Baker County, Georgia
In 1977, a little dark brown and very wild burro from the Mojave Desert inspired the Watson family to embark on a life-changing journey that continues today. We drove to Valley Wells, California, adopted our burro through the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, and brought her home to Georgia. We named her Amber and loved her completely. After some time and much caution, she loved us back.
We were instantly captivated by Amber and once a hard-won mutual trust began, we knew we could do nothing less than provide sanctuary for other wild burros who are being systematically captured and removed from our western public lands that have always been their home. In April 1982, we took our first step to create Amberwood Sanctuary by opening a savings account with $10.35. In 1989, with profits from our mail order business and donations from many caring people, we nailed a small sign on a fence in Baker County, Georgia, which simply read, "Amberwood Sanctuary."
Wild burros and unwanted/abused donkeys have a new beginning and permanent sanctuary at Amberwood Sanctuary. Each one is loved. Each one is given individual care every day. They deserve to be treated as if they matter because they do.
After decades of our American wild burros and mustangs being shot, poisoned, and even run off cliffs to crash to their deaths below, the Wild, Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed in 1971. The main provision and the intent of the act is to protect the mustangs and wild burros who inhabit our public lands from any unauthorized capture, branding, harassment, or death. On paper, these enduring animals were given a chance for real freedom. In reality, however, the program has been undermined to the point of corruption. Political considerations, greed, and prejudice determine the destiny of our wild horses and burros.
Amberwood Sanctuary continues to work toward fulfilling the promise made for their freedom. In the meantime, each time another wild burro or homeless donkey arrives at Amberwood Sanctuary, a silent promise is given that she/he will not be uprooted again or separated from family members and social groups. Stand with us in speaking and acting in their behalf.