Albert donkey, our resident prankster, has always had a few tricks up his sleeve. Before coming to Farm Sanctuary, this former “escape artist” would frequently flee his guardian’s farm, puzzling and frustrating everyone who tried to keep him contained. Unfortunately, Albert’s escapades were seen as more troublesome than humorous: Local authorities soon grew weary of responding to his game, and threatened to shoot the miniature donkey the next time he ventured out.

Thankfully, we learned of Albert’s predicament in time, and offered to take on his care. With his guardian’s blessing, we welcomed Albert to Farm Sanctuary — a move that changed his entire outlook on life. Albert had once rebelled against attempts to control him, but at Farm Sanctuary, we instead took the time to understand what he had been trying to share. We quickly learned how funny and charming this donkey really is! Whenever Albert wants our attention, for example, he will comically inch closer and closer to us until we can give him the scratches and pets he seeks. He will also run at us full speed, often braying with excitement as he draws near! Albert loves to be the center of attention, and with so many loving admirers, he quickly found his place. We think his former escape tactics might have been a cry for help; once he knew that he was seen, valued, and loved, he gave up his former hobby and began to feel at peace.

Albert with friend and Farm Sanctuary staffer Breezy Rondilone.

Every day spent with Albert has been an adventure! He loves to make us laugh and seems to relish our company as much as we do his. And he not only brightens the lives of his human friends, but also that of another donkey named Waylon, who has become his very best friend. Waylon, one of our eldest donkeys, has been with us since 1993. Shortly before Albert’s arrival, Waylon had lost his longtime partner Bonnie, and was very lonely and depressed. Since Albert was new and also in need of a friend, we hoped the pair might make good companions. To our delight, they became friends almost immediately, and remain bonded to this day.

Albert and Waylon.

Earlier this year, we announced the exciting expansion of our New York Shelter, and the majority of our former Northern California Shelter residents made the move to Watkins Glen, NY. Because Waylon’s advanced age would have made the cross-country move too tough for him, he and Albert moved to our Southern California Shelter instead. The pair has acclimated to their new space well — particularly Albert, who, for the first time, is able to enjoy all the attention he wants from human visitors during our regular public tours! These days, he’s delighting guests from around the world with his fun and joyful approach to life. As people get to know Albert and hear his story, many begin to make connections about their relationships with animals like him. As a result, this incredible ambassador for his species is showing the world that every farm animal is someone, not something.

Will you be a friend to Albert as well? This holiday season, you can Gift Sanctuary with a one-time Farm Sanctuary donation in his honor. This makes a perfect gift for yourself or a loved one, and helps us give the gift of sanctuary to farm animals like him. If you would like to expand your impact, you can also sponsor Albert year-round through our Adopt a Farm Animal Program.

Thanks to support from friends like you, Albert will spend the rest of his life knowing only the care, kindness, and joy that he deserves. Together, we can build a more compassionate world for all!