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Amberwood Sanctuary, Inc.

Baker County, Georgia

Cause Description:
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 the 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.” 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. Please stand with us in speaking and acting in their behalf.

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