On May 21, 2018, Duchess Sanctuary, operated by the Fund for Animals in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States, will celebrate its 10th anniversary. One of the nation’s largest horse sanctuaries—and the largest in the Pacific Northwest—Duchess is home to 196 equines, including 188 horses, five donkeys and three ponies.

The 1,120-acre sanctuary outside of Oakland, Oregon, is an oasis for formerly abused, abandoned, neglected and homeless horses and donkeys. Mares rescued from the Pregnant Mare Urine industry and their offspring make up a large part of the herd. Other residents include orphaned mustangs, and horses rescued from slaughter, auctions and feedlots. Residents are all ages, with the oldest residents—Chance, Nellie and Sugar Bear - in their 30’s. The sanctuary has a graduated care program that follows each animal through all the stages of their life.

Jennifer Kunz, director of Duchess, who has been with the sanctuary since it opened its doors in 2008, says, “We remain committed to providing the highest standards of equine care and lifelong loving kindness that these horses—and any future residents—deserve. We have been able to make significant property improvements over the past 10 years including more than 17 miles of fencing to create pastures and paddocks, a new water system, shelters in every enclosure, a hospital barn for the treatment and care of our special needs horses, and more. We continue to refine and improve facilities, and give many thanks to our donors for their support, especially the Ark Watch Foundation. Our staff of five, and our devoted volunteers, help to keep these horses as happy and healthy as they can possibly be.”

Each year, the staff at Duchess hosts three open houses for visitors. On May 19, September 15 and December 15, the events will include anniversary festivities. In addition to the open houses, the sanctuary holds photography workshops twice a year as fundraising events. The next photography workshop is June 1 and 2. Guided by the Duchess staff, camera buffs are able to spend hours in the field with the herds, and learn more about horses and photography while using their equipment. It is a rare opportunity to see large groups of horses in a natural environment, and a great chance to photograph outdoors in a beautiful setting. All proceeds from the workshops benefit the care of the horses.

Private tours are also available, and must be arranged in advance, as schedules permit. Typically these 60 to 90 minute tours are for small groups, and a minimum donation of $25 per person is appreciated. For more information contact Jennifer Kunz at 541-459-9914 or jkunz@fundforanimals.org.

Visit our donation form for more information on how to support Duchess.

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