On the night of April 15, 1992, three teenage boys snuck into his pasture. When Pasado saw the boys approach him that night, he might have been excited that he had visitors. But these visitors were not there to express love. They slipped a noose around Pasado’s neck and the gentle donkey panicked, racing around the pasture as his torturers held fast to the rope that would soon end his life. It haunts and pains us to think of his last moments: How his deep brown eyes must have imploringly searched his tormentors’ faces for some answer.
As the terrifying night wore on, the boys wrapped the end of the long rope around the base of a fir tree. Pasado’s confusion and fear must have been overwhelming. Evidence indicated that the boys then began beating Pasado with sticks and a length of metal handle broken off of one of the antique farm implements. Pasado ran around the tree trying to escape, but only managed to wrap himself closer and closer to the tree trunk. When he could go no further, the rope became so tight that it cut off his air supply. The young men left him there to die.
Pasado’s death stunned the local community. Those who had known and loved him were inconsolable. “How could such a heinous crime occur here?” Compounding the horror of Pasado’s violent death was the minimal penalty that his killers faced. The prosecutor only charged the three boys with breaking and entering because it carried a heavier sentence than beating an animal to death. Somehow, Washington State’s anti-cruelty laws had gone unchanged for more than a century.
What happened to Pasado was unforgivable. But the very next day, plans were already being formed to create what eventually became “Pasado’s Safe Haven”. While Pasado’s death left many people shocked, angry, and grief-stricken, it also ignited a force and a voice for the animals. Pasado’s Safe Haven and our dedicated supporters now fight to create a better world for animals. And thus, out of a cruel, senseless death, a heartfelt mission – and indeed a movement – was born.
At Pasado’s Safe Haven, we envision a world where every animal is recognized as an individual who has the right to live free from abuse, abandonment, neglect and exploitation. Whether a cow, a dog, a cat, a chicken, a pig, a turkey – or a donkey –, these animals are all sentient beings who can feel fear and pain and crave love, comfort and safety.
Day after day, we hear stories of sweet, trusting animals being tortured, beaten, tossed aside, and forgotten. Inspired by the desire to right Pasado’s injustice, we take on their cases, one by one. We fight for them.
What keeps us going? Remembering what happened to Pasado that fateful night. We are willing to work around the clock to ensure that no other innocent animal has to suffer such a tragic end. We owe it to Pasado and to all the animals who cannot speak for themselves. We hope you will join us.