EUGENE, Ore. - When visiting a county fair, you expect to come across some farm animals.
But if you visit the tent for the Caring Place Donkey Sanctuary at the Lane County Fair, you'll see some animals that are a little bit different.
They represent a way of life.
Caring Place Donkey Sanctuary is a newly formed non-profit.
The group's director, Nancy Willard, says they use miniature donkeys as a segue to educate people about the Science of Happiness.
"We are introducing Donkey EEAW," Willard said. "That is Donkey Enabled Empowerment and Wisdom."
Willard says in her research, she discovered donkeys naturally portray seven actions that promote a happy and empowered lifestyle.
To give an example, Willard explained, "When donkeys are faced with something new, what they do is stop and think things through - so self-regulate and problem solve."
The fair is the non-profit's debut.
Fairgoers are welcome to pet and interact with the donkeys while learning a bit of psychology.
"It's a way of introducing really scientifically based, research based concepts in a fun and attractive manner," Willard said.
Though the group is new, they have big plans for the future. Willard says they're training their nine donkeys to be therapy animals for at risk youth or special needs children.
You can learn more by stopping by their booth at the fair or visiting their website.