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It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, a true pioneer in the field of humane wildlife management. Dr. Kirkpatrick, the founder of the Science and Conservation Center, passed away earlier this week from a brief but serious illness. He will be greatly missed.
His passing is a terrible loss for the wild horse community. Our deepest condolences go to his wife and his colleagues at the Science and Conservation Center who are like family to AWHPC, as Dr. Kirkpatrick was.
Jay was a rare “scientist with a heart” and he dedicated his life to reducing the suffering of wild animals by developing a humane alternative to lethal management practices. The PZP fertility control vaccine that he developed and perfected (as affirmed by 30 years of published science) has kept countless wild animals – from wild horses to deer to bison and even elephants – wild and free by protecting them from capture and killing.
“I’m not a bunny hugger, but I’ll never attend another gather as long as I live. They’re flat-out inhumane,” he told National Geographic in 2009 describing BLM wild horse roundups. “There are three reasons why these gathers are an unsatisfactory solution to the problem of numbers. Firstly, it’s genetically irresponsible to be constantly pulling off young horses whose genes will never get expressed; secondly, every time you pull horses out, the reproductive efficiency of the horses that remain increases. And thirdly, the behavioral consequences for the horses are profound.“
Jay was a visionary, a humanitarian and a shining example of what one person can accomplish in his lifetime. We are so proud to have called him a friend and a colleague. Measures have been taken by the Science and Conservation Center to prepare for this transition and the seamless continuation of the work that he was dedicated to for 45 years.
If you would like to express your gratitude for Dr. Kirkpatrick’s tremendous contributions to the fight to prevent suffering and keep wild horses and other wild animals wild and free, please visit our Facebook page below.
It’s going to be a very happy holiday for 21 Virginia Range mustangs who were captured by the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) and rescued under a cooperative agreement negotiated by AWHPC that allows us to purchase the horses before the NDA sends them to a slaughter auction! Very special thanks and gratitude goes to Madeleine Pickens and her Saving America’s Mustangs/Mustang Monument in Nevada, and to Wayne Guest and his Bright Starts Rescue and Horse Sanctuary in Georgia for stepping up to provide a permanent home to these beautiful horses. Best of all, the family groups get to stay together! Thank you to all the AWHPC donors who provided the resources necessary to purchase these horses from the state and transport them to their new homes.
Our fight to hold the Bureau of Land Management accountable for its illegal rounding up of 1,263 wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard in the fall of 2014 continues. We recently filed our opening brief with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. We are challenging the lower court’s decision to allow the BLM to subvert the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act by using a request from a landowner to remove horses from private lands as an excuse to permanently remove them from over two million acres of public lands as well. If allowed to stand, this ruling could place wild horses and burros across the West at the mercy of a few local property owners who want them gone. The legal issues at stake are so important that a group of distinguished environmental law professors has filed an Amicus brief in support of our position.
Meanwhile, the BLM is still accepting public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) the agency produced to correct previous legal violations related to the Checkerboard roundup. If you have not yet done so, please submit your comments today. Let’s take this opportunity to weigh in against the agency’s audacious trouncing of federal law and in favor of an alternative that would return some of the captured Checkerboard horses to their rightful homes back on the range.
More great holiday news for America’s horses! The Omnibus spending bill that is making its way through Congress (with an expected final vote within the week) includes two important provisions for the protection of America’s horses.
- A ban on federal funding for USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants, which prevents slaughter plants from reopening on U.S. soil (p. 108), and
- A prohibition on the BLM’s destruction of healthy unadopted wild horses and burros and on the sale of captured wild horses and burros for slaughter (p. 714).
Thank you to our coalition partner the ASPCA for this excellent news and congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to protect America’s horses from the cruelest of fates – slaughter. Much work remains to be done to prevent the export of horses to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico, but preventing the predatory horse slaughter industry from re-establishing in the U.S. is an important first step to stopping this horrific practice permanently.
Just a quick update to share some good news and a tiny bit of sad. The good news is that thanks to the beautiful and generous folks who are making it possible for these horses to stay safe, we were able to purchase some much needed groceries for the month of December.
What a beautiful Christmas present to be able to care for and feed God’s Creatures.
We were able to purchase another $600+ load of supplement buckets for the horses. These have protein and the extra nutrients these horses so desperately need in the winter weather.
We also were able to purchase a load of the most gorgeous hay we have ever seen from Oregon and we got a wonderful price on it.
We were also able to vet the 6 babies (3 coming to my place for gentling, training and adoption), and 3 heading to their new home in California. This was to the tune of $778 which included shots, worming, Coggins, health and brand certs etc. These are legal requirements for crossing the border and although a bit expensive, simply part of the cost of rescue and “saving horses from slaughter “.
So we just wanted to share the good news for December and let you know where the funds are going.
We had a bit of sad news. A beautiful old bay who was nicknamed “53” was really struggling to keep her weight on. We were unable to corral her, as she was old and very wise and not “falling for that”. We were so very pleased because with the last set of supplement buckets she had started to gain weight and appeared to be doing much better.
Unfortunately, she laid down the other day and was struggling to get up. Luckily John noticed right away and a vet was summoned. Due to her age and the fact that she had too many other health issues, the vet felt it was the kindest thing to let her go. So the guys stayed with her and she left this world peacefully, surrounded by her band.
This was another case of God knowing what was best for her. Instead of us catching her and taking her away from her family to “help her”, she was able to feel better from the supplement buckets and when it was her time, she was surrounded by her family and had not dealt with the stress of being moved. She was approximately 25 and that is a great life for a wild one.
Of course it still is heartbreaking, and you can’t help but cry, but it is more for us than for her. If every one of our wild horses could live for 24 years out on the range before being rounded up and then leave this earth so peacefully, I could certainly rest better at night. I am not sure what her vet bill was yet, but it is definitely one that is worth it.
So as always, we share the whole story. Those of you who were able to help made December a great month for these horse kids. THANK YOU!!
We so appreciate the love and support for these horse kids and are doing everything we can to keep costs down and find their forever homes. We will be keeping you posted on the progress of the little ones we are bringing here and it is always fun to see the little bits of progress being made.
We need prayers for Cowboy’s mama who is just a touch away from “hands on”. She has a sore front leg and I really need her to be comfy enough so we can check it out. She is doing very well but unfortunately time is something we lack.
If you want to help You can go to Youcaring –https://www.youcaring.com/let-
The U.S. Forest Service announced that it has withdrawn its notice to round up and impound the wonderful Salt River wild horses who live in the Tonto National Forest near Phoenix, Arizona. This is a direct result of public pressure and a great example of how our government and elected officials can and should listen to the will of the people!
Since August, we have worked with our coalition partner the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) toward the cancellation of the impound notice in order to allow time to negotiate an agreement for the long-term protection of the horses on Salt River.
Just last week, U.S. Congressman Matt Salmon and seven of his House colleagues sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, who oversees the Forest Service, asking the agency to listen to public, which wants these horses preserved. Previously, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake and Governor Doug Ducey expressed their strong support on behalf of their constituents for protection of these horses.
Huge congratulations go to the SRWHMG and its president Simone Netherlands for their tireless work to protect these horses. They have organized tremendous public support and have spent years doing critically-important, boots-on-the-ground work as stewards and documentarians of this very special herd.
Today, the House of Representatives passed the final version of a multi-year national highway bill known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or the FAST Act. The Senate is expected to pass the bill Friday and the President has said he will sign it. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for the next five years and provides $85 million annually for the program.
The bill has been working its way through Congress for most of this year. During the Congressional process several attempts were made to eliminate the RTP Program from the bill. These attempts were defeated because of strong support from Congressional champions of the program and grassroots support from recreational trail users, including many equestrians. Grassroots support played a very important role in making sure RTP was included in the final bill. The AHC appreciates all the individual horsemen and organizations that contacted their Members of Congress in support of RTP.
Since its inception RTP has provided money for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians. RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users. It is funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational off-highway vehicle users.
It is a victory for all recreational trail users that RTP was reauthorized and will be available to fund trail projects around the country for the next 5 years.
If you have any questions, please contact the AHC.
Any company that sells tuna—one of the most popular foods eaten globally—has the option of including a “dolphin safe” label on its product. Monitored by Earth Island International, the label ensures that your tuna was harvested without the use of drift gill nets, which often accidentally trap dolphin. The general idea behind this specialized labeling initiative is simple enough: Consumers should know if one animal species was killed in order for us to harvest another one.
Of course, the concept is necessarily discriminatory. An incalculable number of non-food animals die to bring food animals to our plates. Billions of rodents perish to grow corn and soy for animal feed; billions more are killed when rainforests are cleared for grazing cattle; and—if we want to throw insects into the mix—a nearly infinite number of them are exterminated as a sort of by-catch to accommodate humanity’s steady diet of meat, eggs, and dairy.
But—justifiably or not—dolphins are in a special category. Not only are dolphins unusually intelligent creatures, but they are non-threatening to humans, threatening to sharks, beloved performers at SeaWorld, popular stuffed animals, and frequently anthropomorphized for the purposes of television entertainment. For these reasons, humans (in Western cultures at least) have invested dolphins with a special status. Whatever the precise nature of that status, it’s enough to make dolphin protection a priority on a can of tuna fish.
Many Americans share the view that there’s something sort of majestically sacred about mustangs, at least sacred enough to prevent welfare-ranchers from selling us subsidized beef at the supermarket.
To accept this preferential logic compels us to lend other iconic animals special status as well. The most notably comparable case might be the wild horse—or mustang. Western ranchers holding permits from the Bureau of Land Management to graze cattle on public land compete with mustangs for access to forage within designated wild horse habitats. While 2014 year-end grazing receipts show the equivalent of at least 37 cattle for every wild horse on grazing lands managed by the BLM, mustangs aren’t in any way privileged beyond the soft protections offered by the 1971 Wild Horse and Burros Act. As a result, public-land ranchers routinely call on the BLM to round-up wild horses and remove them from federal land, preserving the forage for cattle. The BLM pens the captured mustangs in a holding facility, from which few are adopted and most die in captivity. Thousands, as revealed by a recent investigative report from the Department of the Interior, have been sold to “kill buyers” and shipped to Mexico for slaughter.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) issued to correct legal violations in the way it conducted the massive 2014 Wyoming Checkerboard roundup, which permanently removed 1,263 federally-protected wild horses from the range. By using a request from ranchers to remove wild horses from private lands as an excuse to eradicate horses from public lands, the BLM has set a dangerous precedent that puts wild horses at the mercy of private landowners who want them gone. We continue to fight this legal travesty in the courts, and we must take a strong stand as well during this public comment period. Please take action for wild horses.
Hi Folks, Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.
A quick summary of what is happening with the wild ones and some of our current expenses are as follows:
We moved the 18 horses to the facility we have been working on. PTL everyone safe and sound.
Fuel costs for this move $ 125.00 our truck
Emergency truck repairs $ 575.00 rescue truck
Fuel Costs truck (panels) $ 97.00
Fuel Addt’l Truck & trailer $ 97.00
Fuel 3rd Truck & Trailer $ 97.00
Additional manpower $ 200.00
Approximate costs to set up pens, round up, separate and safely move 18 horses to new location. $ 1191.00
(7 of the folks involved (including us) donated all their time and effort and as usual, did not get paid a penny) Matt gave up two days on a job in NV to help us get this done, as weather was a huge factor and time had run out to move these horses.
Some really great news is that 6 babies will be going to new facility and home in CA.
Two of Shirley Allen’s and my Little Cicero and 3 of the babies from Waylon & Rojo’s band are heading out to a new home.
Three babies will be coming to our rescue which gives us a total of 5 of the wild ones at Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang. These babies are untouched and will be gentled and halter trained so they can find their forever homes. The following are the expected fees for each baby.
$ 40.00 for coggins test
$ 45.00 for shots (5-way and West Nile)
$ 5.00 for wormer
$ 65.00 for Health Certs
$ 17.00 for Brand Inspections
Total Cost Per Baby to Prep for Transport $172.00
Cost for Prep 9 babies = $ 1,548.00
Plus Farm Call of $75.00
$1548.00 + $75 = $1623.00
This does not include gelding. There are at least 5, including Cowboy, little boys who need to be gelded prior to transport to their new homes.
This will be another $750 for gelding.
So the total for the horse to be moved, the babies prepped for transport and the little guys gelded is already up to approximately $ 3,564.00
This is not including any feed, or even the costs to transport the 6 babies going to Elk Grove, CA.
However, the good news is that these costs are not just a band aid, the 6 babies are going to a new home and we are no longer responsible for their feed and care.
We also have the possibility of 5-10 going to a wonderful sanctuary in Texas. We will be incurring roughly the same costs, although it will be a bit more as they are full size and will cost $17 each to be able to use the prison facilities to safely vet them, and do their hoofers etc.
Their is very little funds left in the coffer for these wild ones. We so appreciate the continued love and support folks are showing to help us get all of these beautiful creatures placed. We really need your help. If you want to help – there are many ways. You can share this with other folks who may not be aware of what is happening. If you want to donate you can go to the following:
You can go to Youcaring – https://www.youcaring.com/let-em-run-foundation-for-55-wild-horses-orphaned-foals-415297 to help us save these horses.
The American Horse Council is the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington DC. They are a valuable association that works to protect all breeds, disciplines and interests by communicating with Congress, federal agencies and the media plus the industry itself. Their latest Tax Bulletin has been released and covers:
- Expired Tax Provisions under Consideration as Congress Approaches Year End
- The Return of Reason in Treatment of “Past Losses” in Section 183 “Hobby Loss” Cases
AWHPC is working with local partners to implement real solutions to Keep Wild Horses Wild and Free. Under a first-of-its-kind cooperative agreement, we’re partnering with the State of Nevada to humanely manage an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 wild horses in the Virginia Range, which spans over 430 square miles in the Reno area. By next year, we expect this effort to be the largest humane wild horse management program in the world!
Your contribution, no matter the size, will help us achieve this goal and have tangible results for wild horses:
- $10 will buy 10 yards of raw materials for fencing to keep wild horses out of harm’s way.
- $20 will help keep a small family of wild horses safe on the range for a week through a diversionary feeding program aimed to keep horses out of neighborhoods and roadways.
- $40 will fund a diversionary feeding effort to keep a medium-sized family band of horses, such as King’s family, out of harm’s way for a week!
Dept. of Interior Ignored Federal Law, horses ended up in Mexican Slaughterhouse
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, sent a letter today to the Secretary of the Interior demanding to know how 1,800 American horses ended up being butchered at a Mexican slaughterhouse in violation of federal law.
The slaughtered horses were under the care of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which failed in its duty to provide good homes and humane care to the animals, according to a report by the Inspector General for the Department of the Interior.
“It is unacceptable that BLM’s disregard of the law resulted in the use of taxpayer funds to facilitate the inhumane slaughter of iconic American wildlife,” said Buchanan.
The Inspector General’s report concluded that BLM allowed an individual livestock hauler to purchase 1,794 horses between 2008 and 2012. Using intermediaries, he then sold the majority of these animals to slaughterhouses in Mexico for considerable profit. It is illegal for BLM to be involved in any way in the slaughter of healthy horses, including the sale of horses to an individual who then sells the animals for slaughter.
In April 2015, Buchanan introduced the bipartisan SAFE Act (H.R. 1942), which permanently bans killing horses for human consumption in America.
Buchanan has long been a leader in the fight against animal cruelty and has been recognized by the Humane Society as a “Legislative Leader” for his work on animal welfare issues.
Full text of Buchanan’s letter below.
November 10, 2015
The Honorable Sally Jewell
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Secretary Jewell:
I am outraged to learn that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) illegally sold nearly 1,800 wild horses to a Colorado rancher who in turn sold them to Mexican slaughter plants at a great profit. It is unacceptable that BLM’s disregard of the law resulted in the use of taxpayer funds to facilitate the inhumane slaughter of iconic American wildlife.
In a recent report, the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General (IG) found that BLM “did not follow current law” and “also failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered.”
The report states that BLM allowed an individual livestock hauler to purchase 1,794 horses between 2008 and 2012. Using intermediaries, he then sold the majority of these animals to slaughterhouses in Mexico for considerable profit. BLM received information that the hauler was sending his horses to slaughter, but neglected to thoroughly investigate these claims and continued selling animals to the hauler.
Selling wild horses for slaughter is a violation of law and the Bureau’s own policies.
BLM manages the U.S. wild horse population and is empowered to humanely destroy excess horses. While BLM can sell excess horses to third parties in certain circumstances, the Bureau’s internal guidelines prohibit the sale to slaughterers by requiring buyers to provide good homes and humane care to the animals.
Moreover, during the period investigated by the IG, Congress prohibited BLM from spending funds “for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of [BLM] or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.”
Last year, more than 150,000 American horses were butchered in Canada and Mexico and then transported overseas for consumption in Japan, Italy and other countries. Horsemeat can be toxic to humans and these animals can suffer incredible abuse even before arriving at the slaughterhouse. During transportation, they are often confined without food and water in overcrowded trailers. At the slaughterhouse, horses are further inhumanely treated, and are sometimes alive and kicking during dismemberment.
I am also troubled that, as part of this illegal sale, $140,000 of taxpayer money was used to transport horses to the buyer. Moreover, the sale by BLM helped the buyer earn more than $150,000 in profits from selling the horses for slaughter. These are funds that properly belong to the American public.
It is shocking that the employees who sold the animals to the hauler received bonuses for these sales. It is even more disturbing that BLM continued to sell horses to the hauler even after they were given information that he was sending the horses to slaughter. And it is a dereliction of duty that BLM did not attempt to verify the information they received.
BLM must be held accountable for breaking the law.
I respectfully request that the Department of the Interior provide my office with written answers to the following questions within 30 days:
- Please describe the discipline imposed upon BLM employees who facilitated these illegal transactions. If these employees were not terminated, please state why the agency believes it is proper to continue to employ individuals who supported criminal activity.
- What steps are Interior and BLM taking to recover the $140,000 of taxpayer funds use to deliver horses to the hauler?
- Is Interior or BLM taking action to recover the hauler’s profits from the illegal slaughter of the horses?
- Is Interior or BLM taking action to recover bonuses paid to any employees who facilitated this crime?
- Does BLM receive reports that buyers of horses may be illegally selling horses for slaughter? If so, why were reports ignored in the case described in the IG report? Can you say with certainty that reports have not been ignored in any other potential cases?
- The IG report identifies Southwest Livestock LLC as a “kill buyer” that exported 12,000 horses per year to Mexico for slaughter after such activity was banned. Please describe what actions, if any, you are taking to ensure that this company is not engaging in horse slaughter and is held accountable for its illegal activities.
- Please provide your understanding of why federal and state prosecutors failed to take action in the case described in the IG report. In particular, please describe any interaction that employees of Interior or BLM had with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado or the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office with respect to the activities described in the IG report, noting the following:
- Whether any employees testified under oath about these activities.
- Whether any employees were offered incentives for their testimony, such as potential immunity or reduced charges.
- Any family relationships that employees of Bureau of Land Management have with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado or the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office.
I look forward to your prompt response and thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Member of Congress
cc: The Honorable Neil Kornze, Director, Bureau of Land Management
Join the Wild Horse Preservation Project in giving a voice to the wild horses & burros. To help increase public awareness and put pressure on the BLM and decision makers to stop the inhumane roundups, forced removals from federal lands and end slaughter, we need your letters. It’s never been more important than now with the BLM’s admitted and confirmed sale of 1,800 federally-protected wild horses for slaughter and the massive roundup underway in Oregon.
With the massive roundup of 1,400 wild horses underway in Oregon, and last month’s revelation that the Bureau of Land Management had illegally sold nearly 1,800 wild horses for slaughter, now is the time to hold the BLM accountable for its mismanagement and inhumane treatment of our wild horses and burros.
Here is a link to the guest commentary that was written by Suzanne Roy entitled “Wild Horses Need More Humane Management” and published on 11/14/15.
What You Can Do
Please send a letter to the editor thanking the Denver Post for publishing our Guest Opinion and supporting our call for reform of the federal wild horse management program.
- Use this Sample Letter as a Starting Point
Thank you for publishing Sunday’s Guest Commentary, “Wild Horses Need More Humane Management.”
America must do a better job caring for its wild horses. The recent news that 2,000 horses were illegally sent to slaughter in Mexico is just one example.
Currently the Bureau of Land Management spends nearly $80 million annually to roundup up wild horses from Western public lands and warehouse them in government holding facilities.
Two years ago, the National Academy of Sciences advised BLM to use a proven fertility control vaccine as an alternative to removing horses from the range. But the government has largely ignored this advice.
That must change. We don’t need more horror stories about horse slaughter.
In Colorado, we are privileged to have several magnificent, federally-protected wild horse herds. We must use proven and humane methods to manage our wild horses and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
- Personalize Your Letter by Choosing From These Talking Points
- The horse slaughter scandal is an egregious example how our current system isn’t working.
- Congress bans the sale of horses for slaughter. The BLM broke this rule.
- Thousands of horses are rounded up each year in the West. More than 50,000 are in holding pens and that number grows each year. Adoptions don’t come close to finding homes for horses that have been removed from their land.
- A roundup is currently underway in Oregon will remove 1.400 wild horses from public lands in that state so ranchers can graze more cattle on the public lands there. The roundup will cost American taxpayers nearly $60 million for the helicopter roundup and lifetime warehousing of horses that are not adopted.
- The fertility control vaccine PZP is a humane, scientifically proven and cost-effective way to safely and humanely manage wild horse populations. It prevents pregnancies in mares for up to two years and wears off if horses aren’t re-vaccinated. It doesn’t harm horses or the surrounding environment.
- PZP is used in more than 30 U.S. horse management areas, including three in Colorado. But its use should be more widespread in order to reduce and, hopefully end, roundups.
- In a 2013 report, the National Academy of Sciences advocated more widespread use of fertility control to manage wild horses on federal land.
- Some in BLM resist fertility control in favor of the unworkable status quo. This failure to move forward harms horses, is unsustainable and could ultimately lead to an overturning of the policies that prevent legal horse export and slaughter.
- BLM spends less than 1 percent of its $80 million budget on fertility control, while over 70 percent is spent on rounding up and warehousing horses.
- According to an ASPCA poll, 80 percent of the American public opposes horse slaughter.
- According to an American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign poll, 72 percent of the American public supports protecting wild horses on federal lands.
- It’s time for BLM to end this unworkable system and ensure that horses are treated, and managed, humanely.
- Send Your Letter to the Denver Post
Include: YOUR NAME, EMAIL, PHONE, HOME ADDRESS (newspapers generally only publish the name of your city, but need this additional information to verify the letter is yours.)
Be sure: Your letter is 150 words or less.
Thank you for speaking up for wild horses!
Suzanne & the AWHPC Team
My heart is breaking, and I can hardly see through the tears as I write this. I am so very sorry to have to tell you that we lost Lil Bit today. The picture above is her out on the range.
Matt and I were at a “meet and greet” with Honey Bandit, when I was called out on an injured horse emergency. While I was there, I called Shirley about the injured mare and this is what she told me. She could barely speak and I knew she was beyond devastated.
Shirley did what she promised and stayed with Lil Bit 24/7. She was watching Lil Bit and standing beside her in case she needed help while she was up and walking. All at once there was a “snapping noise” in Lil Bit’s leg, and she crashed, pinning Shirley under her. It took about 40 minutes for Shirley to get free, but Lil Bit was done. She absolutely could not get up again. Doc was on his way and Lil Bit would be set free from the pain and suffering. No one was expecting this, especially not Doc, but apparently she blew out either her ligament or tendon and it was horribly clear that she cannot recover or have any type of quality of life.
We want to thank everyone who stepped up to help this little angel. As I sit here I am physically ill and the tears won’t stop. Sometimes you wonder “why – why do we keep doing this?” Your heart is broken so many times that you think it may not keep beating, and it is nearly impossible to even breathe, the pain is so harsh. The worst part of it is that every time you lose one, it not only devastates you but brings back all the pain of each and every other one you have lost. Sometimes it is just too hard……
On October 23, 1015 I toured the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse Short Term Holding facility referred to as Broken Arrow located on Indian Lakes Road in Fallon, Nevada. I was unsure of what to expect. I have owned and ridden horses my entire life. I am a photographer of wild horses so I spend considerable hours monthly observing and photographing wild horses free on the range. The first time I had heard of this facility I was told by one person it was a “Secret place on Indian Land so they didn’t have to obey the rules.” The impression I was given was that no one knew about the property and it was hidden and all was secretive so horses could go to slaughter without having to comply with federal regulations. I was told there were trucks coming and going in the middle of the night. Only a few months later I was told I could tour the facility and told that there were tours twice a year. The truth of the property appeared quite different from the public rumors. The other people on the tour seemed to have been aware of the facility which opened 6 years ago according to BLM representative John Neil. One couple was from Fallon and they stated that most people in Fallon do not know that facility exists. Churchill County records show most improvements were installed in 2011.
My initial impression when I drove in was that several high fencing obstacles were at the front and seemed to have been strategically placed in this area to prevent the public from observing what is going on at the facility. From the road I would have no idea that there were over 2500 horses on site. I paused and checked my Iphone map to be sure I was actually there. I actually used my binoculars to look around for the horses before I drove into the property.
We are desperately attempting to find placement for two bands of horses recently removed by the Nevada Department of Agriculture from the Virginia Range, who will go to slaughter auction in less than two weeks if we are unsuccessful. Additionally, we have eight horses at Horses Plus Humane Society in northern California who were removed from the Virginia Range by the NDA over a year ago. We have been paying Horses Plus to keep these horses and not euthanize them, however they are moving and cannot take these horses with them.
We are spreading the word far and wide about the need for placing these horses.
Must find placement in two weeks or they will be sent to slaughter auction:
- A family band of ten horses consisting of 2 geldings, 1 colt and 7 mares/fillies
- A band of three consisting of 1 gelding & 2 mares
- A single bachelor gelding
Ranchers who sell beef to Whole Foods Market are behind the largest mustang roundup of 2015-2016 is now underway in southern Oregon.Whole Foods Market is striving toward ethical food sourcing, but there is nothing ethical about the way wild horses and burros are wiped out to make room for more private livestock grazing on our public lands.
The massive roundup under way in Oregon is being conducted specifically due to pressure from the Beatys Butte Grazing Association, so its members can run more cattle on the public lands in the Beatys Butte Herd Management Area, which is a federally designated wild horse habitat. Several members of the Beatys Butte Grazing Association — including its president — market their beef through a cooperative called Country Natural Beef, which is a major provider of beef to Whole Foods Market.
This means that right now, wild horses are being brutally rounded up, removed from their families and their homes on the range, all so that ranchers can profit by selling beef to Whole Foods, which then sells the meat as “grass-fed” to its customers at a premium.
We can stop this by exercising our consumer muscle! Please take a moment to tell Whole Foods that it should not provide a market for meat supplied by ranchers who graze sheep and cattle in wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Whole Foods must adopt policies that promote protection — not decimation — of America’s iconic wild horse and burro herds.
While we’ve had a few animals adopted recently, the rescue is full once again and I have a waiting list of animals to come in when I have room. I’ve taken back two donkeys I had placed, due to a very sad circumstance, and Sweet William is still waiting for his perfect home. It’s such an ebb and flow, and our adoption numbers are down quite a bit this year from where they have been in years past.
Keeping all of these animals does not come cheap. Feeding and caring for these animals is very costly. We have every animal examined by our vet when they come in – they are brought up-to-date on rabies and tetanus vaccines and have blood drawn for coggins. Any other medical or dental issues found during this exam are also addressed.
Thank you, as always, to all of you who continue to do what you can to support us. Please know that your efforts are very gratefully appreciated and allow us to do what we do – rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home donkeys and mules in need.
See the beauties looking for homes and other ways to help and if you will be in Springfield, MA for Equine Affaire from Nov 11-15, stop by their booth and say hello.