- What’s NewThis is the news page.
- About LTRThis is the History page.
- ContactThis is the Contact Us page.
We have a new mule at the rescue, who I have named Sage. When she came in the week before Christmas I was told that “she is extremely shy and won’t come up to you.” The first time I went to see her after she arrived she did not want me close, so I just stood and talked to her for a few minutes. I gave her my “this is now, and that was then” speech, tossed an apple on the ground for her, and left.
Over my next few visits with her she let me touch her, but was pretty tentative. I didn’t push it, just scritched her withers and told her she was loved.
Over the weekend, I went to see her, shedding blade in hand. I just stood and talked to her for a few minutes, then reached out and she didn’t move away. I started brushing her with the shedding blade and talking to her. I took her by the halter and looked her in the eyes and told her she was safe now and she didn’t have to worry anymore. She lowered her head and sighed…she let a huge breath out as if she had been holding her breath for a very long time. I just started crying — crying for all the animals who won’t be safe, for the loss of my mom, for all sorts of pent up stuff I’ve been holding onto, for the fact that this one mule at least is now safe, and that she trusts me. I just hugged her neck and cried and cried and cried… and she just stood there with her head low, leaning into me ever so slightly.
But wow….MULE MAGIC.
I’m sharing this with you because interactions like this are so powerful and meaningful to us. It’s been a tough fall and winter so far for me. I found myself wondering why I got involved with rescuing donkeys and mules; and with just the lowering of her head and a sigh, Sage helped me put everything back into perspective.
Saving animals and providing a better life for them is what we do. We are only able to do this because of the amazing generosity of people like you. Please know how grateful we are to you for your ongoing support.
Please help us help them. We can’t do it without you.
You still have time to donate and get the tax credit for 2013. Won’t you please send a donation, large or small, to help us help animals like Sage?
Wishing you all a healthy, happy New Year.
Ann and the herd
1. Lawmakers didn’t pass the SAFE Act to protect horses from slaughter.
2. Major food retailers didn’t take a stand against equine slaughter.
3. There is no wild horse curriculum in public schools.
4. Helicopter roundups continue in summer heat and winter cold.
5. Director of the Wild Horse and Burro Program Joan Guilfoyle dissed us twice by refusing to take hundreds of thousands of signatures in her hands.
6. The government shutdown interrupted the horse and burro adoptions programs and may have affected care standards.
7. Other government organizations rounded up wild horses without protecting them from danger of slaughter.
8. Bureau of Land Management only provided shelter for a small percentage of horses and burros in their care.
9. Navajo Nation President Ben Shelley reversed his decision to stop selling horses to slaughter.
10. Secretary Sally Jewel did not address the failures of the wild horse program.
As we look forward to 2014 we want to focus on what we can do to affect change. I hoped that after Ken Salazar left the Department of the Interior the wild horse and burro program would improve, but Sally Jewel hasn’t done anything to change the failing program either.
The Secretary was kind enough to send a representative to speak with me when I was in Washington DC but he said that Ms. Jewell had not even been briefed on the wild horse and burro program because she had other priorities.
We must take the well-being of the captive horses and burros in our own hands by sharing the Great American Mustang Exodus Campaign widely. If we band together to provide homes for the horses and burros, we could force the BLM to change their focus from caring for captives to managing wild horses on the land.
Sally Jewel has turned her back on the horses and burros. The situation is alarming. There are more captive horses than ones living free. If we don’t do something drastic to save the horses in 2014, we may have no more running free.
“One person can make a difference, but together we can make change!” – Robin Warren
Click for more information about the Youths’ Equestrian Alliance.
This month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) completed another devastating helicopter round up, capturing and removing 586 wild horses from their homes on the range in Wyoming. The roundup was conducted specifically to appease ranchers who enjoy taxpayer-subsidized grazing on the public lands where the wild horses live.
It’s a stark reminder of what we are up against.
Only the power of the people can counter the powerful special interests that seek to destroy America’s wild horses and burros. That’s why I’m so excited about the new film, AMERICAN MUSTANG, which made its world premiere last month in Denver.
AMERICAN MUSTANG is a powerful 3D nature film that combines the story of a young girl with breathtaking footage of wild horses on the range, and a dramatic documentary about these majestic animals and their fight for survival in today’s West. The Huffington Post called the film “… sweeping and intimate; a visually stunning love song and call to action.”
AMERICAN MUSTANG promises to energize and activate a whole new generation of wild horse advocates. This film has the potential to reach a huge, mainstream audience, including thousands of people who have no idea what is happening to wild horses and burros on our public lands in the West.
We need your help to spread the word and bring the film to a city near you!
AMERICAN MUSTANG has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $40,000 to launch the movie in select cities in California, Florida and Colorado in the first quarter of 2014. Already, the film is 87% of the way toward its fundraising goal with 14 days to go – a testament to the excitement surrounding this movie!
Please watch the Kickstarter video below, support the project and receive great rewards in appreciation for your support.
The wild horses and burros who remain free in Wyoming and in other Western states – and the 50,000 mustangs and burros who are incarcerated in BLM holding facilities — are depending on us to get the word out about their plight.
This is Stan Palmer.
He’s the man the federal government chose to “adopt out” wild horses rounded up earlier this year from the Oregon-Nevada border.
He wasn’t a new choice.
Under a previous contract with the feds, Palmer couldn’t account for the whereabouts of as many as 202 of the 262 wild horses he received — despite being required to do so. We know some of those wild horses ended up at livestock auctions frequented by kill buyers.
The results of his new contract were predictable.
Within days of taking possession of the wild horses, one of Palmer’s employees urged people on Facebook to “show up with your trailer and load em up….need gone asap!!!!” adding, “when they leave my house they are no longer my business.”
Soon after, truckloads of horses were taken from Palmer’s property to unknown destinations. We suspect that many will end up in the slaughter pipeline.
Fortunately, we had the resources we needed to put the Washington bureaucrats responsible for this backdoor slaughter program under scrutiny. And as a result of our efforts, Congress started asking questions and now the bureaucrats are on notice and so is Palmer.
Our work is far from over. We continue to press for a full accounting of the whereabouts of all horses sent to Palmer in 2013, and to make sure that the government never again pays this Mississippi middleman to launder horses into the slaughter pipeline.
A $10 donation from you right now enables us to escalate our fight in Washington to reform federal wild horse and burro policy so that these national icons remain wild and free on the range where they belong.
We can’t continue this work without your support.
Your Senator can make a difference for wild horses and we need you to call him or her right away.
The so-called Grazing “Improvement” Act is scheduled for action in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. The bill, among other bad things, would extend the term of federal livestock grazing permits to 20 years from 10 years. This would harm wild horses by locking in the current inequitable system in which livestock are given preferential treatment over wild horses in designated wild horse habitat areas.
While we still oppose the legislation, we may not have the votes to stop it. However, if the bill is going to move, we have a chance to get an amendment attached to help wild horses. The amendment would allow for the voluntary relinquishment of federal grazing permits in favor of non-livestock grazing values, such as wild horses, on public lands. This would allow organizations or individuals to compensate federal grazing permittees on highly controversial grazing allotments for waiving their permits in favor of horses, wildlife, water quality and recreation. Under such a provision, the agency would be prohibited from ever allowing domestic livestock grazing on the allotment again.
As a constituent of a Senator voting on this bill, you can make a difference! It takes just one minute to call your Senator and follow it up with a quick email. Please click below now to speak up for wild horses — the mustangs need your voice today!
The Broken Arrow facility is closed to the public and has been for some time. But then again, Palomino Valley is closed during the government shutdown and is still visible from public roads. So, we decided to drive by the Broken Arrow facility on the way back home to Las Vegas, Nevada, and see “what we could see.”
Please visit the Youths’ Equestrian Alliance page for more information about their mission and to donate to their cause.
This post is hard for me to write. When I heard a wild horse had been murdered, I think of everyone who loved this wild one – especially kids.
Not only has this beautiful stallion been slain by bullets, another was killed with arrows in the same area!
This week there has been talk about wild horses being dangerous after a child was kicked while feeding a wild horse. Unfortunately it is us who are a danger to them.
Wild horses are majestic and respectful but we must honor them. Feeding them is dangerous because it brings them down to the roads where they are in danger of being hit and they may fight over the food which can put you in danger. They are not public safety concerns – as some say – it is us who have taken away their safety.
Because people feed the wild ones, they are more trusting of us and our cars. Please do not feed them.
♥ If you want to feed and pet a wild horse there are 50,000 in holding pens waiting for a kind touch and a good home ♥
I teach my friends when we go out on field observations to never get too close to the wild ones and to never feed them. But we get to come back to the stables and pet adopted mustangs.
Now, back to the horse-killer. I hope and pray we get justice for these horses and for all the people who loved them. I pray for all the wild horses and burros that they will be safe from bad people and cars.
Can you help us continue our mission of teaching youth about the proper ways to view these marvelous and majestic creatures? Can you help us raise awareness about the horrible killings? Us kids want to know we live in a world where there is justice for animals. Your gift of a dollar goes a long ways! Thank you for your help!
Wild Mustang Robin (Robin Warren)
Please visit the Youths’ Equestrian Alliance page for more information on how you can help.
Members of BLM’s citizen advisory board heard findings from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review of the wild horse and burro program at a three-day meeting last week in Arlington, VA.
Among the key findings: that BLM census figures, range monitoring data and Appropriate Management Levels lack scientific foundation. Also presenting at the meeting were members of the Navajo Nation, which presented statistics on its recent spate of wild horse roundups and asked for federal funding to continue to remove wild horses from tribal lands.
AWHPC was on hand at the meeting to present findings of our report indicating that the BLM is giving away the vast majority of forage in wild horse areas to private livestock, and poll results showing strong public support for protection of wild horses and opposition to horse slaughter.
To read the AWHPC’s eyewitness report on the meeting, please visit their website.
You’ll recall that these horses were rounded up by the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone tribe earlier this month with the blessing of our federal government.
As a result of our lawsuit against the federal government, a judge last Friday issued an injunction temporarily blocking their sale at the auction. The sale continued with the auction of branded horses, about half of whom were sadly purchased by kill buyers.
On Wednesday, the same judge lifted the order, clearing the way for the horses to be sold to the highest bidder. Clearly, we disagree with the verdict and with the actions of the federal government, which was complicit in making these horses available to kill buyers.
Following the ruling, we did everything we could to save the 149 horses from slaughter. I’m happy to report that, after an amazing collaborative effort, these horses are safe.
For more information on the horse rescue and to find out how you can help, please visit the American Wild Horse Preservation.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) announced Aug. 12 that 23 equine rescue organizations from across the nation have joined the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, now in its fourth year. The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative is a major grants program which aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses, repurposing the horses for other areas of the equine world, and giving them a new lease on life for events or pleasure riding.
“Thoroughbreds frequently end up at livestock auctions … when their racing days are over, and it is through organizations like these recipients that retired racehorses are cared for,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “These rescues are committed to aftercare for retired racers, and we are thrilled to provide this opportunity to help them as they work to transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock. Additionally, they provide sanctuary for horses who are no longer physically fit for riding or adoption.”
Check out the full list of recipients at TheHorse.com.
This summer’s sweltering temperatures are especially difficult for captured wild horses and burros held in BLM short-term holding facilities in the West. Although the agency requires that adopters of wild horses and burros provide the animals with shelters, it provides no shelters to the thousands of horses stockpiled in its own holding pens. In response to public controversy about horses standing in unrelenting heat and blazing sun at the BLM’s Palomino Valley Adoption Center near Reno, the agency installed sprinklers in some of the pens, but still stubbornly refuses to provide shade to the mustangs and burros incarcerated there. Now national organizations and national media are weighing in on these inhumane conditions. Please click here to read more about the efforts to force BLM to give captured wild horses and burros shelter from the elements.
We need YOUR help in asking the new Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, to protect wild horses.
As a conservationist and outdoor enthusiast, she brings to the Interior Department a different mindset than her predecessor Ken Salazar, a rancher whose pro-livestock policies were devastating to wild horses.
However, Jewell appears to know little about wild horses and burros. During her confirmation process, she answered just one question on the issue, posed in writing by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. In her response, she pledged to work together with Senator Wyden to “pursue effective and ecologically sustainable policies” for the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro program.
Now is our chance to bring this issue to Jewell’s attention and hold her to her promise to work together toward reform.
We’re collecting signatures on an open letter that will be delivered to Sally Jewell in her first days as Interior Secretary. The goal to demonstrate that tens of thousands of Americans are fed up with the direction of the program and the toll it’s taking on wild horses, burros and American taxpayers.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is giving the public just 17 days to submit comments on a plan to roundup and remove wild horses living in the South Steens Herd Management Area (HMA), which is located 75 miles south of Burns, Oregon. Known as the “Hollywood Herd,” the South Steens horses are both colorful (many pintos) and accessible, making them one of the most popular and frequently photographed populations in the U.S.
Just four years ago, the BLM conducted a helicopter roundup in the mountainous South Steens HMA, removing hundreds of wild horses from the range. The horses were thrown into holding pens; most will remain in captivity in government holding facilities for life. Now, four years later, the agency is planning another roundup in the HMA, and targeting over 300 horses for removal.
Despite sequestration and budget crises and despite the lack of holding space for captured mustangs due to the stockpiling of an astounding 50,000 wild horses, the BLM just does not get the message that its fiscally irresponsible and inhumane ways must change. The agency must stop rounding up and removing wild horses from their homes on the range, and start properly implementing a PZP fertility control program. Current wild horse numbers can be accommodated by modest adjustments to livestock grazing in order to give PZP the time to stabilize population numbers, and reduce the herd size over time.
The BLM allocates 72% of available forage in this HMA, not to federally-protected wild horses, but to a private rancher who grazes his livestock on our public lands at tax-subsidized rates. This leaves ample room for the agency to adjust forage allocations to maintain the current South Steens wild horses on the range and avoid costly removals.
It has come to our attention via the poster shown that a donkey roping event is scheduled for May 25 and 26 in Welch, OK. We stopped ropings in Eden, TX and Van Horne, TX last year. Please send letters and call to get this one stopped too!
Donkey roping is a cruel and completely unnecessary “sport.” Donkeys are anatomically different from cattle, and their bodies cannot stand up to the rigors of roping the way a steer’s can. Their joints articulate differently, and they have a long cervical spine (neck) that is easily broken when stretched between two horses that weight 3 – 6 times as much as a donkey. In addition, given the length and design of their necks, their windpipes are often crushed during the event. The bones in their legs are often broken as well. Donkeys do not have horns to rope, and often the cartilage of their ears is broken by the ropes or by putting the “hats” on that normally protect a steer.
Roping is an art, and the ropes need to land on the correct locations on the cattle in order to handle them without injury. Donkeys do not have the same locations as a cow does, making it much more likely to cause lasting injuries. Also a donkey’s skin is not the same as a cow’s, and often they end up with necks covered in blisters from the ropes tearing their skin
For more information about contacting representatives to stop this event, and to see the damage that can happen to roped donkeys, please visit Donkey Whisperer Farm.
Five miles north of Katy on more than 70 acres of green pastures is where Pops and Honey are living out the golden years of their life, relaxing and enjoying time together.
They often have visitors who spend time with them like Katy mom Kelli Kerkhoff, who said she is grateful to see the couple happy now after neglect and suffering marred their lives.
“Pops is just really sweet and he was about to be sent off to a slaughterhouse so he was brought there,” said Kerkhoff, 39. “And Honey had been kept in a garage for a couple of years and she was underweight and malnourished but she’s there now and doing well.”
Pops and Honey are enjoying a different kind of retirement as horses, being protected and cared for at the Blue Ribbon Equine Horse Rescue at 25150 Beckendorff Road. As a volunteer, Kerkhoff grooms horses, walks them around and feeds them.
“I’ve always had a love for animals, dogs, cats and horses especially, and since they can’t speak for themselves, I have a strong urge to work with them,” said Kerkhoff, who grew up around horses as a child and sought out a place to volunteer after she and her family moved to Katy last year.
Kerkhoff recently combined her love of horses and running to participate in the Chevron Houston Marathon in January to raise funds and awareness for the horse rescue. An avid runner who has competed in five other marathons, Kerkhoff trained with a Katy-area running group for six months to prepare for the Houston marathon.
“I ran my fastest marathon yet by 13 minutes and qualified for the Boston Marathon,” said Kerkhoff, who ran in a rainy and windy Houston marathon. “It was a total shock that I qualified, especially considering how bad the weather was.”
Kerkhoff was “Hoofin’ It for Horses” at the marathon, a catchy name that Blue Ribbon owner Barbara Jacobs came up with once Kerkhoff decided to run to support the rescue.
Read the rest of the article here.
A federal court in Wyoming is expected to rule imminently on a proposed settlement agreement between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) that, if approved by the Court, would wipe out wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard, a two-million acre swath of public and private land in the southern part of the state. The settlement agreement, or Consent Decree, is in response to a lawsuit filed by the nation’s largest grazing association against the Interior Department. The settlement is vigorously opposed by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation and the International Society for the Preservation of Mustangs and Burros, who were granted intervenor status in the case.
“The Consent Decree, if approved, will have extreme consequences for the wild horses that are currently roaming free on the public lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard,” wrote attorney Katherine Meyer, of the public interest law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal, in opposition to the proposed consent decree. “[T]he Decree proposes to entirely eliminate more than one-third of the current allowable wild horse population in the state. These are extreme measures that will not only negatively impact the Intervenors’ interests but will have long-standing and devastating consequences for Wyoming’s wild horses.”
Continue the rest of the article here.
Tim Sappington is ready to buy horses for Valley Meat Co., which is seeking to open the first U.S. horse slaughterhouse since 2007. Right now he’s the only paid employee, and he puts his money where his mouth is.
He eats horse meat. And he likes it.
“I’ve eaten it for years,” said Sappington, who slaughters the animals himself and keeps a meat locker stocked at his home near Roswell, New Mexico.
Sappington and others see the plan to reopen the shuttered cattle facility about 8 miles outside Roswell, near a ranch that is home to a Kentucky Derby winner, as a chance to reclaim jobs now going to Mexico.
The idea of killing horses for food has generated heated opposition from animal-welfare advocates who say it is cruel and could introduce unhealthy meat into the food supply, and it has spurred legislation in Congress to keep it from happening.
York, PA – It was late in the day, later than she usually stayed at horse sales, when Kelly Smith walked past a pen holding horses that had been sold for slaughter. Smith, the director of Omega Horse Rescue in Peach Bottom Township, noticed a brown bay mare with blood running down her leg. She and another rescuer tried to staunch the bleeding, first with napkins from a lunch counter and then with a coat someone had left nearby.
For more than 20 years, she’s rescued horses and built relationships with others at the Lancaster County horse sale, including people who buy horses for slaughter. She got permission from the buyer to treat the horse and called a vet, who sutured the leg.
By then, Smith said she wasn’t leaving the horse behind. She bought it for $360.
Like so many times before, she took photos and uploaded them to Facebook to show her followers what she was doing.
Hours later and hundreds of miles away in Harwich, Mass., Brittany Wallace, 16, was on the computer doing research. It was early in the morning on Nov. 13 and she had spent the night on the couch to be near the family dog, Kona, who was sick. Kona died at 6 that morning.
She thought about her childhood, of growing up with Kona and her horse, Scribbles.
Scribbles and Kona had joined the Wallace family in the same week when Brittany was 9 years old. The family sold the horse when Brittany was older, and later lost touch with Scribbles.
Continue reading the article here.
Bureau Of Land Management Restricts Sale Of Wild Horses After Investigation Of Colorado Livestock Hauler
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Sales of wild horses and burros will be restricted under new rules announced Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management after an investigation into the sale of more than 1,700 horses to a Colorado livestock hauler who supports the horse meat industry.
“It is a response to that inquiry, which is being conducted right now by the Office of the Inspector General of the Interior Department,” said Tom Gorey, BLM spokesman for the wild horse program in Washington, D.C.
Wild horse advocates said the rules amount to “window dressing” and won’t keep large numbers of mustangs out of the hands of so-called kill buyers.
The inspector general is investigating what became of 1,777 horses sold since 2009 to Tom Davis. Wild horse advocates fear the animals were taken to Mexico for slaughter.
“He’s the biggest buyer among all of our buyers over the years,” Gorey said of Davis. Since 2005, when the BLM first allowed people to buy horses in bulk as opposed to adopting them, the agency has sold 5,400 animals, Gorey said.
An investigation of Davis’ wild horse purchases was published by ProPublica in September.
Gorey said the inspector general is “looking into all aspects of the sales to Davis, including the whereabouts of the horses.”
He said it’s unknown when the investigation will be finished.
Read the rest of the article here.
Public comment is being invited on a draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines in Canada.
Submissions on the code, proposed by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) are open until February 14, 2013. All stakeholders are encouraged to provide input to ensure that the Code reflects a common understanding of equine care expectations and recommended practices in Canada.
A Scientists’ Committee report summarizing research on priority welfare topics for equines can be found online alongside the draft Code. This peer-reviewed report aided the discussions of the Code Development Committee as they prepared the draft Code of Practice.
“I’m proud of the collaborative effort committee members have shown since we began our work in early 2011,” said Jack de Wit, Director with the Equine Canada Board of Directors and Chair of the Code Development Committee.
“The next step is opening the draft Code to input from the public. With the public’s help we will have a Code that is good for owners and the animals in their care.”
Anyone can provide comments and suggestions on the Code; all submissions must be made through the online system.
The code can be viewed at nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/equine.
Continue reading the article here.