First I want to thank everyone who donated after receiving our most recent newsletter. Your donations are always appreciated.
This update is to alert you of something you may not be aware of when you think of America’s wild horses. Not all wild horses are managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Many people are under the impression that our free roaming wild horses are all federally protected (which is a farce because they are being removed in record numbers leaving only a few on the ranges). The BLM manages only wild horses that live on certain designated herd areas on either BLM lands or Forest Service lands. Horses that live outside designated herd areas are not included, nor are horses that live on other federal agency land like Fish and Wildlife land, or state lands, or reservation land or private land. All of the excluded horses are also subject to removal, like the BLM herd area horses, but may be immediately sent to slaughter. These horses are still American mustangs with the same DNA as BLM horses but they have a different zip code. They may have even originally been BLM horses, but wandered from their range to another that falls under some other jurisdiction.
In the summer of 2010, 170 wild horses were picked up by the BLM in Northern Nevada. These horses were roaming on BLM land, but were not in one of the approved herd areas managed by the BLM, so the BLM would not claim them as federally protected horses. They shipped them to the Fallon Livestock Auction for disposal. Lifesavers heard about this atrocity and made sure that every single mustang was rescued. None were bought by killer buyers – none went to slaughter! These horses were later DNA tested and sure enough – they were an old herd of mustangs with markers that identified them as such.
Just a few months later – several hundred little mustang horses were gathered from the Pyramid Lakes Paiute Reservation in Nevada. These horses are known to wander back and forth across the reservation and BLM land. We’ve heard stories about how the BLM will push the horses back on to the reservation so they don’t have to deal with them. The Paiute Reservation sent their horses to the livestock auction for disposal. Again, Lifesavers was there to rescue them.
And through the years Lifesavers has been integral in keeping our precious Virginia Range mustangs in Nevada also known as Comstock horses from ending up at slaughter by taking them directly from the State’s Ag Dept after being picked up as nuisance horses or estrays. These horses typically roam on private undeveloped land around the Reno, NV area and fall under the state’s jurisdiction, not the BLM.
My point is that not all wild horses are ones that the BLM rounds up and sends to either short or long term holding facilities – as much as we hate that this happens – most of the horses avoid immediate danger of being slaughtered. Although we wish the horses could be left on the open ranges, there is at least a chance for adoption, or for being transferred to a tax payer supported ranch. Non-BLM managed horses don’t have that buffer zone.
So I want to you to know that Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue has been rescuing horses all along that face a long ride to a brutal death. Some being saved only hours before being shoved onto a big truck that would drive them down the highway to hell.
As far as BLM horses go – they too, many times, end up at the slaughter house – we have purchased many from feedlots that sell horses to Canadian or Mexican slaughter plants. From there their meat ends up overseas for human consumption. There was news this year about a man in the U.S. who purchased 1700 mustangs from the BLM – no one knows where these horses ended up – but it is known that the buyer has a history of selling horses for slaughter.
On to the second point of this update. Lifesavers has been fortunate to have acquired an additional 60 acres at our Wild Horse Canyon Sanctuary. This new land will expand our current sanctuary where we allow unadoptable rescued mustangs (and others) to live in a natural environment – free-roaming on a beautiful mountain range. The expansion of our sanctuary will let us give some more of our rescued horses their freedom – some of our horses have been waiting a long, long time to take in the wide open spaces of Wild Horse Canyon’s sanctuary land. To run across the ridges, to nap in the shade of the oaks and pines, to breathe in the mountain air – to feel free again.
But – first – we need to fence the new 60 acres. It needs to be fenced and cross fenced making it safe and secure for our precious wild ones. This is an expense that we have to fund raise for – and it will cost us more than $30,000 – but could be as high as $50,000 when we get all the perimeter and interior fence installed with gates. We only have to do that once because the fence will last forever with only a little maintenance needed from time to time.
I am asking you to help us with a donation of any size – whatever you can afford – to help us get our additional 60 acres fenced so we can release some more of our rescued mustangs who spend their days standing around in sandy corrals just dreaming of what freedom used to feel like.
Lifesavers has over 500 horses under its care right now. We are working diligently to find homes for the ones that are happy to be with humans – however, so many of our saved horses were abused, injured or just too old to get adopted. We are still committed to their health and happiness – so sanctuary is the only answer for them.
Please help us with this fence project that will mean freedom for some more of our rescued horses that have been waiting patiently – in some cases – for years.
Your donation of any amount is a blessing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Jill Starr, President, Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue