The first four of the 53 Virginia Range horses rescued from slaughter arrive at their new home in Colorado.
Yesterday, as dusk settled over the Fallon Livestock Exchange, 30 terrified wild horses -- 23 adults and 7 foals by their mothers' sides -- were put up for auction. For years, the mustangs lived peacefully on state lands in the foothills that surround Reno. Now, after being captured by the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the horses were being sold by the pound, in grave danger of being purchased by kill buyers who would ship them for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.
Top photo: Spencer and his mom Brittany. Bottom photo: JJ and his mom Jesse.
ORIGINAL: September 27, 2012
Last night, however, different buyers were present to purchase the horses and rescue them from the cruelest of fates. These buyers were wild horse advocates, and thanks to you, the dedicated supporters of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), they had the resources needed to purchase every one of the horses. The advocates -- including Willis Lamm and Shirley Allen of Least Resistance Training Concepts and Shannon Windell and others with the Hidden Valley Horse Protection Fund -- were successful in saving Sandy, her family and the other horses from a horrible death on the slaughterhouse floor.
We are blown away by the unbelievable show of support and concern for these horses. On Tuesday afternoon, we learned that Nevada advocates were in despair due to a lack of funds to purchase all of the horses at auction. On Tuesday evening, we sent out an appeal for funds. Within six hours, we were able to transfer enough money to the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund to ensure that every single one of the horses could be rescued!
From the U.S. to Canada to the UK and Belgium, you responded to our appeal in force. Funds were forthcoming from people who had been laid off from their jobs, people whose funds were strapped due to medical expenses, people who had their own horses to feed. Supporters wrote to let us know that they were praying for the horses to be saved, spreading the word to all their friends, calling the Governor to protest this shameful treatment of Nevada's proud mustangs.
"Tuesday morning we felt defeated. We were in tears because we just didn't have the funds, and these horses -- who we'd come to know and love after years of watching them -- were going to slaughter. Within a few hours, a miracle happened and the funds were there, thanks to the outpouring of support. We are so grateful to AWHPC and deeply touched by the fact that so many people care about our wild horses! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who helped make this rescue possible." -Carrol Abel, Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund.
Watch the video below to see video of the rescued horses taken this morning at their temporary home.
A special debt of gratitude goes to all the Nevada wild horse advocates who have worked, and continue to work, day and night to secure a safe future for these horses. Now comes the hard work of feeding and caring for for the horses-- along with the 23 rescued last week from the same auction-- and finding them permanent homes. They must also remain vigilant for more Nevada mustangs who may be put up for auction in the coming weeks.
It took a village to save these horses and the events of the past two days show that our village is global and very strong! Thank you so much for the generous support! We can and will stand together for our iconic wild horses and burros and against the forces that would see them destroyed!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
► Donate to our Virginia Range Mustang Rescue Fund. All funds will be used to help with the care and feeding of Sandy, her family and the other rescued Virginia Range horses while permanent homes are found. If enough funds are raised, they will also be used for the rescue of additional Virginia Range horses who are expected to be put up for auction in the coming weeks, and to secure a humane management policy for all wild horses living on state lands in Nevada.
► Permanent homes are needed for these horses. If you or know anyone you know can offer one, please contact Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection immediately by clicking here.
► Contact Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval today! (775-684-5670 or 702-486-2500) and send him a message through his website. Tell the governor politely but in the strongest of terms that his Nevada Department of Agriculture's (NDOA's) policy toward the state's iconic wild horses is shameful. If you are from out of state, remind him that tourism is Nevada's number one industry, and tell him that you will not spend your tourism dollars in his state until this policy is changed. Inform the governor that the continued dumping of wild Nevada mustangs at livestock auctions to be sold for slaughter is unacceptable. Ask him to direct the NDOA to work with local wild horse groups to place captured horses and to implement management programs aimed at keeping the Virginia Range horses in the wild, where they belong.