Late in June I was alerted to a looming crisis of more than 170 wild horses that were rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and handed over the the Nevada Dept. of Agriculture (NDoA) for immediate disposal.
Having years of experience working with the NDoA I knew what "immediate disposal" means to them. It is being sold to the highest bidder at the livestock auction that sells horses to kill buyers for shipping to slaughter houses.
These horses were rejected by the BLM as federally protected horses because there were not living in a designated wild horse herd area, but rather undesignated land. It seems these wild horses migrated away from BLM land - maybe years ago - and re-located to private owned land.
A few horses were also picked up on a ranch known as the Winecup Ranch where years ago a rancher let go 8 mares and it is believed by the NDoA are descendants of the rancher's mares.
As you may know - once the Nevada Agriculture Dept. takes over, there is no consideration for the horses - and they have no laws protecting their fate. They can and will be sold, legally, to killer buyers for slaughter. Inocent horses are processed into a meat product and shipped overseas for human consumption.
When hearing of the July 10th date for auction I took quick action and started sending out notices. And gathering support to rescue them. With the help of one very special supporters, Ellie Phipps Price, and many others groups and individuals listed at the bottom of this page, we were able to organize an army of Wild Horse Soldiers who marched in to save the day - and 172 horses from going to slaughter.
Lifesavers could not stand by and allow our government or even Nevada's state government to send these horses to a cruel and unnecessary death. We vowed to outbid the killer buyers on every single horse - wild or domestic in this group and that is what we did. One after another after another. Until all 172 horses that were auction off were safely purchased away from killers.
At the end of the day Lifesavers had 169 of the auction horses and 3 horses were purchased by private, non killer, individuals. None were purchased or given to the killers - NONE.
This rescue was historic. It has never happened like this before. No one group or coalition of groups has ever managed to clean out an auction sale of all its "killer" horses before. It left the auction patrons and workers absolutely stunned and speechless.
Following the sale Lifesavers was able to adopt 3 of our rescued horses to a wonderful woman who had missed her opportunity to save some herself. This brought our number of horses down to 166 at the end of the day.
A convoy of volunteered horse trailers transported our rescued horses and safely deposited them at their temporary home in Fallon Nevada.
Now the real work and worry begins. The horses are safe, but they need to be fed 30 bales of hay everyday.
We have about 75 stallions and they will need to be gelded before we can offer them for adoption or take them to sanctuary. The cost of short term care is expensive and we need ongoing help to get them ready for the last phase of this rescue plan - which is to move them to a natural habitat sanctuary where they can live out their lives in peace and tranquility. Never to be rounded up and auctioned off again.
Please make a donation now. Your most generous donation ever - its imperative that we raise enough money to:
1) feed these horses in their temporary safe shelter until they can be transported to Lifesavers in California or another suitable sanctuary.
2) Find and pay for a suitable sanctuary - preferably expanding our own from a few hundred acres to a few thousand which will allow all of these new rescued horses lLand others to be re-released into a natural habitat similar to the home that they have been taken from.
I know we have asked a lot of you in the past and you have been so gracious to help us rescue and care for, literally, hundreds of horses since 1997 when we started Lifesavers.
We need you now - more than ever - in this difficult time of year and this difficult economy.
Their safety, their future, depends on your participation in this rescue.
Thank you for your support and compassion.