Wild horse advocates had to dig deep to save 23 Virginia Range wild horses from certain slaughter, paying well over the odds for the animals.
Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund spearheaded efforts to save the horses from going to the kill buyers at an auction last night.
The big effort was lead by Shannon Windle, president of the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund. Country singer Lacy Dalton’s group, the Let ‘Em Run Foundation, also raised funds for the rescue.
Donors contributed from across the USA and abroad to the Nevada horses from being sold to kill buyers, who sell the horses to slaughter plants.
During the auction, a thin Virginia Range wild horse mare sold for over $US500. while a stocky domestic buckskin sold for $US200.
A wild mare and foal sold for $US1000, which is grossly abnormal at a livestock auction frequented by kill buyers.
Advocates paid more than $US11,000 to save the horses, which they says is more than three times above market value.
Last night, wild horse advocates and groups from the greater Reno area joined forces to help with transportation and foster care to make the rescue effort a success. The Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund and Let ‘Em Run Foundation were joined in the effort by the Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates, Horse Power, The Starlight Sanctuary and others.
Protect Mustangs joined in to help raise awareness about the issue and contact Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval to stop the sale.
The groups are angry Sandoval ignored the public outcry and took no action to save the wild horses, which did not qualify for federal protection, from going to an auction frequented by kill-buyers. The horses were removed because they were causing issues in neighbourhoods and along highways in the area.
“We hope Governor Sandoval realizes that, outside of Nevada, 80 per cent of Americans are against horse slaughter,” says Anne Novak, executive director of California-based Protect Mustangs.
“This could be a pivotal point in his political career – the point where he tarnishes himself to the extent that he will never win the hearts of the 80 per cent. He still has time to take action and become a hero and we hope he does.”
Novak was referring to the fact that an additional 31 wild horses will arrive at the auction house next week.
The groups say more than 60 wild horses have been rounded up and face slaughter if more foster homes, adopters and donors are not found quickly.
Essential donations are also needed to feed the wild horses rescued tonight who will live in foster care until they are adopted.
Donations may be sent to the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund http://hiddenvalleyhorses.com