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The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
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Nevada Horse Rescue

In March, 59 horses arrived at their new home at The Fund for Animals' Black Beauty Ranch in Texas. Members of The Fund for Animals responded to our urgent appeal for support and made a new life possible for these lucky animals.

The Fund had received word in January that hundreds of wild horses in Crescent Valley, Nevada, were in danger of going to slaughter. The Bureau of Land Management claimed that the horses were trespassing on federal lands, but in reality, these animals were the unfortunate victims in a decades-long grazing and land dispute between the agency and two members of the Western Shoshone tribe who have long argued that the land where the horses roam belongs to the tribe.

The BLM and the Nevada Department of Agriculture gave animal rescue groups only days to take as many of the horses as possible, and planned to send any remaining horses to livestock auction, where they would be sold for slaughter. The Fund immediately arranged to take the least adoptable horses to our Black Beauty Ranch sanctuary in Texas, and networked with other organizations around the country to find homes for the remaining animals. The Fund's threat of legal action delayed the round-up, giving animal rescue groups more time to arrange for sanctuary for the horses, and eventually led to a cooperative agreement guaranteeing that all of the horses would go to sanctuaries -- and none would go to slaughter!

Fund staff members picked up 59 of the horses in Nevada—2 mares and 57 stallions—where they appeared to be in poor condition and in need of food. Many had scrapes and other signs of injuries after being chased by the BLM's helicopters. During the drive back to Black Beauty Ranch, our staff stopped every couple hours to check on the horses, and to give them food and water. Due to a storm, they stopped with the horses for a day and a half in Albuquerque, rather than frighten the animals and risk the unsafe weather conditions in Texas.

Once they arrived at Black Beauty Ranch, the horses were all vaccinated and placed in a pasture where they were given more hay than they had ever seen in their lives. One of the mares arrived pregnant, and has since given birth to a young colt who gallops alongside his mother. The horses are very energetic and playful, and within two weeks, after they fully recover, they will all be released from their pasture to roam the nearly 1,300 acres of Black Beauty Ranch with hundreds of other horses and burros.

posted March 28, 2003