Follow up to Lifesavers wild horse rescue by Jill Starr

STORY UPDATE JULY 14: Jill Starr, founder of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue wanted to let Care2 members know the latest news about the wild horses rescued from the auction.

Note: This was written to Care2 Members, not to Tuesday’s Horse, and a follow up to the Activists keep Nevada horses from going to slaughter.

1. Lifesavers found a “suitable short term facility” in Fallon, NV where the horses will be housed for the next several months – until they can be placed in horse sanctuaries. Starr said a caravan of volunteers transported each horse to their new temporary home.

2. Following the sale of the horses to Lifesavers, three individuals have come forward to adopt three of the horses. This included one of the officials from the Nevada Department of Agriculture. He was so impressed with the dedication of the Lifesavers group, he decided to personally save a horse.

3. Lifesavers is seeking more people to adopt the horses and donations to offset the cost of feeding the wild horses. Starr said the horses eat 30 bales of hay everyday.

The action Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue took onbehalf of the horses that were discarded by the Bureau of Land Managment and put up for auction – was historic. New developments on the progress of this rescue will be posted as they occur.

A crisis for wild horses was diverted on July 10 when animal activists from Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue bought 172 horses from a state-sanctioned auction in Nevada to keep them from being shipped to slaughterhouses. The group paid $31,415 to save the wild horses.

Last month the U.S. Bureau of Land Management conducted a roundup of wild Mustangs living on a federally sanctioned herding area, near the Nevada-Utah border. According to the Lifesavers website, there was an additional group of 174 wild horses that were captured on an adjacent section of land.

The horses caught on the BLM land fell under federal protection, but the other group was rejected. The BLM deemed these animals as “strays” because they were living on privately owned land.

Jill Starr, president of Lifesavers wrote, “It seems these wild horses migrated away from BLM land, – maybe years ago – and re-located to private owned land.”

Because of this determination, the 174 wild horses received no federal safeguards and were turned over to the Nevada Department of Agriculture – for disposal. This means the horses are sold at an auction to the highest bidders.

Starr told The Associated Press, “High bidders of such horses usually are representatives of slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada. The meat of the horses is processed for sale in Europe and Asia, where it fetches as much as $25 a pound.”

Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, located in Lancaster, California quickly posted a plea for help to their membership. Stephanie Hoefener organized activists to attend the auction and buy every single horse.

With the financial help from Ellie Phipps Price, owner of Sand Hill Durell Vineyards in Sonoma, California, equine activist Madeleine Pickens, Return to Freedom, The Cloud Foundation and others – the organization bought 172 of the 174 horses. Two of the animals were bought by private individuals for their personal use.

“We showed the BLM and the Nevada Department of Agriculture that we will not let them throw our wild horses away like yesterday’s news,” said Starr.

Even Ed Foster of the Nevada Department of Agriculture was amazed with the outcome. He said, “For advocacy groups to step up to the plate and make a financial commitment like this to save the horses, we think this is a wonderful thing.”

The BLM continued with their insistence they did not consider the 174 horses as federally protected mustangs because they came from a populated valley with 200 ranchers. They believe the horses are abandoned animals and their offspring.

In any case, it’s hard to comprehend why this classification would make a difference to the BLM, an agency that has launched a campaign to capture and remove thousands of wild horses because they say there is an overpopulation of horses and limited food supplies.

Lifesavers and the wild horses have many hurdles ahead of them in the next few weeks. They must find food and temporary housing for each horse until they can be transported to their sanctuary in California. They will also need to expand their facility to give the new rescued animals enough land to roam. Ideally they hope to create a natural habitat similar to the home they were taken away from.

Thanks for the heads up Arlene.

3 thoughts on “Follow up to Lifesavers wild horse rescue by Jill Starr”

  1. The Wild Mustangs deserve their Freedom and their Rightfull Place In America we as Americans gave them that ! There is not one question about that ……….The Calico Mts Mustangs Must Be Returned to their Land Immediately……………… They have suffered way to much at the greedy, disgusting BLM……………… we should all demand that they be return to the Calico MTS were they belong…………………NOW !


  2. Thanks for the update. It’s always wonderful to read a “success story” that renews our hope and energy to continue the fight. To everyone involved … YOU ROCK!!!


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