Facebook Helps Save Horse from Being “Eaten by Lions”

Sonja Haller, The Republic | azcentral.com

“They can be food for the cats, and it’s better than putting (the horses) in a landfill,”

Jim Gath, the owner and chief operator at Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary, interacts with his horses daily and makes sure they always have enough attention and human interaction. (Photo: Dominic Valente/The Republic, Dominic Valente/The Republic)

Jim Gath, the owner and chief operator at Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary, interacts with his horses daily and makes sure they always have enough attention and human interaction. (Photo: Dominic Valente/The Republic, Dominic Valente/The Republic)

The headline over the Facebook story could have read: Old, arthritic horse fed to the lions.

The true story, however, has more shades of gray and no-clear cut antagonist. But it did have a happy ending for the hero, a 20-year-old gelding named Spencer.

Spencer was a family horse boarded in Sedona. Once ridden by the family’s children, who had scattered, Spencer had been without a rider for three years. His owner, who lived in Utah, wanted to find him a new home.

“He needed a job. He needed a kid,” said Shelley Woellmer, who worked with the owner to find Spencer a home. Woellmer said the owner is a friend, they board their horses together and together tried for six months to find Spencer a new home. The owner declined to be interviewed.

Looking for someone to adopt him, they tried horse sanctuaries and equine therapy businesses, Woellmer said.

Not everyone who read the Facebook post by non-profit animal-rescue organization AZ Pound Pups knew that. The group put out a call to find a home for Spencer, describing the horse “like a giant dog and will whinny and follow you around anywhere just to be pet/groomed.”

What readers did learn from the Facebook post, shared more than 220 times, was that one fast-approaching option for Spencer was to go to Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde.

Woellmer confirmed the owner had approached the park about its horse donation program, which accepts qualified animals as food for the park’s big cats.

Spencer would be, as one poster, Jim Gath, wrote, “fed to the lions.”

The park is known for its lions, tigers and other large animals. Among its dozens of animal attractions is the “Predator Feed,” which invites the public to watch as “they throw 800 pounds of raw food to eagerly waiting carnivores. Plenty of opportunities to take amazing pictures while bears chow down, hyenas laugh, and lions roar,” according to the park’s website.

This bit of news shook up the people following the Facebook feed.

Some people brought up the circle of life — that lions need to eat, too.

Others commented on whether Spencer was better off euthanized, given his arthritis.

But others countered that arthritic horses, with medication such as Spencer was taking, can continue to live long lives.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park had considered the owner’s request to take Spencer.

Through its horse donation program, people complete a form that reads, in part, “We do not take healthy horses, horses with cancer, or horses on medication.”

The donated animal is used to feed the big cats featured at the park.

“We have refused horses because they are too healthy,” said park spokeswoman Linda Peterson, who processes donation requests. The form asks for a veterinarian’s name and number. The vet is called if the park’s specialist in equine donations believes the horse doesn’t meet “end-of-life” standards.

If a horse is deemed end of life, it is shot, since anesthesia medication would taint the meat.

“They can be food for the cats, and it’s better than putting (the horses) in a landfill,” Peterson said.

Out of Africa said the number of horses it accepts a year is private, but that it keeps records to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the end, the park refused Spencer because a video shared on Facebook showed him only days earlier cantering with a rider.

Then, Facebook managed to do what the owner could not….(CONTINUED)

Breaking News: Jane Velez-Mitchell laid off from CNN

Source: Multiple

“Friend to Equines Sacked by News Network”

Jane Velez-MitchellJane Velez-Mitchell and her staff have been laid off due to budget cuts at CNN, ending her nightly program on the HLN network.

Her program, which aired for six years at 7 p.m. Eastern on the CNN sister network, ended Monday. Mitchell was told of the layoff on Tuesday, said an executive at CNN who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss personnel matters. Twelve people, including Mitchell, were let go with this cut.

The show will be replaced temporarily by reruns of “Forensic Files.”

CNN Worldwide is in the midst of an 8 percent staff cut, a total of 300 jobs. An estimated 130 people have taken buyouts, with layoffs accounting for the remainder, the executive said Wednesday.

HLN’s future has been a subject of speculation recently, after CNN negotiated but failed to reach a deal with Vice Media over that company taking over some of HLN’s programming.

BLM offers tour of hidden wild horses at Indian Lakes Road facility in Fallon, NV

“The impact of stopping the tours pales in comparison to the impact to our employees and BLM’s image.” – Dean Bolstad (stated this in 2010, while he was the Deputy Division Chief of the Wild Horse and Burro Program)

As we’re all wondering when the BLM will give the public a tour of the Scott City, Kansas feedlot where wild horses (the ones that haven’t died yet) are being held, or a tour of any of the Long Term Holding pastures where the BLM conceals wild horses from access by the American public, the BLM feigns an annual sham of transparency by sticking the public on wagons and zipping them past wild horses on contractor Troy Adam’s Indian Lakes Road Holding facility.

We’ve written a lot about the Indian Lakes Road facility, including the real reason it was closed to the public in “BLM ‘News Release’ Fraud,” and about Troy Adam’s contract with the BLM in “The BLM’s Sweet Deal.”   – Debbie Coffey

BLM offers tour of Nevada wild horse & burro facility

SOURCE:  the horse.com

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is offering a public tour of the Indian Lakes Road Short-Term Holding Facility in Fallon, Nevada, on Friday, Oct. 17. The facility is one of three locations in Nevada that provides care to wild horses and burros removed from the range.

The BLM will offer two tours, each lasting approximately two hours and able to accommodate 20 people. The first tour will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the second tour will begin at 1:30 p.m. PDT. Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The public can sign up to attend and get driving directions to the facility by calling the BLM at 775/475-2222.

About a 90 minute drive east of Reno, the Indian Lakes Road Short-Term Holding Facility is located at 5676 Indian Lakes Road, Fallon, and is privately owned and operated. Tour attendees will be taken around the facility as a group on a wagon to learn about the facility, the animals, and the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

The Indian Lakes Road corral facility can provide care for up to 2,850 wild horses or burros. The facility encompasses 320 acres containing 36 large holding pens, each pen measuring 70,000 square feet and with a capacity to safely hold approximately 100 horses. The horses receive feed tailored to their needs each day, along with a constant supply of fresh water through automatic watering troughs. Free choice mineral block supplements are also provided to the animals in each pen. A veterinarian routinely inspects the horses and provides necessary medical care as needed.

The BLM strives to place horses removed from the range into good, private homes. Horses at the Indian Lakes Road facility are made available to the public for adoption or sale throughout the year at off-site adoption events and through the BLM’s adoption or sales program. Horses will not be available for adoption during the public tour; however, if there is interest in an animal viewed during the tour, the BLM could make arrangements for adoption at a later time.

More information about the Indian Lakes Road facility and the public tours can be found at www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/prog/wh_b/Indian_Lakes_Facility.html.

Dr. Ray Kellosalmi & Susan Wagner on Wild Horse & Burro Radio’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month Special (Wed., Oct. 15th)




WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15, 2014

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen Live (Here!)

Call in # 917-388-4520

This is a 2 hour show. Please call in with questions during the 2nd hour of the show.

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime. Continue reading

Horseback Protest Targets BLM, but Environmentalists Say Whoa

as published in the LA Times

“The sneering whine of self-serving profiteering is heard across the plains as a band of welfare ranchers plods along a trail to D.C. to protest an attempt to save the public land on which their private cattle graze at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.  Please excuse me for feeling no sympathy as I think of all the native wild horses that had been pulled from the same land while we shouted, ‘What about the damn cows?!?!’  The time to reconsider the practice of private individuals profiting from exploiting public lands is long over due.” ~ R.T.

Environmentalists defend BLM order to remove livestock on public lands in Nevada amid drought”

Photo: WWP. Grazing damage from welfare ranching on the Argenta allotment, July 2014.

They’re a dozen men and women riding horseback on a modern-day cross-country cattle drive, but with fistfuls of petitions instead of a herd of steers. Their wide-brimmed hats tipped low against the sun’s glare, they’re riding from Bodega Bay, Calif., to Washington.

They call themselves the “Grass March Cowboy Express” and they want the Bureau of Land Management to remove “an abusive federal employee” and “end BLM tyranny.”

The group contends that Doug Furtado, manager of the bureau’s Battle Mountain District, has unfairly blocked their legal right to graze their cattle on public land in central Nevada.

But environmentalists have lashed out at protesters as a selfish, entitled group with no business running private cattle on public lands, especially during years of prolonged drought.

Six months after Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s well-publicized face-off with bureau officials over grazing rights on public lands north of Las Vegas, tension still exists between many cattlemen and the federal government.

Bundy in April attracted an army of self-proclaimed citizen militia members, many of them with semiautomatic weapons, who challenged officials who had moved in to remove hundreds of cattle from federally administered land. The bureau later called off the roundup, but federal officials promise that Bundy could be held accountable in the courts for more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees.

Organizers of the Cowboy Express, which started in Bodega Bay in Northern California on Sept. 26, say they have no connection to Bundy. They just want the Bureau of Land Management off their backs.

But in a message to supporters, one nonprofit criticized the riders for singling out Furtado because he had “the temerity to order drought-induced reductions in commercial grazing.”

The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility also mocked the protesters for their use of the hard-bitten cowboy image often seen in cigarette commercials.

“The Marlboro Man evoked iconic cowboy imagery to sell cancer sticks,” it said in a news release. The “stunt called the ‘Cowboy Express’ also seeks to harness this romantic image to mask deeply selfish and destructive ends.”…(CONTINUED)

Environmental Groups Eye Idaho BLM Sage Grouse Ruling

By Keith Ridler as published in the Reno Gazette-Journal

“Ruling could give leverage to Wild Horse & Burro Advocacy”

Greater Sage GrouseBOISE — A small portion of a federal judge’s ruling in Idaho against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management concerning grazing permits in sage grouse habitat is being eyed as a potential lever by environmental groups considering similar lawsuits in other states.

Most of U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill’s 21-page decision late last month involved his ruling that the agency violated environmental laws in issuing permits on four grazing allotments in south-central Idaho, considered test cases for about 600 other permits.

But he used three pages near the end of his decision to rule on a separate matter that the agency incorrectly used a congressional budget rider to issue additional grazing permits in south-central Idaho with no environmental analysis at all.

“This is a clear shot across the bow of the BLM,” said Todd Tucci, an attorney for Advocates for the West that represented Western Watersheds Project in the lawsuit. “I will bring this argument to any federal court in the country and feel very comfortable about my likelihood of success.”

Ken Cole of Western Watersheds Project said the BLM has used the rider to issue hundreds of grazing permits across the West. Winmill’s decision only pertains to Idaho, but conservation groups in other states are viewing the winning lawsuit as a possible template.

“This is a legal victory that is certainly going to get a lot of scrutiny from environmental groups moving forward,” said Erik Molvar of WildEarth Guardians….(CONTINUED)

Video: Horse Attempts to File Complaint in British Police Station

by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Sometimes Fact is more bizarre than Fiction”

If you haven’t seen it already this viral video it looks, and would sound like if it had any soundtrack, an old joke and play on words: “A horse walks into a Police Station and….”

Well, it really happened in a Cheshire Police Station, Great Britain last week, no joke.  Caught on a surveillance camera a pony, from a nearby field, decided to make a visit.  His intentions?

  • Perhaps he wanted to file a complaint because he was sick of the same old feed day after day.
  • Maybe he got a tip on a British horse rustler and he wanted to share.
  • There’s a chance he heard about the plight of American Wild Horses and Burros and wanted to get the local boys involved in stopping the U.S. BLM.
  • Then again, he might have had a hot tip on last year’s horse meat scandal and wanted some help in breaking the case.

Who knows his/her intent but one thing is for certain, he wanted to see what was going inside that building beside his field and he was going to check it all out one way or another.  Heck, he may have been staring at it for years…inquiring minds want to know.

A Cheshire Constabulary spokesperson said the pony was “quickly escorted” back, adding: “We like to ensure a warm welcome to all our guests at HQ and at neigh point did the horse pose a risk to security!”

That’s not how it started out as his initial greeting was not by one who had any understanding of horses and could be inclined to brush up on conciliatory protocol.

Happy “Feel Good Sunday.”


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