Horse News

Former BLM Wild Horse Wrangler Accused of Neglecting Own Mustangs

The Bureau of Land Management in the United St...

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BLM No Stranger to Wild Horse Cruelty Issues

An ex- wrangler at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse corrals near Burns, Oregon was accused Thursday of failing to properly care for more than 20 Kiger mustang horses he owned, including one that died.

The misdemeanor charges were filed against one Tim Westfall  of the Burns area, said Harney County Deputy District Attorney Stephen Ellis.

“The horses appeared very malnourished; you could see the spine on some of them,” Ellis said. “He has not offered an explanation to me.”

Westfall faces 22 counts of second-degree animal neglect and a single count of first-degree animal neglect, Ellis said. If convicted, Westfall could face up to a year behind bars and a $6,250 fine on the first-degree neglect count. He also could be forbidden to own a domestic animal for five years.

Westfall began working at the wild horse corrals last August, but allegedly is no longer employed there according to a BLM spokeswoman.

The Kiger mustangs, descendants of ancient Spanish horses brought to North America by the conquistadors, weren’t BLM horses, but owned privately by Westfall, Ellis said.

24 replies »

  1. Are we even slightly surprised at this?? BLM’s contractors are proficient at abusing wild horse and burros, which shows their LACK of heart ,or conscience, or value of living beings. AND the BLM condones the brutality. That kind of cruelty seldom is an isolated case.

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    • Patti, they’re supposed to check on them, but they don’t always. When we adopted our first Mustang, we were told they didn’t have the resources/inspectors to always do a compliance inspection. Another example of BLM changing their own policies to fit their needs. No doubt, the inspection is one policy that should/needs to be followed for the protection of the Mustangs/Burros regardless!

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  2. I would be interested to know this man’s job at the BLM. Hopefully it was not in direct horse care. And if it was I hope they use this background as a “professional horse manager” (don’t choke) to give him the harshest sentence allowed.

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  3. Can the Sheriff look at any ownership papers for horses on the property? Wonder if any of them horses owned by other BLM employees or BLM family members.

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  4. I didn’t know he had Kiger’s !!!!! What is he nuts!!!! Must be. They are very rare and I know many people were trying to get their hands on them. I’m sure he would not have had any trouble finding homes. What a jerk!!

    And being a BLM guy one would think he would know better. OHHH!! Humm!! I guess not. The cruelty continues even when these people go home.

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  5. Another example of a despicable human being allowed to be an owner of an animal. This is an example of the idiots that seem to find jobs at the BLM. This is truly an example that the BLM will hire anyone. I hope these animals find good homes. How can these idiots look at themselves in the mirror in the morning. These types of individuals deserve any pain that cancer could give them as they are senseless, have no heart, and do not deserve to take another breathe.

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    • ah, no, I don’t think they’ll hire anyone. They won’t hire people that know and care about horses. They know anyone who knows and cares about horses will turn into a whistleblower!

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  6. I should say its unfreakin’s believable but sadly we know that the BLM hires icky people to perpetrate their beliefs. I have to ask–is this any different than Hitler? Did we not as a world learn the first time what that man was capable of? Do we really have to go through this AGAIN to understand what kind of evil lurks in people’s minds?

    Laura gave a wonderful speech last week in the press conference about the BLM press people and ho

    w they say THEY LOVE THE HORSES. But their actions don’t follow their words. We know this.

    It’s past time for the BLM to put up or shut up. Put your money where your mouth is and start treating the horses like you REALLY DO LOVE THEM.

    Either that or change the freaking law and give them to Madeleine who is working so tirelessly on their behalf to try to make it better for them. Let them run on the HMA given to them by LAW. Allow us out there to see them. To know them. Maybe we can’t physically touch them (that would be offensive to them, and start to take their wildness from them which they need to survive) but we could allow them to know that not all two leggeds mean harm.

    Pay attention to some of the ideas brought up at that advisory board meeting–there were some great ideas given. Powerful change–not just for the observers but also for the BLM and how to make things better for both sides.

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  7. Ah….a man who learned horse management from his time with the BLM? Perhaps he was treating them this way for their own good–that’s what BLM says all the time. I’m sure there are some caring BLM people out there–but the other side of the balance–the “bad” side –is so weighted down, that the “good” side is dragged under,too. Maybe they need to wear white or black cowboy hats? Awarded by an outside evaluator with no connections to BLM. Again–the horses pay with their lives for a human’s incompetence. BLM needs to be out of the horse business–Out of the West (MBlake).

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  8. And now they want partners to take the blame for BLM’s Mismanagement of funds, conditions, and contractors?

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  9. Roz, you said that you received a reply from BLM lawyers when you commented? What did they say? Was it a letter with the intent to intimidate?

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  10. This seems to be common practice within the BLM .Nancy Bjeland from the Billings, MT field office, who is suppose to check on wild ones after adoptions, has given the OK to adopters who are negligent in their care. I witnessed such atrocities.It is only a paycheck to them. They care nothing about the horses.

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  11. Easy to fix … just take him out of his home and away from any family or friends and lock him in a small pen and give him inadequate water and have him eat unhealthy food right out of the mud and give him no shelter from the blizzard conditions or the 100+ degree sun and no place to lie down and sleep except in 6″ of mud and then expose him to a few deadly diseases … oh yeah forgot to mention he needs to be chased at a full run for 10 miles first. But wait! Would all of that possibly be considered abusive and inhumane and cruel?

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