Horse News

Breaking News: 30 Nevada Wild Horses Rescued from Kill Buyers and Slaughter

Article from American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Advocates from around the World chip in to save Mustangs dumped into Auction

Sandy, a Virginia Range wild horse. Advocates have been watching Sandy since she was born. They mobilized to rescue her after the state captured her and her band and dumped them at a livestock auction. ~ photo courtesy of AWHPC

Yesterday, as dusk settled over the Fallon Livestock Exchange, 30 terrified wild horses — 23 adults and 7 foals by their mothers’ sides — were put up for auction. For years, the mustangs lived peacefully on state lands in the foothills that surround Reno. Now, after being captured by the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the horses were being sold by the pound, in grave danger of being purchased by kill buyers who would ship them for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.

Last night, however, different buyers were present to purchase the horses and rescue them from the cruelest of fates. These buyers were wild horse advocates, and thanks to you, the dedicated supporters of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), they had the resources needed to purchase every one of the horses. The advocates — including Willis Lamm and Shirley Allen of Least Resistance Training Concepts and Shannon Windell and others with the Hidden Valley Horse Protection Fund — were successful in saving Sandy, her family and the other horses from a horrible death on the slaughterhouse floor.

We are blown away by the unbelievable show of support and concern for these horses. On Tuesday afternoon, we learned that Nevada advocates were in despair due to a lack of funds to purchase all of the horses at auction. On Tuesday evening, we sent out an appeal for funds. Within six hours, we were able to transfer enough money to the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund to ensure that every single one of the horses could be rescued!

From the U.S. to Canada to the UK and Belgium, you responded to our appeal in force. Funds were forthcoming from people who had been laid off from their jobs, people whose funds were strapped due to medical expenses, people who had their own horses to feed. Supporters wrote to let us know that they were praying for the horses to be saved, spreading the word to all their friends, calling the Governor to protest this shameful treatment of Nevada’s proud mustangs.

Tuesday morning we felt defeated. We were in tears because we just didn’t have the funds, and these horses — who we’d come to know and love after years of watching them — were going to slaughter. Within a few hours, a miracle happened and the funds were there, thanks to the outpouring of support. We are so grateful to AWHPC and deeply touched by the fact that so many people care about our wild horses! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who helped make this rescue possible.” – Carrol Abel, Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund.

A special debt of gratitude goes to all the Nevada wild horse advocates who have worked, and continue to work, day and night to secure a safe future for these horses. Now comes the hard work of feeding and caring for for the horses– along with the 23 rescued last weekfrom the same auction– and finding them permanent homes. They must also remain vigilant for more Nevada mustangs who may be put up for auction in the coming weeks.

It took a village to save these horses and the events of the past two days show that our village is global and very strong! Thank you so much for the generous support! We can and will stand together for our iconic wild horses and burros and against the forces that would see them destroyed!

Click (HERE) to visit AWHPC and learn how you can Help!


25 replies »

  1. Bless the givers of money and bless those that were there in person to purchase those magnificient and noble horses that should remain free, but at least they are alive. and the kill buyers, shame on them


  2. And for me now comes the study on how to move around bypassing NV. I think it’s important to note that my boycott is about how the Governor and his cronies are exploiting the horses and that IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY ADVOCATE OR ORGANIZATION THAT WORKS SO HARD FOR OUR WILD ONES.

    I find things very disturbing about accusations that start flying when people get to close and are rightfully critical about how the state is managing the horses in their care.

    To round up these particular horses and send them to auction is not only offensive to advocates but it totally DISRESPECTS everything that Velma Johnston worked SO hard and long for. Does the state really want future generations speaking ill of Governor Sandoval and his lack of trying to intervene on behalf of the horses?


  3. Are you kidding me? Shame on you Nevada! Things haven’t changed one bit since in the 60’s when they chased all the horses into a pit, shot them and buried some alive! Disgusting!


  4. Congratulations and job well done by all involved! This is a shining example of how by working together the equine advocacy movement can make a difference in the only way that matters, saving the lives of real horses.


  5. It’s absolutely amazing and I’m thrilled to hear there were so many people responding so quickly to help. To all of those who do so much for our equines, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your compassion, dedication and commitment in helping these beautiful and majestic creatures is truly admirable. Thank you so much.


  6. What’s really shameful is this state and others use these horses to attract tourists. They are just after the money and wouldn’t even know it if there were no horses at all in the wild for anyone to see.


  7. The will of the people is strong. The old saying “strength in numbers”, all who support saving the Wild Horses and Burros stand strong. This practice is sick and they should be ashamed of themselves for treating all equines this way. Power to the ones who will save the horses from slaughter. Thank you for saving the wild horses. Our work is far from over.


  8. Hi All,

    Thought you’d like to see how our gang loaded the 30 after we had to overnight them at Betty Retzer’s (LRTC workshop/clinic) arena after we got them out of Fallon, Nv. stockyard Wednesday NIGHT (again). The horses weren’t run through until very late again this week putting us loading and transporting about 60 miles at night. We had eight trailers standing by that had been there since about 1-2pm that afternoon, a few had lunch, no one had dinner, no one complained. We finished loading from stockyards at about 7:30pm. We elected not to take them to new pasture in Reno because they didn’t know area and we were afraid of them getting hurt in fencing and layout they couldn’t see well and didn’t know. All went well and it gave them a little rest from the damn stockyards which is basically a “hell hole” and then we very quietly and slowly separated all the horses to make sure babes and moms were together and split into 6 different loads for trailering on to temporary pasture the next morning. Thank the Creator above, everything went just right and all of this week’s group are in 20 acre pasture with winter grasses and stream running thorough for water. They will be supplement fed slowly. So all in all, Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund and the surrounding horse groups and individuals brought 53 horses out of Fallon slaughter pipeline in ONE WEEK’S period of time. All are safe and now the big push to get them housed in permanent homes hopefully before winter starts in. There are no words and no amount of thanks that can match the dedication and commitment of ALL folks involved, from moral support, media attention, donors and the “hands on” team effort that NO ONE backed away from or complained about. So many gave of their time, labor, equipment and love to save these “horse kids” and no one has asked for a single thing in return except a maybe a tax donation slip for gas. What an INCREDIBLE and AMAZING group of folks we have worldwide that share their lives, have the compassion and love for other beings on this earth. The love and respect for our critters no matter who’s in trouble washes over me sometimes and while it makes me cry with gratitude, it also gives me such strength and I know we have the power to be “Wild Horse Nation,” a phrase I’ve stolen from Carol Abel. It fits for our country, considering we would not have an America and enjoy the progress that we’ve made in the last couple of hundred years without the horses and burros being a FULL partner to mankind in building this Nation with their sheer power, loyalty, blood and lives given in wars and almost every other faction of building a country and society.

    What a pure and deep pleasure it is to be a part of something so much bigger than self.

    Bruce, Shirl and Critter Kids Too

    Not sure if video came through here but folks can see on our Facebook page- Shirley Allen, Ellen Holcomb and I think Anne Novak’s page also. Sorry I’m NOT great on computer all the time with getting info disimenated properly. One of those DUH??!! things.


  9. This is so overwhelming. When I found out the mission was accomplished early yesterday, it is the happiest I’ve been in years. Worldwid we THANK YOU, THANK YOU!


  10. I told you the world was watching! Thankful I am for all those who pitched in! We will keep this national disgrace out there for the world to see and hear. Thank you RT! For letting everyone know some good news! Marti


  11. I am so happy these horses were rescued. I donated to the fund and then went to bed with a heavy heart. I thought about all the horses in the morning and wanted to call, but thought I should be patient. Oh what wonderful news.

    Please keep in mind, hay is very expensive this year. In the midwest, hay is $6.00 to $7.00 a small bale (40 to 50lbs), up from $2.50 bale last year. The wild horses still need hay and shelter, so even a donation of $5.00 can help buy hay. Plus, you get a tax deduction, which will bring your donation out of pocket expenses to about $3.00. So, give up just one starbuck for the wild ones. The donation can also be made using paypal (which is how I made mine) and it was painless.


    • Deborah are you the owner of Thunder Down Under ? There is someone in Austria looking for him…..she owns his Sire. Thunder Dark Son. She is posting on facebook Morgan Horse Freinds Worldwide.


  12. Hello,

    29 wild horses were rounded up here in Virginia City, Nevada this past weekend. Can you please refer me to any/all groups that may be able to save these horses by adoption? Per our local paper, the Virginia City News they are going to be auctioned in Fallon on October 24. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am heart sick over this.

    Thank you


  13. thanks for all you do. these magnificent creatures deserve more respect than we as humans give them! without the horse this world would not have become what it is today over the years they have done a lot for us and we deserve to give them a better out come in life!


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