Horse News

Wild Horse Advocates Praise Agreement


“They will be in a good quality home to be 30 years old or more.”

wild+horseThe wild horses up on the Virginia Range are taking it easy this afternoon.

Just above DaMonte Ranch High School, wild horse advocates say their ranks are 30 horses lighter than a year ago.

“They run the risk of being hit by vehicles or picked up by the Department of Agriculture, either way they are gone,” says Shannon Windle, president of the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund.

Horses may still continue to wander into neighborhoods.

The Department of Agriculture, if it sees a safety hazard, will pick them up.

But what happens next has wild horse advocates and the department elated.

“We end up contacting the organization we have the agreement letting them know we have horses. We will exchange horses for 100-dollars per horse with them. At that point they will contact whoever they are going to work with. Whether they work with cooperatives in this area– or out of this area as well–and place the horse at that time,” says Ed Foster with the Department of Agriculture.

Under the agreement, the horses will not be allowed to be set free on the range again, but wild horse advocates say they can offer another alternative.

“They will be in a good quality home to be 30 years old or more. They could be trained to be ridden that’s all the better. The young ones stand the best chance and we realize some of the older horses they may stay with us forever, and we are more than happy to take care of them and provide them with a quality of life that will ensure safety and health,” says Windle.

The contract, signed on March 12 will be renewed on a yearly basis, provided both parties want to continue with the agreement.

Click (HERE) to visit KOLO TV 8 and watch the video

15 replies »

  1. I was elated for a moment – until seeing this is an annual agreement. Well, at least it is in writing. Why so much uncertainty for the equines and those who love them?


  2. Then it needs to be expanded and become a law somehow with some sort of ongoing organization that will be there in the future. All of our horses need long term planning and alternatives and protections. If this does not remain a yearly contract it might become a better, longer and more solid and established support for the State of Nevada’s mustangs. Keep working towards more time and protections!


    • Absolutely agree Mar. This is great news and gives the advocates time and financial breathing room to offer permanent contracts for enduring protection.
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  3. So the rescues are buying them for $100? Do the horses have ANY protection after they are bought for $100 by “whomever” (the rescues getting a special $100 per horse deal), because at only $100, anyone could still make money by running some of those bigger wild horses through either of the two weekly kill sales in Fallon, NV where they are sold by the pound.
    Who will police the rescues who are getting them for $100 and are there any stipulations like there were in the previous cooperative agreement contracts between the State of Nevada and some rescues that the rescues who get them for $100 have to report to the dept of ag for 1 year telling the ag department the whereabouts of the horses they got “for cheap”? And the rescues were not able to afford to maintain horses before when they had cooperative agreements, so how will they afford it now?
    Many people are still asking me (because I live in the Reno area and have a rescue) what happened to the 140 VR wild horses rescued by a few local rescues since last September from the kill sale using donor money WHERE all of those horses are at, but no one is getting any answers regarding their whereabouts for all of them. However, if there is an adoption agreement for when rescued horses are adopted out, shouldn’t it be easy to say where all the horses are that have found new homes? And for the ones that weren’t adopted out, it should be really easy to say where they are.
    Sorry to be pessimistic but since my rescue has been conducting weekly feedlot rescues of all types of horses that come through the kill sales and are bought by the kill buyer and/or are sold directly to the feedlot, I have seen a lot of horses come through the feedlot that I had seen advertised on Craigslist free or cheap “to good home” because people either couldn’t afford to feed the horse anymore, and/or didn’t want to maintain them anymore, and apparentely the so-called “good home” was not so good and the “good home” people flipped their free or cheap horse they got from unsuspecting people looking for a good home for their horse through a kill sale or sold them directly to the feed lot to make a quick buck.
    And yes, we have people in our area, just as I’m sure they can be found in any area, who pose as “good home” providers for horses, and have been known to actually have their kids with them posing as children who love horses and they pull the wool over peoples eyes so the people givng away and/or selling the horse a false sense of security….without a good contract however of first right to buy back or be given back their horse, or 1 year before a legal Bill of Sale is signed (in the state of NV, it would be a Brand inspection by a Dept of Ag brand inspector), the people re-homing their horse is putting that horse in danger of going to slaughter as I see horses every week get shipped that we did not have an opportunity to rescue (and we have managed to rescue over 190 horses since October 9, 2012 one at a time into private party homes and NOT in volume).

    Just a bunch of questions I’d like to have answered…………but I may have to call the Dept of Ag on Monday to find out how this all works and if there are any protections for at last 1 year for those wild horses, otherwise, I still fear for their well being…..the solution is, and should continue to be, for the general public to unite and insist that the state primarily manage OUR wild horses in the wild where they belong and relocate them to more remote areas if necessary away from civilization like by schools, businesses and highways…..I hate to see us all, who are the majority by-the-way, just roll over and allow the state to capture OUR horses for relatively few good reasons, and then let the private businesses take over OUR land while we still get to foot-the-bills with our tax payer dollars and at the expense of OUR wild horses being FREE except for some that could go into a successful adoptation program while others could go to sanctuaries if they are older, unthrifty, injured, or not thriving on the land anymore..


    • My understanding is that the dept will work with Hidden Valley Rescue who has been knee deep in all the rescues so far. Seems to me they have a good understanding of who is trustworthy in the area and who isn’t.

      Of course nothing’s for sure. But at least those horses won’t be run thru the Fallon Livestock where the killers are.


    • Understood Laurel. I totally agree, the horses should be managed in the wild and when trapped, taken out to more remote areas. This agreement does create a bridge that can be embellished and should be. And it is good news that the thousands of dollars raised for previous mass purchases created a voice. But it isn’t too far a stretch to see the truth you bring. The rescues specifically mentioned in the articles have proven themselves over and over to be honest and acting with integrity. There are some rescues, motivated by other purposes. I am relieved that there are people like you living the reality of which we reading from across the US only hear about. We, us out here, NEED to hear the truth and bring these backhanded dealings into the light. I don’t trust any of these government officials involved, but applaud the effort to get them to the table.
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  4. A Small step is a Giant Leap! Having been involved with this issue since October I can tell you this may only appear to be a small step. No it’s not perfect nor permanent but considering the mindset of Jim Barbee the Director of Nevada Ag, his complete unwillingness to work with anyone, his disgust at having to deal with wild horses…this is truly a Giant Leap.

    I’ve seen an article with several organizations claiming victory from their efforts in this matter but I can tell you the driving force was Shannon Windle. Her reputation with the State Ag Dept was what kept us in the game. The folks on the ground love working with Shannon and Hidden Valley and have a deep respect for her and her organization.

    I can also tell you on the Ag side the behind the scenes driving force was Ed Foster. After a lengthy phone conversation and numerous emails I found Ed to be an ally in disguise. This proposal was worked out back in Oct/Nov but has taken pressure from the public (your calls and emails to the Governor) and months of cajolling to finally come to fruition.

    May I suggest you send an email of thanks to Ed and let him know how much you appreciate his efforts to make this happen. You can email him at


  5. Once again not a peep from Horse Power. They garner a lot of money from the Wild & Free state of Nevada license plate and they offer up no money for the groups actually doing the rescues. Their executive director needs to be replaced with a person more open to actually working with the rescue groups.


  6. I’ve been involved in this issue with the state horses and the federal BLM horses up close and personal for 20 years, so the problem as I see it over and over is that donors and other people have short attention spans and rarely follow through to ask where the horses are at 6 months or a year later, and they rarely if ever ask to visit the horses in sanctuaries, AND they also rarely call the sanctuaries (and thats if they can even get phone # of these mystery sanctuaries) and ask to see videos and photos of rescued horses……I believe its because people simply do not want to have their feel good rescue bubbles burst and don’t really want to know WHERE all the horses are… please everyone, don’t tell me this is a good step in the right direction because there have been cooperative agreements before where both the state and the rescues breached the contracts, and WHERE OH WHERE are ALL of those HUNDREDS of HORSES that were “rescued” dating back many, many years?And also think this is just helping the state in their total and complete eradication of ALL of the tate horses……they could easily relocate whole bands of horses out to more remote areas and believe me, those horses would settle in at their new stomping grounds and wouldnot make their way back. So I DO NOT see this as a good thing at all I’m afraid and now the state has a convenient place to dump wild horses, and since the rescues don’t seem to be held accountable even when using donation money to pay for them, then I don’t feel ths bodes well for the horses and the FACT they seem to disappear by the hundreds into thin air. If the rescues have a financial backer, that is a different story because then they are owned by that backer, but if it is donation money being used from “regular people” to purchase these horses from the state, not good from what I’m seeing of horse rescue, both domestic and wild.
    I guess we’re just supposed to go “on faith” when people tell us “they’re in a sanctuary” or “they’re in a good home”, but if everyone saw as many horses as I do every week when we’re doing the feedlot rescues who come through the 2 Fallon kill sales and/or are sold directly to the feedlot that were horses given by trusting people to so-called “good homes” that really eren’t after all and that FREE horse equaled FREE money to scoundrals, everyone here would not be so willing to trust “just because”. And its when people, no matter who it is, can’t or won’t produce photos and videos of ALL of the rescued horses bought with donor money that I become very suspicious….if they are really safe (all 140 of them rescued with donor money since mid-September 2012), then why aren’t there photos and videos of ALL of them wherever they are at? Why can’t people go to visit them? I know several people, including a reporter, who has asked to see them and still no one has gotten to see them.
    Sorry folks, but I’ve been in the horse industry in a serious way for over 40 years, and also rescuing horses and other animals pretty much my whole life (54 years), and when people cannot or will not produce evidence of where animals are at, that is a red flag warning to me… all can be trusting all you want, but we should all be caring about the horses during AND after “the rescue” too……AND all it would take to shut me up and placate me and many other people from all over the country that I know and that asked me to try and find out where ALL the horses are is to show where the horses are, show photos and videos of all 140 horses, give out names and phones numbers of the sanctuaries we’re told they’re at, etc…..pretty simple solution and shouldn’t be a problem if everything is really O.K. with ALL of those previously rescued Virginia Range horses.


  7. I helped with the VR rescues… brought media and famous people into the light to help. Went to the January 9th Kill Sale in Fallon, Documented everything. Involved massive networking and raised countelss dollars for the animals. I have been asking for MONTHS to know where the horses are. I am ignored. WHERE ARE THE VIRGINIA RANGE HORSES SHANNON WILDE.


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