Equine Rescue

Equine Advocates Make Deal to Buy 148 Unbranded Wild Horses from Tribe

Source: By John M. Glionna of the LA Times

“I could have stuck it to them, for the expense and grief they caused us, but I didn’t.”

Equine TomahawkLAS VEGAS — Arlo Krutcher was in the middle of a public relations nightmare and it was all over horses.

The vice chairman of a northern Nevada reservation had collected 400 horses off the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone tribal grounds and had taken the animals to an auction house in rural Fallon for sale.

That’s when the animal advocates descended, he said.  There was finger-pointing and threat of lawsuits by activists. The sale was eventually delayed by a judge’s order, but last weekend 250 horses with brands that officials determined weren’t wild were auctioned off.

On Friday, the tribe made a deal to sell the remaining 148 unbranded horses to a coalition of animal advocates.

Krutcher told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that the tribe was being made out to be greedy mercenaries looking to bring the horses to slaughter.

“That’s the whole reason we came to the public auction,  to give the public a chance to buy those horses. After people buy them, it’s their business what they do with them,” he said. “But these activists were making us out to be the bad people. If we were doing that, we could have sold those horses for slaughter right there at the reservation.”

Activists sued to stop the sale of the unbranded horses, alleging that unbranded animals probably were federally protected wild horses originating from the nearby Bureau of Land Management‘s Little Owyhee Herd Management Area.

The battle is the latest showdown between the federal government and animal advocates over the wild horses that wander the American West.

This week, a U.S. District Court in Reno lifted a temporary restraining order barring the sale of unbranded horses captured by the tribe under an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service.

On Thursday, Judge Miranda Du ruled that the U.S. Forest Service had acted appropriately in determining that the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe is the animals’ rightful owner and can’t be stopped from selling them.

Krutcher told The Times he resented the attitude of the animal advocates and said the sale might never have happened had he not had a chance meeting with Reno-area advocate Sally Summers, founder of Horse Power, a group seeking better treatment of wild horses and burros.

“The rest came at us with lawyers;  she’s the one who got things rolling,” Krutcher told The Times.

Krutcher said the legal fees and those for boarding the horses were rising fast. He wanted to make a deal, but he felt his tribe was being treated with disrespect by people who acted like they were the only ones who knew about horses.

Then came his meeting with Summers on Sunday.

“I was walking to the end of the the sale yard to help feed horses and she was standing there,” he told The Times. “She said hello and we started talking.  She was the only one who came up to talk to me as a human being. The rest had stand-off attitudes. She was civil.”

Krutcher would not say how much the tribe received for the 148 horses but insisted it was not enough to pay for fees.

“We lost money,” he said. “I could have stuck it to them, for the expense and grief they caused us, but I didn’t.”

Not all of the horses were saved.

More than 300 branded horses were sold at auction Saturday. About 150 were purchased by residents and rescue groups and the remainder were purchased by kill-buyers.

Advocates say the money used to buy the horses came from a philanthropist.

“Thanks to the generous donation, we were able to take those horses home,” Summers told The Times. “It’s a big relief.”

Paula Todd King, a spokeswoman for the Cloud Foundation, one of the animal advocate groups involved in the purchase of the unbranded horses, said activists meant the tribe no disrespect.

“Knowing the market for horses right now, the tribe might not have intended to sell them to kill-buyers, but a lot of the horses went to kill-buyers anyway. That’s just the way it happens,” she told The Times.

She said the Cloud Foundation and other groups became involved because of a tip that the U.S. Forest Service had offered the tribe funds to assist in the roundup.

“We were very concerned that wild horses would be included in that roundup,” King said. “What we objected to was use of federal funds to transport and round up horses that would likely end up slaughtered, and that protected wild horses might be part of them.”

Krutcher said the U.S. Forest Service withdrew its funding after  pressure form animal advocates.

Please click (HERE) to comment at the LA Times

20 replies »

  1. Best news ,I have had all week, I was happy to call some of my Mustang Advocates that have given up. Protests, calls, and emails will pay off for the wild ones. Sadly , not all horses where saved from slaughter.


  2. I noticed in another article that Mr. Santos and the Navajos were talking about if they ban slaughter in the US they could still have a plant on the reservation. Now, I want everyone to think this OVER very carefully. IF they pass the SAFE ACT, the tribe cannot export the meats-not even across state lines or outside of the reservations. Why? Because every state will be banned from having it to consume. They cannot EXPORT to other countries, why? Because HORSEMEAT itself will be banned specifically for being unsafe. They cannot purchase animals for slaughter from anyone, not one other state, or persons residing in any other states can sell horses to the res. for or with the intent to slaughter-they will be held in violation of the Federal Law if any horses OTHER than their own animals were to be slaughtered. So imagine if you will they are all sitting around with their own freezers packed full of horse meat EVEN they don’t want to eat, I read also they have a history of eating horses in some tribes and they keep stating I quit in 1980 I quit in 1980. That’s when they passed the Federal Law against it in pet food in United States. I got to thinking about all this when I read the article above and the guy states he could have given the advocates a hard time. Really? I would think the public would have given them a far more difficult time-because when the truth came out that they are claiming horses on the res were destroying their land and they went and rounded up animals off of Federal Lands or on the border of it, that really indicates their stories don’t jive, you would remove the horses in the areas they are overrun with them FIRST! So they keep manufacturing stories as we go, the male Sue Wallis-we just bend the story to HOW it sounds BEST!


  3. Yes, the stories varied all over the place including from the Forest Service spokeswoman who said all of the horses belong to the Tribes who live in the Forest. Their horses graze in the Forest that has become very thin, but the Tribes are not paying for permits like the permittees do. So then the Forest Service coffers are going to get rich by $1.38/head/month being paid them? I thought the Tribes being Sovereign were exempt. I still wonder how they drove all those horses and for how many miles – I’ve read 70 mi over three days in rough sagebrush terrain that caused all those injuries.


  4. They got caught in their own game, but the beautiful horses had to pay.

    May their deaths not be in vain.

    Thanks R.T. for this good article.


  5. My response to Arlo Krutcher….Oh well…….if you were so concerned for the tribes horses why bring then to Fallon where you knew they would be sold to kill buyers….so let this be on your conscience and that of your tribe…just like the BLM and USFS you got caught with your pants down…
    THANK YOU to those who bought the 148 horses and the ones on Saturday…they were saved from slaughter…to the ones sold to kill buyers…my heart hangs heavy for those horses…..so sad…they did nothing to deserve thier fate and they knew we were there trying our best to help them….
    Thank you RT……


  6. I would like to offer a suggestion to those of you who don’t subscribe to updates from the Dept of the Interior. Had you read them (or even watched the weekly’s on Youtube) you would have seen the Obama adm is making an attempt to put a few things right regarding our mistreatment of Native Americans. We just made good on a promise of clean water to the White Mountain Apaches that was made in 1875! These people are mostly poor and often elderly as the youth have left the reservation for a better future elsewhere. It is no surprise that if the USFS determined the horses had to leave public land and the members of the tribes could not afford such an operation that the government would cough up the money to help out. A gesture of friendship so to speak. After all the USFS had allowed them to graze their animals on public land for 20 some odd years. They grazed and multiplied on public lands…the USFS being complicit. But things change.

    The public fell victim to conspiracy theories, innuendos, and allegations that these were “wild”, as in BLM protected, horses and they were not. There is something to be said about the movement that saved a lot of horses from the trip to the butcher shop but what are we going to do when the Navajo begin to dump 65,000 more on the market? I see a lot of posts asking for more donations to feed the ones they just ‘saved’ so what do we do tomorrow?

    In this situation the advocacy’s are fighting for donations so hard they jumped the gun and started waiving lawyers and lawsuits at a race of people for trying to obey the law.



    • Steve, you are not out here and you do not see what we do or live with the people who do these things. When I discussed this with you before and then again recently I certainly did not expect you to be so adamant that this activity was innocent. This activity was brutal and deadly and with out DNA you are just whistling Dixie. How can you decide this when all the evidence is not in and when the burden of proof is with us, the advocacy!? What you are doing is jumping the gun and not allowing for support to build behind an effort whose intentions is to prove there was wrong doing? You cannot tell people this is over unless you are sabotaging the work of these people and the lawsuit still to be heard. Is this your intention? Please stop influencing your readers to think that people involved in this for years and who have put their names on the line are not doing so with integrity. Please respect their work. Why are you acting as Judge and jury here?
      Why don’t you read the lawsuit and the filings? Any lawsuit deserves to be heard. I am shocked you have dismissed something you have not read and are not giving due respect to. Remember, when you write here you influence people. So watch what you say and be sure you are not interfering in the open discussion this needs to have rather than shutting the door when there is more to see and folks need to know and be involved not told by you that you know all there is to know about this from what you have seen and it can now all be dismissed! I regret sharing information with you and feel if you needed it to discredit this lawsuit that people are so unaware of you should have found it for yourself. I have given accurate information and you have interpreted it in such a way as to tell all here there is nothing left to be said because you have not been personally presented with the information that the lawsuit and the litigants are privy to. In the realm of public information on this roundup, contract and the Fallon auction and the fate of all these horses including the dead ones, i believe you missed the alleged crimes and folks should continue to be concerned about what is going on enough to want to stop it. Enough to want to see this new lawsuit be presented.

      Please support the lawsuit of Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter!
      What is going on is very bad and it should never happen again and it must be stopped now.

      Sometimes the brutality applied makes no difference whose horse is whose but we need to know and protect those we can.


  7. The Paiutes have been selling horses to slaughter for years I’ve been informed. Thankfully a deal was made and some of these were rescued.
    The illegal activity of the USFS and BLM needs to be exposed and those rsponsible taken to court.


    • Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter have just filed a preliminary injunction in their comp;laint against USFS et al. Please support them. This is a remarkable piece of work and I am so proud of Anne to have persevered and followed her intuition. The attorney working with her is, for lack of a better word, amazng. Again, please support them, if nothing less, than praying for their success.


    • BRAVO Barbara !!!!! Also Thanks to Ms Summers for Saving the Horses that she did !!!!!! The Corruption associated with the Slaughtering of OUR Innocent MUSTANGS is Illegal and should be,the BLM needs to be exposed !!!!!! There is no REASON to SLAUGHTER OUR MUSTANGS !!!!!!!!


    • God, what have we come to in this country, we’re soulless. Yes, I have heard that horse slaughter hasn’t been the most popular of decisions and is far from endorsed by the Navaho. I’m glad to read this.


  8. Think the only ones “disrespected” in this whole ordeal were the HORSES

    Thank you to everyone involved in this rescue!


  9. These tribal members had discussed having a roundup for years. This can be found on social media. They may have had one last year. There is a contract with the tribe and USFS until MArch 31, 2015. This is not as innocent as people would like it to seem. And 50 horses were allegedly in fatal condition and those who arrived early at Fallon the day of the sale saw them forced into trailers to be taken to be euthanized elsewhere. They had broken legs, broken hips, terrible wounds to their bodies. This must not be allowed to continue. These horses are not accounted for. Who has the correct numbers bought by who and when and where is that horse right now? This was the most bloody roundup since the Owyhee Massacre that killed nearly 100 that BLM and the Cattoors covered up. This is more than my opinion and I take responsibility for what I say. The Cattoor’s also have the contract for this roundup series involving USFS and these tribal members. Look up their contracts. Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter; Anne Novak and Dr.Lester Castro Friedlander, DVM have added Michael Blake and Craig Downer to their lawsuit to stop this ongoing contracted series of roundups. Please give them your support in every way in good faith and because this is being done meticulously and for the good of these horses and because there is more to this than meets the eye. We should not pretend these horses were not meant for slaughter in a market like todays’. Rationalizing this contract and these actions will embolden these parties to continue this unannounced and aggressively brutal style of removals again and again as their contract calls. Which of our wild horses on the fringe of native land will be next to be swept into a deadly stampede? Don’t ever underestimate the opposition and the intentions of all of them.


    • I certainly don’t underestimate people. Experience shows that whatever we think we know, the reality probably is much worse or has been done before – sad to say. Not to say that I don’t have hope for the future because I do – but I try to look at things with a realistic eye until change arrives. Thanks for your comment.


      • This is all we can do. Be realistic and be aware. And the MO is for lies and brutality. I have refrained from any opinions on the native members involved also because not all of them wanted this to happen. But back peddling and forgetting the brutality was approved by the USFS and that wild horses did reside on the Humboldt Toiyabe public lands and were removed is a no brainer.


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