Equine Rescue

Happy Ending for Foals from BLM Wild Horse Slaughter Roundup

Source: The Lovell Chronicle

“It is ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and to find something good we had to dig into something that was really bad to locate even a tiny glow of sunshine.  It has been a week of the BLM and their rancher buddies breaking federal law on all fronts and our feature for today highlights the goodness of Wild Horse and Burro advocates and the rancid, dark underbelly of a federal agency gone mad.  Hats off to those who saved this little babies from the horrifying fate that the BLM cruelly handed to their family and herd.  Bitter sweet, but it is the best we can do for today.  Thank you TCF and Dr. Lisa, we love ya’all.  Keep the faith my friends.” ~ R.T.


4 babies were all that survived the herd of wild horses sold to slaughter by the BLM ~ photo courtesy of The Cloud Foundation

Four foals, dubbed by wild horse advocates as the “Dry Creek quartet,” are now out of harm’s way and under the care of experienced veterinarian Dr. Lisa Jacobson in Northern Colorado.

The foals—individually named by horse advocates as Maestro, Allegro, Cornet and Piccolo– were separated from their mothers, during a helicopter roundup by BLM and State officials near Sheep Mountain in early March. The Cloud Foundation, a wild horse advocacy group, spearheaded the rescue after a kindhearted stockyard owner spotted the baby horses among the adult horses that were about to be shipped to slaughter.

Jacobson, an experienced horse vet and advocate against horse slaughter, estimated that some of the foals were very young at the time they were separated from their lactating mothers.

“It was really staggering that they survived,” said Jacobson. “Some couldn’t have been more than days old at the time of the roundup. Even the oldest was no more than a few months old.”

In spite of their ordeal, Jacobson said the foals were in good health when she received them and they are continuing to thrive.

“If they were sick, we’d be seeing it by now, especially after all the stress they went through,” said Jacobson. “We’re not seeing any coughing or snotty noses. They are eating well and really thriving. At times they are even running, bucking and playing.”

Stacy Newby, co-owner of the Worland Livestock Auction, noticed the foals in the mix with the adults that were about to be shipped to slaughter.

Though she had never seen it personally, she said it is common knowledge that foals, not wanted by slaughterhouses, either die during transport or are killed upon arrival.

“I’ve never seen it myself, but I’ve heard that is what happens and my heart just wouldn’t let that happen,” said Newby. “I knew I could save them and I wanted to give them an opportunity to thrive.”

As the colts were being sorted out, Newby said she wanted them.

“I didn’t really ask, it was more like I just said I was taking them,” she said. “My intent was to raise them, tame them, halter break them and then find them homes. We have the setup to do it and so that was my plan.”

Newby convinced those in charge that she wasn’t taking “no” for an answer, and got the brand inspector to process the proper ownership documents, making her the legal owner.

Once the word got out that Newby had rescued the foals, she was inundated with telephone calls from horse advocates from across the country wanting to adopt the foals.

“I was receiving up to 50 calls a day from people wanting to adopt them,” she said.

For the next few weeks she fed them, while her trusty Australian shepherd dog “Lonesome” watched over them. Newby said the dog stood watch as if he knew they needed protection.

“They had good muscle, a little skinny, but healthier than you would expect,” she said. “And once they figured out that I was the milk lady, feeding them became as simple as pie.”

Kim Michaels of Red Lodge, the Cloud Foundation’s Montana representative, contacted Newby, along with other members from the organization.

“I could tell these gals from the Cloud Foundation really wanted these colts,” said Newby. “They seemed very sincere so I let them take them.”

Ownership was then transferred to Michaels and the foals were transported to Colorado, where they will remain for many months until they are deemed adoptable.

“Lisa (Dr. Jacobson) might have them for up to a year,” said Michaels, who is now the legal owner of the foals.

“This isn’t going to be quick,” said Jacobson. “They will need training to be comfortable around people and will need a lot of nourishment and we’re going to be pretty picky about who adopts them.”

In the meantime, Jacobson said the foals are flourishing and already showing curiosity about their human caretakers.

“Piccolo even nickered at me the other day,” said Jacobson. “That’s the first sound I’ve heard out of them. It was as if she was saying ‘Hey you, open the gate, we want to go inside.’”

Ginger Kathrens, founder of the Cloud Foundation, said she was happy the organization was able to assist with the rescue of the foals but at the same time heartbroken that the organization was not given the opportunity to adopt the 40 horses that were sold to slaughter. She said the organization is already seeking legal advice to find out how this type of action can be prevented in the future.

by Patti Carpenter

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30 replies »

  1. UPENN just had a mare on camera give birth like two weeks ago. “Boone” was all wobbly for a few days. I don’t know if the feathers fall off, the feet are still so soft or a combination but I know this much: when my knees go out I’m incapacitated. And these folk are out there brutally running newborns?

    How come some rancher who won’t pay his lousy grazing fee is getting front page news and this same agency who contracts for roundups DURING FOALING SEASON–the horses get zilch?!

    People are complaining how the cows are giving birth and the cows are being rounded up, but those same people don’t have a problem with baby horses?

    This whole thing was a fiasco. And BLM law enforcement did something cops don’t ever do–THEY CAVED. Cops aren’t suppose to cave. There suppose to show command presence. This is part of the training.

    By caving they’ve set really bad precedent for the next time something like this happens. It won’t matter which branch of government it is–they blew it BAD. You let a rancher, a thief and his anti government militia rule the day.

    And the WY37? What a freaking nightmare. What happened to the 30 day holding period? Use the money or lose it? Are you kidding me? BLM did a roundup IN THEIR OWN POSTED FOALING SEASON because if they didn’t they’d lose the money? If that isn’t the dumbest thing ever.

    No posting, no dates, no notice about an auction. Just roundup the horses and ship to slaughter later that same day. Disgusting doesn’t even come close. And let’s not forget the babies that were stripped of momma right on the spot. I’m not talking about babies ready to be weaned–we’re talking still nursing, needing mom as milk babies.

    This wasn’t a “mistake” (that was BLM’s favorite word last year). This was out and out pure hatred, utter ignorance and flipping the bird action. It’s worse than Tim Sappington because THEY KNEW they had babies not only in front of them but most likely HEAVILY PREGNANT mares on that truck.

    The whole lot of them stink worse than any cow house anyday of the week.


      • FYI
        It’s not about grazing fees. Bundy is just in his stand off. That’s why Oath Keepers, Constitutional Sheriffs, and Militia got involved. There’s tons of info about the details. BLM is out of control. A tool for Sen. H. Reid who wants the land to build a solar manufacturing plant with a Chinese company. ( 600,000 acres that will no longer be public land.) Don’t get me wrong, there are good people in BLM who do care about the animals, I know some of them. But the BLM as an agency doesn’t care about any living thing. It’s about greed.
        You may want to check this out,
        BLM is about land grabbing. To which they really do not have the right to. It goes against the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
        All mainstream media is controlled by our gov., and can’t be trusted. Look to alternatives.
        You will find a number of articles and videos here about the Bundy incident,


    • The money they “had to spend” meant those poor horses were sold for just over $44 each by my reckoning. $1,640 was the sale price for 37 horses according to Ginger Kathrens. That’s less than a nickel a pound if they were 1,000 lb. horses.

      I am wondering why so few horses needed a helicopter harassment while Cliven Bundy’s cattle (around 900 head I read) were rounded up using hired cowboys on horseback in some pretty bare and wide open country from what I could see. Also can’t verify but one fellow on the video commented the BLM “camp” to get Bundy’s cows was a $1 million dollar proposition – other sources said it was nearly 3 times that.

      Disturbing, too, is that apparently the BLM took in backhoes and cut off the water supply to Bundy’s water troughs… which from what he said is the only water for 9 miles and is shared by a lot of wildlife. Why would they cut off the only watering holes when the US Gov’t. is so concerned about wildlife water in HMAs?

      I don’t even think this is a double standard, this is no standard at all.


      • They did use helicopters to round up Bundy’s cattle, and probably killed quite a few calves, hence the backhoes. The BLM isn’t making any sense these days. They definitely don’t manage the land, unless the idea is to kill everything west of the Mississippi.


  2. Thanks to all who worked so untiringly to save these four foals. The BLM is completely corrupt and out of control. Margaret is correct in her assessment of the BLM’s action in their confrontations with the rancher and their supporters. In the video I watched they looked totally unorganized running around aiming their tasers at people and bullying them in other ways that were totally unacceptable. They are nothing but thugs who certainly do not deserve to be on the payroll of the American tazpayer. In defense of the Nevada rancher, he has been paying his state grazing fees all along. The land the BLM is now trying to confiscate from him supposedly to “save the desert tortoise” has been in his family since the 1870’s. That is why he is fighting the BLM. Protecting the tortoise is BS, the real reason they want to take control is to grant resource exploitation rights to giant mining companies. Surprise, surprise! your government and the media is lying to you all again.


    • Associated with the BLM for years has been lies, murder, criminal actions, even to the point of even desecrating their own laws, every attempt to take them to court has been sabotaged by our own federal judges , is their no justice?????? their actions remind me of the Gestapo !!!!!! What can we do????? i


    • W, I am not inclined to tears but cried seeing some of the video. It looked like something from Afghanistan. An older lady was pushed to the ground, a US citizen on a paved public road was tasered, the Bundy’s wrote they had something like 200 vehicles etc. around their home, and one photo showed a bright red helicopter parked in their front yard. And setting up a “free speech zone????” I thought that was the external boundary of the entire USA.

      It seems the message here is to call in the militias if you want to protect anything. What would happen if the Oathkeepers could help with wild horse roundup protests? Can we declare our own “free speech zones” around holding pens?


    • He was paying the state of Nevada, and he contends the state still owns the land. The BLM took over the “management” of the land under the guise of protecting tortoises, half of which they have deliberately killed. The BLM also removed 50 other ranchers from that area. I don’t blame the ranchers for being angry at the BLM. They (the BLM) are laughing at the mustang advocates as we speak, because they have sold you on the idea that the ranchers are your enemy. Instead, you should take note of how the ranchers dealt with the BLM. They got the cattle back.


      • It does remind me of the old ‘divide an conquer’ strategy. Marginalize the environmentalists, wildlife advocates, and anyone else who would question their actions. I’m afraid a lot of our lands are going to be cleared of wildlife and even small farms and ranches for energy and other development.


      • RH I agree with you but Bundy is running a for-profit business so those cattle are essentially like dollars in the bank and he will cash them in whenever he chooses. Beef prices are higher now than since 1987 so the market demand is there, and rising, so saving his cattle was a financial, not a moral, decision.
        I’ve never been opposed to sensible ranching, but our wild horses are not being raised for market — being a public resource — so getting armed militias driving in from all over is less likely, though weirdly more appropriate.


  3. This incident with the rancher and his cattle, have at least exposed the BLM for what they are!!! Cruel, thugs… at the taxpayers expense. The manner in which the Wild Horses and their foals are treated is a National Disgrace. Shipping off to slaugher, pregnant horses, is a crime against all which is just. Perhaps if a “wild standoff,” with the press/media intact, at the next roundup, positive results might be accomplished. Being polite with the BLM does not work. Most people, who live in the midwestern and eastern states, do not have a clue, as to what the BLM is, or their cruel tatics. I do post all of these articles on Facebook.. with comments.
    Thank you, R. T., for your tireless devotion to our Wild Horses/burrows.


  4. ok the story is that harry reid d-from nevada is ultimately the one who put the b l m up to this because he has a deal with china about opening a solar panel factory on that very land where the cattle are plus all the minerals that are on that peice of land . and yes bundy had been paying the grazing until the b l m started refusing hts patments because he was standing in the way of reid getting payed for the factory. and the housing situation also was invovled ,too.yahoo news just today has p/u the story and they are making it sound like the b l m was doing everyone a favor by backing down . so folks i’m guessing may be we need to change our tactic’s also . not sure how but i’m just saying that maybe we are to peaceful in the way we do things . rt , ginger, and debbie , i’m sorry about your trip and being past over again . there is just no end in sight for the stupidity the the people in washington d c show . but please reads those articles i sent you and lets make a plan.


  5. I have become hooked on your “Feel Good Sunday” news. Thank you.

    And thank you to all who rescued the foals .. each and every wild horse heart and soul is precious.


  6. Just curious – it seems early for these babies to have been born in the wild, although Sand Wash Basin HMA already has new foals and in the Pryors as well.
    I dont think this is normal with other (big game) wildlife species but I could be wrong.
    Buffalo don’t usually start calving until May. Any ideas ?????


    • I recently saw a documentary by Ginger Kathrens, where she says there are foals being born at the wrong time because of the birth control drugs being given to mares. One foal was even born in the late fall. The foal survived the winter, but the poor mare was in very bad shape and looked like she wouldn’t make it.


    • Dear Louie, Yes yes yes , and then the Final Real Happy Ending !!!!! somehow i know their Mothers would be so Happy to know What Happy Ending they Sacrificed themselves for …………………..


  7. It’s devastating that the lives of an innocent, remnant wild horse herd who most likely survived the zeroing out an HMA have now been brutally ended. Time to pass the SAFE Act S.541 HR1094 to stop transporting horses to slaughter.


  8. Because of the BLM getting away with funneling the horses to slaughter don’t be surprised that from now on they don’t let anyone know about their next roundup, where its at or what state. Their bosses have been kicking it around about sending the mustangs to slaughter and this looks like the first roundup where they have done so at least in the open. This their way of dumping their responsibility for the horses. They will round them up then hand them over to the state for disposal and drive off. Has anyone ever followed the trucks hauling the horses after they were rounded up to see just where they were taken? Because if their trucks were never followed they may have drove it to a holding pen then called one of their kill buyer buddies to pick them up. The BLM is operating like a crime syndicate.


  9. PASS THE SAFE ACT FOR HORSES !!!!!!!!! The cattlemen know how to deal with the BLM !!!!!!! Bundy got all his Cattle Back, proving hearts and Flowers will get us no where !!!!!!


  10. How can the government agency send those horses to slaughter? They should be in jail. They are abominable. Too bad citizens don’t stop them from killing our beautiful horses the way people stopped them when the seized cattle. I read that calves and cattle were killed in that stampede caused by BLM, and that they shot two bulls. If that is true they should be prosecuted. How can these horses be taken to slaughter, which is pure evil and beyond barbaric. What about those mares, whose babies were recently born, and they lose their foals and are then taken and killed! I cannot bear it.


    • Dear T Boyd,I am Happy the Foals were saved , But i feel as you do , My heart is with those mares that just had those foals, they got double horror, theirs foals ripped from them almost right after delivery, then sent to slaughter , OMG !!!I can not bare this , it haunts me ! I have so had it with those irresponsible murdering devils, they say they are God Like , how dare they …………… They are spawned from Hell, and should be sent back their !!!!!!! I have been here for longer then you can imagine, nothing has changed for the Mustangs, nothing has just gotten worse, we need to UNITE as One and Do what the Ranchers did !!!!! Talk is cheap……………..we need action !!!!


  11. I appreciate so much the heroes who saved the precious foals. But it isn’t a happy day for me when all those horses were slaughtered, and nothing done about it.


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