Equine Rescue

Idaho Woman Fined for Removing Wild Horse from Range

Source:  Multiple

Review of this article indicates that the party involved was trying to do the right thing and help a horse she felt to be in distress.  But in the wild, we keep our distance and let nature do what nature does.  The only people who can harass, chase, round-up, hold captive, perform morbid tests upon and sell wild burros and horses to slaughter are employees of the BLM; the very agency charged with the responsibility to protect our wild equines is the only exclusive group, outside of welfare ranchers, that is hell bent on finding the “final solution” , destruction and ultimate extinction of or wild horses and burros on our public lands.” ~ R.T.

“I had to follow my heart instead of the letter of the law,”

5759a376a8cd3.imageAn Idaho woman was fined by the Bureau of Land Management after attempting to rescue an emaciated wild horse.

The agency fined Cynthia Stoetzer of Driggs $275 for moving the animal she encountered while riding her horse in Utah in April, reported The Post Register.

Stoetzer said she saw the horse near an informal campground at the Justesen Flats and tried to contact Bureau of Land Management officials. She had cellphone service issues, however, and couldn’t reach anyone.

“I had to follow my heart instead of the letter of the law,” Stoetzer said. “It was just slowly suffering in front of my eyes.”

So she returned two days later, loaded the mustang into her horse trailer and took it to the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab. Bureau officials took the horse back to its ranch the next day.

“Typically we try to keep the animal in its natural environment,” said Chris Robbins, wild horse and burro lead for the Idaho Bureau of Land Management.

When someone reports an unhealthy horse, the agency will send someone to examine it as soon as possible, Robbins said. What happens next depends on the horse’s behavior, condition and relation to its herd.

“If it’s naturally emaciated, if there’s poor hope for prognosis for health for the horse, we’ll usually euthanize it out on the range,” Robbins said. “If it has a good prognosis we’ll keep monitoring it. We definitely don’t allow the horse to suffer if it is indeed suffering.”

He said the bureau has policies against private citizens removing animals from the land because it is dangerous and can interfere with the ecosystem. It also drains bureau resources to rehabilitate and care for animals that would have died naturally in the wild.

Robbins had no involvement with Stoetzer’s fine.

Stoetzer maintains that she did the right thing and would do it again.

“I think they’re being pretty harsh on me, considering I really did do my best,” she told the Post-Register. “I wouldn’t try to save all wild horses in the West, but when you’re faced with one individual in front of you, I can’t imagine any horse-lover wouldn’t do the same thing.”

When federal authorities did catch up with Stoetzer to discover where the horse had been taken, they transferred her to a federal holding center in Axtell, Utah.

“I got the horse into Harvard and the BLM came and pulled her out,” Stoetzer said. “I think it was more about making a point that the horse was government property than what was in her best interest.”

Last week, Stoetzer was served a citation for the offense of ‘’removing a wild horse.’

Removing wild horses and burros from public lands was made illegal by the 1971 ‘Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.’

“I guarantee [that law] was written to protect the horses from ranchers,” Stoetzer said. “I don’t know if it was meant to punish do-gooders like me.“

37 replies »

  1. When courage is needed, ask yourself, if not me who? If not now, when?
    The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs more defenders.
    Thank you to this woman for doing all of the above!!


  2. The BLM should learn a little—-

    “Compassion and empathy for all is what the future of this planet is dependent upon,” . “If people can nonchalantly turn away from someone who needs help — including animals — then we as a species may not deserve to be helped ourselves.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • If I’m not wrong – it was someone who wanted the wild horses REMOVED – period! Just making trouble – but I don’t remember if there were any consequences for HIS action.


    • You mean Kevin Borba, the trespass rancher that worked alongside Dave Duquette to “rescue” Sarge? Those two staged the entire thing by hauling water off of the HMA where Sarge and the other horses lived, luring them into an area without much food, if any. They did that because they were pissed at an advocate who fought tooth and nail to keep the horses on the range months before. Dave happens to be a member of a front group by the name of Protect the Harvest and helped Kevin to launch a propaganda campaign against the advocate and wild horse advocacy by making it seem that all wild horses are starving when, in reality, such instances are rare. Apparently, they NEVER got in trouble. The thing that infuriates me is that those imbeciles purposely harassed Sarge and the other horses for the sake of propaganda and got away with it whereas the lady in this story legitimately rescued a horse that was in trouble but got fined for it. It’s sickening.


      • Yes, Starry – that’s the guy! Nice that he could get away with harassing a wild horse, but this gal gets punished for trying to actually save one!


  3. Here we go.again. Manipulatkng the.laws to fit their needs. Do they really think we are.stupid and would believe their crap. They would euthanize this horse with a bullet to its head. Call a vet, really. We need to start a collection for this women.and hire an attorney to sue the BLM. I’m with this lady. I would do the same thing. They.can round up, stock pile these horses, leave them in holding pens without proper.shelter and that’s OK. Heaven forbid that a Tax Payer would try to save one! Their priorities are all.screwed up! They are a bunch of Morans! Gee, would this prevent this one from going to.slaughter? Amen and kudos to this Idaho woman. I’m with.her! They want them all dead or in a slaughter pen. I would be sitting in jail. She probably.was honest and said she had the horse. This was her first mistske. Honesty isn’t the policy with them. They are.a bunch of crooks! They haven’t lived up to the 1971law in so many years I can’t remember. Get a lawyer and sue to get the horse back for an adoption fee!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with Geri…..I don’t believe it’s ever wrong to show compassion and empathy, which there seems to be a real shortage of nowadays. I also agree with what this woman Cynthia said in regards to the BLM and that it was indeed more about making a point that the BLM thinks these wild horses are THEIR (and the governme nts) property, rather than out of any concern for the wild horse. It’s a shame, and now I wonder what will happen to it? I wouldn’t be surprised if they had already done away with it, since they are sorely lacking on compassion themselves.


  5. How about Wild Horses & Burros that die due to the roundups?

    ” It also drains bureau resources to rehabilitate and care for animals that would have died naturally in the wild.”?

    West Douglas Herd Area (This Gather was completed in a HA not HMA)
    September 20, 2015
    Sun J Livestock Inc

    September 20, 2015
    Vet Report:
    During normal operations of the wild horse gather in the Wagner Draw area of the West Douglas HA on September 20, 2015, an approximately 10-12 year old chestnut stud horse with 2 rear socks and white RF pastern, went down in the front compartment of the trailer immediately after loading. The contractor’s crew unloaded the trailer as quickly and smoothly as possible, but by the time we made it into the trailer, the horse was dead.

    There were 2 groups of horses plus 2 adult singles that had been brought in and were loaded according to size with all but 2 of the adults loaded into the front two compartments and 3 foals and a yearling loaded into the back. The loading went very smoothly, but there was some jockeying for position between the groups of adult horses once they were loaded. The loading wings had been untied and pulled away and as the contractor was walking up to pull the trailer away from the trap he checked each compartment and realized that there was a hose sown in the very front. They quickly re-tied the wings and unloaded the young horses into the satellite colt pen. Then they unloaded the older horses back into the trap.

    I had looked into the trailer through the side while they were tying the wings back up and see that the horse that was down did not seem to be able to lift his head, although it looked at that time he was either breathing or doing agonal breaths. As soon as the horses were unloaded the contractor jumped into the trailer and checked the down horse. The horse did not move so I jumped in and checked the horse’s corneal reflex. He did not have one. He also was not breathing and his pupils were fixed. The contractor pulled the trailer to more remote spot and when they were turning the horse to drag him from the trailer I observed that his neck was broken. I made this conclusion based on the way the head moved in relation to the horse’s body as they were turning him. There were only two guys pulling on the rear of the horse and the head was not caught on anything, so the unnatural movement of the head and neck was obvious. After consulting with the gather COR, it was determined a necropsy was unnecessary.

    September 23, 2015
    Vet Report:
    During operations of the BLM wild horse gather in the West Douglas HA, Rangely, Colorado, on September 22, 2015, an approximately 2 – 3 month old sorrel stud colt was injured during capture. I was asked to examine the colt prior to euthanasia and examined the injury more closely postmortem. I witnessed the roping. The colt was caught without incident and it was not lame at that time. He spooked back into the brush and ran about a small brushy flat area above the trap and below the public viewing area while we tried to prevent him from climbing further back up the mountain without choking him with the rope. He was not lame during that time but when he came back out of the brush he jumped back onto the road. At that point, I saw that he became grade 3 – 4 out of 5 lame. He was less than 100 yds from the trap so we gently herded him to the trailer. While he was being herded/lead to the trap I examined him visually and it appeared he had severely injured his lower right front leg above the fetlock joint. The colt was loaded by himself onto a trailer and taken back to the holding corrals with the BLM PI and me following so we could evaluate his condition in more detail. I had already discussed the possibility of a poor to hopeless prognosis with the COR and he had given authority to the PI to make the final determination regarding euthanasia at the holding corral due to the very poor radio communications at the trap site. Following our arrival at the holding corral, I re-assessed the injury and confirmed that it was a severe injury that had a hopeless prognosis for recovery. I explained this to the PI and recommended euthanasia would be the most humane action. The PI agreed and the colt was humanely euthanized at that time. After the euthanasia was performed, I confirmed the diagnosis by palpating the right front leg. The colt had sustained a closed fracture in the area of the distal physis of the right third metacarpal bone.

    Richanne E. Lomkin, D.V.M. Field Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA APHIS Veterinary Services


    • Wild Burro Gather -Utah (Day 1)

      Click to access Sinbad-Wild-Burro-Gather-PDF.pdf

      DATE: 11 April 2016
      LOCATION: Temple Mountain Road (Exit 131) and I-70

      This gather would probably not have happened this year if it were not for
      the studies they want to conduct.

      I asked about the 1 burro who had died during the bait trapping portion of
      the gather and was told that a solitary “jack” had been caught in the trap
      and when the contractor backed up the trailer and opened the gate the jack
      panicked and ran into a panel and broke his neck. He died as a result of
      the injury and was not euthanized


  6. Good for Cynthia.. Many of us would have also showed compassion. Removing the suffering horse from that situation. Goes to show, just how much that the BLM cares about any horse/burro.


  7. Best Friends Sanctuary is a State and Federally licensed Wildlife rehabilitation center and could find a much better use for that $275 that BLM took from a Good Samaritan

    Where the wild things roam

    Best Friends’ Wild Friends refuge is a state- and federally-licensed wildlife rehabilitation center for helping orphaned and injured wild animals get back on their feet – and back to the wild. There’s hardly a wild one in need that we haven’t seen here. From bobcats, to eagles, to little wild bunnies, everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. And there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing them run or fly free again after medical care and a short reprieve here at Wild Friends. A small number who are too injured to be re-released or who are actually exotic pets rather than wild animals stay on as part of our wildlife education program.


    • The thing is – taking the horse to Best Friends – means this organization KNEW all about this horse & its problems! Seems they would have a record of the BLM’s walking in & removing him! So this might not be as easy to sweep under the rug!


  8. You did the right thing! I would have too. I’d like to ask “What happened with that horse?” Was he let go..back where he came from..or did they do what I expect they did & kill the horse just 2 be rid of another wild horse on their federally protected lands so the cattle will have that much more space & grasses & water if any. These people make me sick! What in the hell do they care what happens 2 the wild horses? They only care when a fuss that goes public is made. Shame on them & our government 4 letting this happen!
    It’s heartbreaking to see our icons treated this way.! Rounded up..separated..put in long & short hold pens 4 years! Sold 2 Slaughter all over the U.S.A. to Mexico & Canada. It’s horrible & a disgrace what the BLM & our government are doing!! You my friend did what any horse lover would have. I’m so sorry they made you their particular point of being the
    Bad person 4 interfering with the wild. We all should b like you! ❤


  9. It is well known that the BLM wants all wild horses, donkeys, and burros eliminated from our ranges, Their intent is to get back pocket money from the ranchers and anyone else that will bribe them. Let’s agency needs to be disbanded and replaced with people that love these animals, with all the employees employed at the new agency having their background checks from the age of 16 that nothing relating to animal cruelty, etc be in their background, as well as, an overseeing committee of animal lovers, like R.T. to oversee the agencies doings. This agency is nothing but a killing machine and has criminals (animal killers) in their employ. Anyone harming an animal should get the same punishment as if they killed a human being. Karma will get them all and it can’t be too soon. And, I would love to watch as they all get what is coming to them. They will get it, it is just a matter of time.


  10. It is amazing how quickly the blm reacts to make them look good, when there has been others who have killed the horse and done nothing. It is just a power note for them. The woman didn’t anything wrong, other then save a life. Their still ASS HOLES. Look at how many they have killed and nothing got done. They have too much power!!!!!!


  11. ““If it’s naturally emaciated, if there’s poor hope for prognosis for health for the horse, we’ll usually euthanize it out on the range,” Robbins said. “If it has a good prognosis we’ll keep monitoring it. We definitely don’t allow the horse to suffer if it is indeed suffering.”” BLM wants to kill all the horses, does it make sense to most of us that if an animal needs help, we get it help, why is “help” in BLM’s vocab, as murder. Please do not under estimate that the people in these job positions in BLM and Fish & Wildlife are all about domination and control, and nobody getting in the way of their agenda to kill and rid all wildlife from our public lands for the Ranchers, Oilers, Miners and Hunters, Fish & Wildlife is estimated to kill 200 million animals a year, how can you read this any other way. They don’t want anyone interfering with their control, compassion is not an option with them, they are sociopathic.


  12. Now here I would support this woman, because in this case, we know that the BLM and others entrusted to uphold the law under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 are not fulfilling their obligations to protect these horses and burros, and are neglecting, abusing, and systematically removing them to cater to special interests, not the public. It’s not Yellowstone National Park, where tourists are not supposed to interfere with the wildlife because of what they think they see or know. Where the horses are on public land and according to the law, belong to the public, why can’t she help?


    • Agree with you about the Horses, but the other Wildlife is being treated the same, why was it not the same for interfering in the case of another animal in need of medical attention? The BLM Park Services, F&W are doing the exact same thing to the other animals. We are forced to interfere to help when these agencies advocated for only death. Why was it not the responsibility for these agencies to have offered help to any animal in need, as the case with the Buffalo Calf? Why should we not interfere when the only help they offer is to murder animals, and not take to a sanctuary? The Park murdered 900 Buffalo for no good reason just a few weeks before, probably this calves mother. Why do you not realize that the agencies only have people that work for them that want to kill. F&W murders over 200 million animals a year, they deny any science or compassion based non-lethal management methods, so why do you believe they know or care what they are doing for one species, but not another..


      • Well maybe I am wrong. I wish the buffalo calf had been taken to a sanctuary as well. But it does appear that tourists, who are not scientists, are running amok in the parks – and causing animals to be killed whether through carelessness in the ase of grizzly bears, or misguided attempts at rescue. I’m not convinced this little calf really was separated from its mother, or needed rescuing. All of the articles defending it have come out long after the fact – where were they when it all first happened? The situation of this woman in Idaho seems different. We know that the horses are being persecuted.


      • or ‘all of the articles defending the actions of the two tourists have come out long after the fact’. I agree, where are all the people when it comes to the annual bison slaughter?


      • Agree, where is the public for the Buffalo slaughter, while the F&W service (Park) presents itself to the public as “experts”, they manipulate public perception away from their real agenda, and with the medias dutiful help, has been successful in quieting the public’s opinion or knowledge. Many people making comments on the Buffalo calf story, blame the people that tried to help the calf, just what F&W want you to think, they want you to be removed from the idea to have compassion for individual animals, due to needing to protect the agenda of the special interests they are beholding to. Same for all wildlife, including the Horse’s, their agenda is not for the public trust that is intended initially, it is for the special interests that have gotten a hold on our Wildlife agencies, and that agenda is for them to kill. Here is a link to an open letter to Florida’s F&W declaring the arguments against their Bear Hunting, it applies to all our Wildlife and Wildlife agencies, very long, but well worth the read; https://www.dropbox.com/s/0418nqccaocmo8x/Taking%20the%20Trust%20-%20Open%20Letter.pdf?dl=0


  13. They have amended the Act to suit them – and we’re still wondering (and will till the day we die) why all those horses sent to slaughter with Tom Davis and under Ken Salazar’s watch there was no investigation or prosecution? Just dismissed out of hand with a ‘we’re sorry, we’ll try to do better next time’. Try.


  14. But it’s working against the good prior and of course catering tho the ranchers who are their friends in the good ole boys network. You can rest assured that the blm killed the horse because that is their agenda anyway.. If you want to save a horse just get it the hell out of there…far away from those retarded bastards. I really feel for this woman. She tried to do what was in the best interest the horse. More people should do things like that but get the damned horses out of the jurisdiction of the bom. They are horse haters..


  15. What happened to rancher Borbits? I know its not exactly the spelling but why didnt they get fined for holding horses hostage a year ago? They held horses hostage and werent fined. A MAN ASKED ME IF WELFARE RANCHERS GET LINK CARDS OR SNAP BENEFITS????? LOL.


  16. Interesting, it is a higher fine to take one off the range and take care of it then it is to go out and use them for target practice? Kind of like fining a concerned rancher who picks up a Buffalo calf and takes it in rather then let it wander up to the vehicles to stay warm from the engine heat.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The horses do NOT belong to the government…they belong to the PUBLIC and they are on PUBLIC land. I am sickened by the antics of the BLM funkies and and agency demons


    • Tom, I agree with you. We, the public OWN THE RANGES, OWN THE WILD HORSES, DONKEYS, AND BURROS, AND WE DO NOT CONDONE THE ACTIONS OF THE BLM. These killers need to be fired, from the very top to the bottom, and new people that love these animals put in their place. They have killed all these beautiful animals, given the dam ranchers our ranges for nothing, and I bet are taking monies in their back pockets. IT HAS TO STOP NOW.


  18. And what did they do to the mid-Nevada welfare rancher who admitted shooting SIX burros a few years ago? BLM representative (sure would like to know that jerks name!) let him plea bargain for the shooting of ONE burro and the guilty guy had to pay a small fine and a year of probation. ALL SIX OF OUR WILD BURROS WERE STILL DEAD … and they guy who shot them probably just went to the bar to celebrate and brag.


    • Grandmagregg, I would bet you are right. It is a travesty. He wouldn’t want to know what I would do to the people that kill these animals. Oh, these beautiful animals so deserve justice for what is happening to them, and they are not getting justice for being killed. The offender should have the same happen to him and even worse. Damn these people. I wish a life of Hell to all that does this to our beautiful wild horses, domestic horses, donkeys, burros and all that is suffering at the BLM hands and the auction houses, and killer buyers. I hope all the killer buyers would starve to death.


  19. You know something if it was me that found the horse I would never have called the BLM in the first place I simply would have went ahead and loaded the horse in the trailer took it home and called a Vet to treat it. I would simply have told the Vet I found it wondering outside my pasture fence. It was starving possibly because it needed its teeth looked at or it could have been wormy no one will ever know. I’m sure BLM has already killed it simply because they can. You can’t deal with a corrupt organization like the BLM in a normal manner if you can outsmart them do it.


  20. As if the BLM would’ve bothered to check the horse. I bet they didn’t set it loose again. I also wonder why it was emaciated and alone in the first place. The question being (to me) is did it really get that way naturally or did it get that way because the actions of humans like the BLM narrowing down its range for the sake of ranchers and such? It’s one thing to say ‘don’t handle the wild animal’. Its something else if the wild animal is tangled in an entirely man made trap.

    Liked by 1 person

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