Equine Rescue

Update on ISPMB Wild Horse Hearing

By Elaine Nash

16195789_10212724812901777_3398401177923305476_nThe hearing regarding final resolution to the ISPMB case- which was first scheduled for January 27 and then changed to January 26 and 27, has now been canceled. The State Attorney decided to make a deal with ISPMB, allowing them to keep some of the horses- from 12-30, we’re told. The terms will be official by the close of business today, we’re told Fleet of Angels and our partner organizations didn’t participate in the deal making, and had no voice in the negotiations. We will release an official statement as soon as we receive our copy of the new court order, so that we’ll be providing the most accurate information possible. In the meantime, the final points of the deal are being worked out between ISPMB attorneys and State Attorney. Anything said by others in the press or on social media right now is based on speculation.

We’re preparing to pick up the rest of the horses and relocate them to a new, much more appropriate adoption hub. That’s our big news, really, and we’re eager to share the details ASAP!

Although this new deal comes as a surprise to us, we are pleased that by the end of this mission, we will have been able to save approximately 96% of the ISPMB horses. Think about that- 96% of the horses will be leaving ISPMB very soon. With YOUR help, we’ll keep them fed and cared for while we work to get them to their new adoptive homes!

25 replies »

  1. I[m surprised that any of the ISPMB horses can remain with their former owners. Who is going to oversee that the horses that will remain there will be taken care of. This is a travesty for the horses. And, where did these individuals, if they can’t take care of their horses, what did they get a “pro bono attorney”. I’d like to know if it was a “pro bono” attorney, and if so, who he/she is..


  2. Correction to above statement. “And, where did these individuals get an attorney, as attorneys are expensive, unless it was a “pro bono” attorney, and this cost will be at the detriment to the money available to take care of the horses remaining there.


  3. Thank you Elaine. It is my hope that those left behind won’t be the news again in years to come- of either having starved, suffered or been left to breed to unmanageable counts. Also, they need more roaming space, with access to shelter!
    Wild horses can seek shelter and relief from the elements – when they are free roaming and not trapped in pens!
    Also, after such a massive ordeal in terms of national rescue efforts- the remaining horses ought to be put under strict supervision in regards to feed, care, and infrastructure on premises meeting their needs appropriate to the harsh climate they are in.
    Serious changes are necessary to ensure their welfare. It is the State Attorney’s responsibility to put forth such conditions- as risks of repeat hoarding or insufficient standards can jeopardize the health, well-being and comfort of the horses remaining in ISPMB care.
    Now Karen Sussman can prove to America that she can do it on s small scale that she can manage. Let’s see it.


  4. Actually this whole mess could have been so much worse! But thanks to Elaine &
    all the wonderful people who worked so hard, most of these horses will be taken care of. I hope Karen can manage 12-30 horses – at least there is enough land for them. And yeah, there certainly should be oversight!


  5. Has anyone thought about the herds that have been kept together, such as the Gila, White Sands, and the Catnip? Doubt that they have a chance now to survive as herds.


    • The Gila Herd Foundation of Arizona

      Growing up in southern Arizona I knew of the Gila herd of wild horses that frequented the area. My father bought one for $25 from a rancher that captured several of the horses.
      Little did I know that 50 years later the significance of these horses would be brought front and center in my life.
      I encountered these horses again, on a visit to South Dakota (October 2016) to take pictures and document 810 wild horses that were in danger of being sold at auction and sent to slaught…er.
      Walking over a rise in a barren pasture there they were. These beautiful Dun and Grulla horses were standing together in a large herd watching me, watch them. I felt as if I had stepped back in time.
      Treasured childhood memories came to the surface. I was looking at the Gila Herd wild horses. Bloodlines descended from pure Spanish Mustangs that had been taken out of Arizona to protect them, yet once again their lives were in danger.
      I walked amongst them. Scratched a few of their noses and spoke soft words to them. I made a promise to them that day that I would not let them go to auction or to slaughter.
      This promise has come to fruition. I formed the Gila Herd Foundation of Arizona, with a dear friend, with the intention to bring back the herd to Arizona if the State of South Dakotas does not allow ISPMB to keep the Gila Herd.. We owe it to them to preserve and protect this important part of Arizona history and American history.
      Please join our efforts to bring this herd home to Arizona if that opportunity arises. Follow their journey on this page. https://www.facebook.com/GilaHorses/

      Liked by 2 people

      • cssssswv, I just posted the facebook page for the Gila Herd Foundation…that’s all I did. I thought they might need some support as I think they are just getting started. Arizona wants its Wild Horses back.


      • cssssswv, I too wish for the best for this newly formed organization and for the Gila Herd Horses. I’m not a member. I was just trying to help by passing along information that I think might be helpful. We all want what’s best for them. Horses & Burros, wild or otherwise, need all of the help they can get right now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Gila have primal markings like the small herd cousins, the Cerbats, in Arizona. Wonder if this is because the population is under the 150 adults needed to maintain the herd? Thanks for the Gila Herd Fdn address. So glad these horses avoided auction that would have been excruciating for all of us.


  6. This still does not excuse the actions and inactions of the ISPMB Board of Directors and their legal nonprofit status should be thoroughly investigated before they are allowed to keep any horses or collect any further donations. Simply removing horses from their care does not address the underlying causes of the problem whatsoever, and only improves their financial picture as the pressure of feeding so many is removed, so they can continue on with unrestricted breeding under the guise of pseudo “research” in an organization still run by the exact same people.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Nonprofit status is granted by the Internal Revenue Service, and failure to operate in accordance with their original mission and application are grounds for revocation of that status, and can mean funds obtained under false pretexts are not tax deductible for donors, and also that the recipient organization may owe income taxes on those funds. The ISPMB has raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars while horses starved and one, on-site person has held power for a great number of years while a hands-off board of directors has remained silent through this whole event (and probably others). If there is justice, the IRS should be notified and conduct an investigation of the ISPMB. If they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear from such an investigation.

        I am not familiar with the rules of North Dakota, but since their government and taxpayers had to step up and expend a lot of cash in the rescue effort, one would think they would also investigate whether ISPMB is operatating in accordance with the law. Again, if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.

        Nonprofit status is a privilege, not a right.


      • I think the go to person would be the states attorney – Steve Aberle? (have to go back and check the spelling). We still need to know details of the agreement and whether or not future prosecution is off the table.


  7. Wud u give starved puppies back to the mill???? Is this for a pay check??? CUZ she didn’t earn last one she was getting for horse care& food!!! Make NO sense to me🚩🚩NO OFFENSE🚩🚩 BUT come on…..why would you do this????🚩 NOT WHAT BEST FOR THE HORSES WANTING OUT OF THAT HELL& horse graveyard…OR DID YOU ALL FORGET YEA….SHE DID THAT TOO..& IF U LOVE HORSES DON’T SUGARCOAT THIS FOR THEIR SAKE!!! They DESERVE BETTER DAMN IT!!!!! They BETTER check her “pasture” BS MONTHLY 2 VERIFY ALL ARE FED DAILY& in good HEALTH IF YOU FAIL THEM AGAIN!!!!!& That’s. 100% UNACCEPTABLE for these TREASURES…. Sorry but I’m pist!!!😵😵😵 & the HORSES WIL pay if this neglect happens*AGAIN*!!!!!! I need to scream I’m Soooo angry bout this LUDICROUS decision!!! If ONE MORE HORSE dies THERE…. it’s ON THEIR heads!!!!!😥😥😥


  8. Sad…I hope they realize they will have to keep tabs on this group. As a past investigator from my experience 12 in itself is way too many. But when attorneys get involved I have seen animals given back. Its a shame because the horses suffer. I hope they have made stipulations. But excellent job Elaine and all those involved!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am happy for the horses that are getting out. Chris1055 I am sorry for any of the horse family members that will be separated – but at least they will LIVE. I am thankful to Elaine and FOA and everyone else that this rescue happened at all and that good people stepped up and paid the bills.

    I would love to know if there was any discussion of criminality on the part of ISPMB?
    I guess not since they are getting to keep some horses…….only because my bad heart wants to see them punished. IcySpots I agree with your comment and I hope that there will be a better future for the horses that remain. I will bend my thoughts in that direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Surely they need to keep a few horses on site to continue fundraising for their “work in environmental ecology” and to “continue as a leader in the field of wild horse and burro protection and preservation” and “becoming a model” through “leading by example” as well as “foster[ing] education… that advance the knowledge of.. the range ecosystem, and transformation from range habitat to domestic care.”

      Does this transformation to “domestic care” mean rescue and feeding by other organizations? If their main thrust (per their website) is truly “unique” and one of “education and becoming a model” perhaps they are successful in showing the world how far wrong even good intentions can stray.

      They surely owe Wild Horse Annie and the American public a never-ending apology. If they are allowed to continue operating as a nonprofit public charity without massive organizational changes, I’m sure Annie and the horse spirits will be demanding justice for what ISPMB has committed in their names. They are watching all of us. Will we prove worthy?

      (all quotes taken from the ISPMB website today).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. IS – I agree with your comments. I hope we see some of these questions answered in the details of the agreement………I wonder if it will be in the Rapid City Journal – It really needs to be public.


  11. Karen should be in jail for animal cruelty and not be allowed to keep any horses…. just don’t understand why she isn’t………… as someone said, politics and the horses suffer 😦


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.