Horse News

Fleet of Angels Update: WE’RE PACKIN’ UP AND MOVIN’!

by Elaine Nash

“…we have transported most of the 313 remaining horses to Colorado to our beautiful new adoption hub in Fort Collins.”

After a two-month long stay in Faith, SD- 30 miles from the ISPMB location, Barbara Joe Rasmussen and I are heading to Fort Collins, Colorado today to join the Hallelujah Horses and our new crew there for the final phase of this massive mission.
Fleet of Angels launched this mission on October 14, 2016 at the request of the SD State’s Attorney. We all dove in and worked like mad to set up a workable process, and as a result, we were able to adopt out over 270 of the 900+ at-risk ISPMB horses by December 22, 2016- the number that was allowed by the court order that was in place at that time.
We continued working to recruit adopters through the holidays, assuming that more horses would need us as soon as the state’s legal maneuverings allowed it. We returned to the project on January 26, 2017 when a new court order was put in place that removed all but 20 of the 600+ horses from ISPMB ownership and turned them over to Fleet of Angels to care for, manage, and find good homes for. (We were not involved in the legal aspect, but had offered to be a safety net for the horses if the courts removed them from ISPMB, to prevent their being sold at auction and the likely slaughter of most of them. In order to save them, we- thanks to a group of incredible donors, reimbursed the counties over $150,000.00 to prevent their being auctioned on December 20, 2016.)
Now, five and a half months later- with the help of a LOT of people and organizations, we have adopted out and transported a total of almost 600 horses to approved homes, and we have transported most of the 313 remaining horses to Colorado to our beautiful new adoption hub in Fort Collins. (Our two shippers will make one more trip this week, and then all of the remaining horses will be in Colorado.) Of the 313 still under our care, about 175 horses still need homes (IF all pending adopters who have committed to take from two to a herd of 75 horses come through).
For the month of April, we will be working to get the remaining horses adopted and transported, with the goal being to finish this mission by the end of the month of April. PLEASE HELP US IF YOU CAN. We need adoptive homes for 175+ horses, and we need funds to cover the costs of feed, facility use, ground team workers, lodging for some of the workers, and transportation. Literally every dollar helps, and every penny is pinched. 🙂 Our donation page is:
Special thanks for helping us get this far, so far, to Neda DeMayo and Return to Freedom and the Wild Horse Sanctuary Alliance, Patricia Griffin-Soffel and the Patricia Griffin-Soffel Equine Rescue Foundation, ASPCA, Victoria McCullough and the Triumph Project, Lauri Elizabeth Armstrong and Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang, Shirley Puga and the National Equine Resource Network, HSUS, and MANY OTHERS for helping us help these horses. Please help us finish this job, so every horse in this mission has a good, loving, lifetime home.

Teamwork works!

7 replies »

  1. God bless you all! To my knowledge this is and was the largest equine rescue ever. It just goes to show what can be done with team work and the help if so many. Elaine Nash and her group deserve national recognition for this gigantic and massive save!!


  2. Please know your work is so needed and so appreciated. Wish Incohld send a substantial check with a lot of zeros so you could do more to save our beautiful wild horses. Thank you.


  3. Wonderful update!

    Have you heard if Rasmussen will be bringing any of the Gila’s to AZ? The last I heard was that she had a few that were going to be staying somewhere temporarily until she was able to buy land in Snowflake, AZ.

    On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 4:32 AM, Straight from the Horse’s Heart wrote:

    > R.T. Fitch posted: “by Elaine Nash “…we have transported most of the 313 > remaining horses to Colorado to our beautiful new adoption hub in Fort > Collins.” After a two-month long stay in Faith, SD- 30 miles from the ISPMB > location, Barbara Joe Rasmussen and I are heading t” >


    Facebook page/ March 16, 2017)

    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 slaughter.

    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.
    Photos courtesy of Janet Neil


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