Equine Rescue

Update: Status on Massive Former Wild Horse and Burro SD Rescue

Source: Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance

It has been a long and difficult journey for the 907 horses that the State Attorneys in South Dakota found to be suffering from serious neglect last  October. From freezing temperatures and soupy mud, all of the unadopted horses healthy enough to make the journey have been relocated to a safe staging area in Colorado. (or to a new adoptive home.) We’ve come so far and we couldn’t have done it without you!

But we aren’t done yet! There are still 170 horses waiting to be adopted  and transported to their new adoptive homes, the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance members and partners continue to work hard to raise the $8,000.00 a week still needed to complete one of the largest horse rescues in U.S. history (bolded) as soon as possible.
Alliance members have been providing support to Fleet of Angels and its ground team by doing our part to raise funds for feed and care. With your help, and the support of the citizens and ranchers from Faith, S.D., 312 horses were relocated at the end of March to a well-equipped adoption hub in Ft. Collins Colorado.
Since last October, 712 of the 907 horses have been adopted minus some 24 horses that had to be euthanized due to medical reasons (like broken bones, cancer and other irreversible conditions). The numbers are staggering. It has been a challenge to get this far and it could not have been done without everyone’s help- every contribution and ‘share’ with friends has made a lifesaving impact.
The Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance will continue to do what we can to raise funds to help cover feed and labor until all the horses reach new homes. Weekly costs for board, feed and laborare over $8,000.00. Thanks to contributions from the ASPCA, all Coggins costs have been covered and thanks to Shirly Puga/National Equine Resource Network and The Unwanted Horse Coalition, all gelding fees have now been covered! 
This is a team effort and without the support of The Griffin-Soffel Equine Rescue Foundation, The Humane Society of The United States, the ASPCA, the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance, Victoria McCullough, Best Friends, and every individual or group that has contributed, more than 600 horses would have been sold at auction last December, with most winding up hauled to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.
Since October, when a ruling of neglect was made against the International Society
for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB), an outpouring of generosity (has) made it possible to feed the horses and reimburse costs incurred by two South Dakota counties.
That allowed the counties to call off a planned public auction of the ISPMB horses at which many would have fallen into the hands of kill buyers, and feed the horses and ground crew. At the same time, adoptive homes were found for over 270 of the estimated 907 horses originally found on the ISPMB property, and the health of most of the others began improving. Since then, all but 170 horses have been placed with safe homes- but we need help. Every dollar helps make this possible.
Now, we need your financial contribution to cover the remaining cost of housing and care for the 170 horses who are still in need of adoptive homes. We need to cover costs for hay, facilities and labor this week.
We are grateful to EVERYONE who has chosen to be part of this effort and remain committed—with your help—to leave no horse behind.
On behalf of the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance, please help us in this final stretch of reaching that goal.
Thank you and please help today,

11 replies »

  1. Thank you, RT. We want so badly to find a home for every horse, but without the funds to keep the horses fed, the facility fees covered, and the crew feeding and watering, we may run out of options. I think of this mission as ‘everyone’s mission’, since proving that we can save 907 horses- wild ones, at that, from slaughter and find them homes helps in a big way to prove that slaughter is not a needed option. Everyone who donates, adopts, volunteers, or helps in any other meaningful way automatically becomes a part of the team, and as we all know, teamwork works! Thanks, everyone, for helping us help the horses- and the greater cause of stopping slaughter!


  2. killing wild horses is against the law and should be for all organizations, including the BLM. They do not have the wild mustang’s best interest at heart. all they care about is the cattle ranchers and the money they pay to graze on public land. the land leases need to cease to exist and the AML needs to be raised. These horses have lived long and have managed to continue to live without the interference of man. Why can’t man just keep his hands out of mother nature’s business and let nature stay on course as it has done for centuries. Our public land is not for cattle ranchers to get rich on and it is not up to the government to say what to do with it. We, the tax payers own the government by elections and tax money that pays their salaries. Leave the horses alone, stop the land leases, remove the cattle and get off our land. It belongs to the mustang and the other wildlife that lives there.


    • Adare, your comment here doesn’t fit this ISPMB rescue situation, as most of these horses have been captives or were born in captivity on private lands long ago, and the rescue effort here has prevented them from being sold at open auction, risking slaughter.

      Most (if not all) the horses originally captured were not protected by law as they were not found within legal horse areas. Each herd has its own history, including much that is contested, but the horses referenced here have NOT in fact lived a long time without human interference, but instead have lived most or all their lives confined and poorly managed at the whim of their (non BLM) human overseers.


  3. Thanks to all who saved these horses and who will take the next step to give them forever homes. I hope I missed it reading the above story, but I don’t mind double-crediting Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang — Palomino (Lauri) and Matt Armstrong for their hundreds of hours freezing, saving, driving between South Dakota, mid-Nevada etc. and helping the wild horses at Karen Sussman’s place. Some sad and hopeful stories and photos that will make you shiver here http://www.chillypepper.org/latest-updates


    • Thank you, Terri. This article was reprinted from a new release sent out by Return to Freedom, updating people on the current situation with the Hallelujah Horses that have been moved from ISPMB’s failed facility in SD to our fabulous new adoption hub in CO. I’m sure that credit to Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang for their work in SD during the winter was accidentally omitted. Palomino Armstrong was an amazing ground team manager for Fleet of Angels during that phase of this mission. She worked day after day in weather that ‘wasn’t fit for man nor beast’ to help gather, sort, and load the ISPMB horses. The pics taken during that time will definitely make a person shiver! We all applaud Palomino and her work on this massive mission. Her effort to help the ISPMB horses is ongoing through the horses that she adopted and is now rehabilitating and will adopt out to permanent homes.
      Elaine Nash
      Fleet of Angels


      • I completely agree – Palomino & Matt performed miracles with these rescues. Most deserving of praise & donations!


      • I received yet another donation request from ISPMB a couple days ago : to pay for the damages done during that rescue! No words of gratitude to the people who put their lives on the line and saved all those horses – only a criticism and excuse to ask for money – and it was a goodly amount of money! How can anyone, supposedly with a conscience, do that?


  4. “The Greatness of a nation and its Moral progress can be Judged by the way its Animals are treated” Mahatma Ghandi


    • Yes – that quote should open everybodies eyes to whats being done to our native wildlife (and domestic).


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