Remember the Horse Cavalry This Memorial Day

Reprint from Saratoga Stalls

Thank and pay respect to a horse and donkey as you remember our amazing fallen soldiers.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance that echoes throughout the United States.  Families, friends and loved ones often gather in celebration of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  The last Monday in May, and the weekend beforehand, is a much needed break in our routine.  Some families take this moment to teach about our country’s history and past relatives who laid down their lives while others simply enjoy the long weekend off of work.  If you view Memorial Day as an opportunity to revisit the sacrifices that have made our country great, don’t forget about the amazing horse cavalry of the American Revolution, Civil War, World War I and World War II.

Though there are still small examples of horse regiments in modern day warfare, using mounts in war started to lose popularity as modern technology, think tanks and Jeeps, soared during the World Wars.  Historically, however, brave battle horses filled numerous roles in supporting the soldiers for more than 5000 years.  They were trained and used for details such as charging enemy lines, reconnaissance, transportation of goods and soldiers, and very importantly, companionship.

When settlers began to arrive in the Americas, they learned military methods from the indigenous tribes that they encountered.  This new style of trench fighting, combined with equine support, was crucial in helping the United States win the Revolutionary War and its independence from England.  Can you imagine where the USA would be today if she hadn’t had the support of horse troops during America’s war of independence?  The United States of Great Britain doesn’t flow well, does it?

The Civil War was a long and bloody conflict, and was especially hard on the horses of America. In our Memorial Day remembrance this year, let’s realize that thousands of horses died in the Battle of Gettysburg alone.  Confederate General J.O. Shelby was reported to have had 24 horses shot from under him during the war.  In total, the Civil War claimed more than one million mares, stallions and geldings, with some estimates of horses and mule lives lost hovering around three million.  That’s five horse or mule lives given for every soldier life lost… horses that had been taken from local homes and farms to fight in the war.  Bullets, bombs, overexertion, starvation, illness, and worse took these horses to their resting place.

Thank and pay respect to a horse as you remember our amazing fallen soldiers.

Poems, songs and stories have been written to honor the multitude of military mounts that have helped the United States military win the fame and freedom it enjoys today.  In a couple of special cases, the horse itself was actually preserved and is still on display for the public.  The KU Natural History Museum currently displays Comanche, the gelding ridden by Captain Myles Keogh at the Battle of Little Bighorn.  Additionally, Little Sorrel, Thomas Stonewall Jackson’s respected Morgan, can be viewed  at the Natural Museum of American History in Washington DC.

Though not as prevalent, horses continue to play an important role in today’s armed forces.  Battle trained horses have mostly disappeared but the US Special Forces and Marines have used mounted patrol in other ways during recent training and conflicts.  Local law enforcement and State Park Rangers also appreciate the mobility of having horse units on patrol for certain events and in difficult to access areas.

So with this reminder of the great role horses have played in America’s military past, let’s take a bit of time out of this holiday weekend to do something special for our favorite horses.  Whether you bring them special treats, take them on an interesting new ride route or simply stop by to give them a little extra time and grooming, your horse will appreciate your attentions.

The Memorial Day weekend is a time to honor our fallen soldiers, their mounts included.  This holiday is a privilege granted to us by the sacrifices of both man and horse, a fact that, hopefully, many will remember.

Horses We Can’t Forget on Memorial Day

by Jocelyn Pierce as published on

“Throughout the United States’s military history, the horse played an indispensable role. “

Memorial Day is a day of reflection and remembrance to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives while serving in the military. Perhaps the most largely unrecognized, and sometimes altogether forgotten veterans are the horses that served alongside man.

Since the domestication of the horse, humans and horses have shared a partnership that has been integral to the thriving of civilizations. Horses were essential in agriculture, transportation, and warfare, not to mention companionship in some of history’s darkest hours and in the face of humankind’s brutality.

Throughout the United States’s military history, the horse played an indispensable role. In wartime, the horse was used to transport cavalry troops, supplies, and artillery weapons as well as for charges, scouting, raiding, and communication. While serving man and country, the horse faced many hardships including disease, starvation, exhaustion, and injuries. Ultimately, many suffered and died in service.

Below are five noble horses that deserve recognition for their heroism and are a representation of all equines that served in the United States Military.

Black Jack (1947-1976)

Black Jack was the “riderless” horse in more than one thousand full honor military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. The riderless horse, or caparisoned horse, is led behind the caisson of any Army or Marine Corps commissioned officer holding the rank of Colonel or above. The riderless horse wears an empty saddle with the rider’s boots reversed in the stirrups, symbolizing the deceased will never ride again.

Black Jack Riderless Horse JFK Funeral Black Jack, a black Morgan-Quarter Horse cross is only one of three horses to be buried with full military honors (the other two, Comanche and Reckless, are mentioned below). Black Jack was named to honor General of the Armies, John J. (Black Jack) Pershing who is the only person to be promoted in his own lifetime to the highest rank held in the United States Army.

Black Jack not only took part in the funerals of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon B. Johnson, and five star General Douglas MacArthur, but more than one thousand others at Arlington National Cemetery during his 24 years of service with the Old Guard. Black Jack passed away on February 6, 1976, and is buried on the parade ground of Fort Myer’s Summerall Field.

Comanche (1862?-1891)

Comanche was a 15 hand bay mustang that was captured in a wild horse roundup and sold to the U.S. Army Cavalry in 1868. Along with Black Jack, Comanche was only one of three horses to be given a funeral with full military honors.

The horse became a favorite of Captain Myles Walter Keogh of the 7th Cavalry who purchased him to use as his personal mount in battle.

Comanche was known to be fearless and powerful. In 1868, while fighting the Comanche in Kansas, the horse was wounded in the hindquarters by an arrow, but continued to let Keogh fight from his back. Keough decided to name the horse “Comanche” because of the bravery he exhibited during the battle. Comanche was wounded many more times, always showing the same toughness.

Comanche Survivor of Battle of Little BighornComanche was the only confirmed survivor of the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876, in which Lt Col. George Armstrong Custer led his troops to a massacre. It is, however, likely that more horses survived the battle but were captured by American Indians. Two days after the Custer defeat, Comanche was found severely wounded and very weak.

Comanche was celebrated as the only living representative of the battle and became a symbol of heroism. Colonel Samuel Sturgis writes of Comanche, “Wounded and scarred as he is, his very existence speaks in terms more eloquent than words, of the desperate struggle against overwhelming numbers of the hopeless conflict and the heroic manner in which all went down on that fatal day.”

The horse spent an entire year recuperating at Fort Lincoln in North Dakota. In 1879 he was brought to Fort Meade where he stayed until he was transferred to Fort Riley in 1887. Comanche was retired, with specific orders the he never been ridden or put to any kind of work, but was still used in ceremonies and parades and was indulged and treated as a pet.

Comanche died of colic in 1891 and was believed to be 29 years old at the time. Comanche’s remains were preserved and are on display at the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History.

Little Sorrel (1851-1886)

Little Sorrel was the mount of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Originally a purchase for his wife, the General began using Little Sorrel because his horse, Big Sorrel, was easily frightened and unreliable on the battlefield. Stonewall Jackson admired Little Sorrel for his toughness, smooth gait, and intelligence.

Little Sorrel Stonewall Jackson Civil War Little Sorrel carried Jackson on many battlefields, including the 1862 campaign through the Shenandoah when Jackson marched his cavalry 646 miles in 48 days, engaging Union armies and winning several small battles along the way. The pair also saw some of the most famous and bloodiest conflicts of the American Civil War including First and Second Manassas, Front Royal, Port Republic, Harpers Ferry, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.

At the Battle of Chancellorsville, Jackson was mounted on Little Sorrel when he was mistakenly wounded by his men. He died a few days later. After Jackson’s death, Little Sorrel briefly lived with Jackson’s widow before moving to the Virginia Military Institute. The horse was shown at county fairs and was present at many Confederate soldiers’ reunions before he was retired to the Confederate Soldier’s Home in 1885. The following year he passed away at the age of 36. Shortly after, his remains were given to a taxidermist, who mounted his hide on a plaster model. He is presently on display at the Virginia Military Institute’s Museum in Lexington, Virginia.

Old Baldy (1852-1882)

Old Baldy was the horse of Union Major General George G. Meade and fought in major Battles such as the Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.

Baldy was taken by Union soldiers at the first battle of Bull Run where the bright bay horse was found standing wounded on the battlefield. He recovered from his injuries and months later General Meade bought the horse and named him Baldy, for the white markings on his face. The general became so attached to Baldy that he rode him in all of his battles in 1862 and through the spring of 1863.

Old Baldy General Meade Civil War Baldy held am extraordinary war record with Meade astride. Taking part in nine main battles of the war, Baldy suffered major wounds in many. At Antietam, Baldy was wounded in the neck and left on the field as dead. Remarkably, Baldy was later discovered grazing on the battleground. The horse recovered and was soon fit for duty.

Baldy and Meade charged at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville and for two days, he was present at Gettysburg. At Gettysburg, he received his most severe wound from a bullet lodged between the ribs. Because of Meade’s great affection for the horse, Baldy stayed with the army until the following spring.

Meade decided to retire Baldy and after the surrender of Lee’s army at Appomattox, Meade was reunited with the warhorse who had fully recovered. Meade spent a lot of time with his companion through the years and continued to ride him in memorial parades. When Meade died in 1872, bullet-scarred Baldy was the riderless horse at the funeral.

Ten years later Baldy was euthanized on December 16, 1882, at the age of 30, when he became too weak to stand. Today, Baldy’s head is mounted on a plaque and is on display at the Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum of Philadelphia.

Reckless (1948?-1968)

Sergeant Reckless is perhaps the best example of an equine “hero.” The 14 hand fiery chestnut mare served bravely as a U.S. Marine in the Korean War. Reckless, then called “Ah-Chim-Hai,” or “Flame of the Morning” was purchased at a Seoul racetrack in 1952 by Lieutenant Eric Pedersen, the commanding officer of the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Antitank Company, Fifth Marine Regiment. Pederson bought the horse for $250 from a Korean boy who needed the money to buy an artificial leg for his sister who lost it from a land mine. The Mongolian’s mare name was changed to Reckless, after the name the Marines gave to the recoilless rifle they used.

Reckless with Sergeant Latham Korean War The little mare with the blaze had a big personality and was well loved and revered by her fellow Marines. She was known to stick her head in their tents for treats, occasionally sleep in the tents with the men, and eat scrambled eggs and drink beer alongside them. If she noticed she was different from her fellow soldiers, she definitely didn’t show it.

Lieutenant General Randolph McC. Pate noted the camaraderie between the horse and men. “I first saw this little lady. . .when the [First Marine] Division was in reserve for a brief period,” he wrote. “I was surprised at her beauty and intelligence, and believe it or not, her esprit de corps. Like any other Marine, she was enjoying a bottle of beer with her comrades. She was constantly the center of attraction and was fully aware of her importance. If she failed to receive the attention she felt her due, she would deliberately walk into a group of Marines and, in effect, enter the conversation. It was obvious the Marines loved her.”

Reckless American Marine Corps Korean War The courageous mare had the duty of carrying antitank ammunition to the front lines. During the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953, Reckless is credited with carrying 9,000 pounds of 75mm recoilless rifle ammunition from the ammunition supply point to the front lines in 51 trips over 35 miles in a single day. She carried the ammunition up and down rugged terrain and hills, most of the time without a handler and through the battle zone with gun and cannon fire blazing around her. The smart and industrious mare was trained to avoid trip wires and to drop to the ground if caught under fire in the open. She was cut by shrapnel at least twice, once over her left eye and once on her flank, but neither injury slowed her down.

After the war, Reckless was brought back to the United States. Because of her bravery, the Marine Corps honored her with the rank of Staff Sergeant and nine other awards including two Purple Hearts and a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.

“In my career I have seen many animals that have been adopted by Marines, but never in all my experience have I seen one which won the hearts of so many as she did,” recalled Gen. Pate.

Staff Sergeant Reckless War Hero Reckless lived in retirement at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, in California. She died there on May 13, 1968, at 20 years old and was buried with full military honors. A bronze statue of her now stands at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia.

This Memorial Day, we should remember to honor and recognize the valiant horses that served alongside the brave men and women that we celebrate, for without them the history of the United States’s would be quite different.

Learn about how horses are still helping military veterans today by clicking here. 

About the Author: Jocelyn Pierce is an avid equestrian and lover of travel and photography. Her passion for adventure has led her on numerous excursions throughout North America and Europe. When she’s not riding and competing her homebred mare, she enjoys hiking, camping, and snapping photographs.

Proposed Federal Budget Could Spell Annihilation for America’s Wild Horses and Burros

“The potential for our worse possible nightmare to become a reality is knocking on our barn door, as I type, and we need to stop it and stop it NOW!

Below is a video plea from our good friend, Ginger Kathrens and both myself and Wild Horse Freedom Federation stand shoulder to shoulder with Ginger and The Cloud Foundation in urging you to take action in an effort to block the possibility of our wild equines being slaughtered.

When I snapped this photo on my iPhone I had the shutter sound activated and I was promptly reminded by Ginger to deactivate it as you can see it stimulated Ohanzee’s curiosity, big time.  Thanks for the insight, Ginger.

Ginger’s video is especially poignant for me as her equine guest is Ohanzee, the son of Cloud. I was fortunate enough to be with Ginger when we first came upon Cloud and his newborn son on a beautiful May day in 2014. We spent several days watching, videoing and photographing the youngster while in the evenings we struggled to come up with a name for him.

After much research and a few sips of adult beverages we arrived at the perfect selection which was Ohanzee, a Sioux name meaning ‘Shadow’ which was just what he looked like.

Ohanzee become my totem and further sealed my conviction to fight for those who cannot speak for themselves so for him to be featured with Ginger further lights my fire to do what is right, just and whatever is necessary to ensure the future safety, health and well-being of our federally protected wild horses and burros.

Please call the White House and voice your concerns, although I do not believe this to be a premeditated assault on our wild equines it can and will turn into a death sentence for the horses and burros if we don’t stop the bean counters from pulling the trigger…Now!

Please act, this is your opportunity to make a difference.  Thank you, my Friends.” ~ R.T.

“The remainder of the funding decrease will be achieved by reducing gathers, reducing birth control treatments, and other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program. The long-term goal is to realign program costs and animal populations to more manageable levels, enabling BLM to reorient the WHB program back to these traditional management strategies.”

The BLM contends that the horses on the range exceed the ridiculously low national AML of 26,700 by over 40,000 animals. There are over 40,000 animals in long and short term holding. 80,000 could be killed if we, the American people do not speak up!

There has never been such a grave a threat to the existence of our wild horses as right now!

Use the links provided in the video to call the WHITE HOUSE, your U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, and your 2 SENATORS. We must flood and overload the phone lines with calls. This will take only 4 phone calls—probably 1 minute each.

Never has it been more important for you to speak up on behalf of the future of our wild horses and burros!


1. Leave your name (spell it), and the town where you live

2. Give 2 or 3 short sentences on your explicit concerns for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros.

3. Give your name again and express thanks for the opportunity to give comments.

4. You will probably get a Voicemail—but that’s ok. These elected officials must understand how important this is to you, and phone calls are all logged. If 50,000 of The Cloud Foundation followers will call, that adds up to 200,000 phone calls to Washington DC!

Thank you! Now let’s all get to work and make those phone calls for our wild horses and burros.

Links to Documents:

Girl Who Couldn’t Speak Uttered First Words to Donkey: ‘I Love You’

by Leigh Scheps of Inside Edition

Feel Good Sunday

The first thing Amber Austwick ever said out loud was “I love you” to a donkey. The 6-year-old is a twin who was born prematurely at 26 weeks. She suffered from complications at birth that forced doctors to perform a tracheotomy. Amber never said a word until she met her four-legged friend at this donkey sanctuary. Her time there is therapeutic, and since her introduction to the donkey, Amber’s become a lot more confident.

BREAKING: Dog Meat Sales Banned at China’s Yulin Festival in Milestone Victory to End Brutal Mass Slaughter of Dogs

Source: Humane Society International, Duo Duo Project

“Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade..”

Dogs on their way to slaughter. HSI

Just weeks ahead of China’s annual dog meat festival in Yulin, at which thousands of dogs and cats are brutally bludgeoned to death and sold for their meat, animal campaigners Duo Duo Project and Humane Society International have received reports from Chinese activist and confirmed by three traders at Yulin’s biggest dog meat market Dongkou, that the Yulin government is set to prohibit restaurants, street vendors and market traders from selling dog meat at the event. The ban will come into effect on 15th June one week prior to the festival that begins on the summer solstice of 21st June. It will be strictly enforced with fines of up to 100,000 yuan and risk of arrest for violations.

The news is warmly if cautiously welcomed by Duo Duo Project, HSI and their respective Chinese animal group partners on the ground, all of whom have campaigned for years for an end to the brutality of Yulin and China’s year-round dog meat trade. While campaigners recognise that the ban is temporary and does not yet signal an end to the Yulin event in advance of which dogs are still likely to be killed, it is nonetheless a milestone victory in the ongoing campaign to end mass dog and cat slaughter at Yulin, and is evidence of growing political will from inside China to clamp down on the trade.

Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Project, says: “Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade. I have visited Yulin many times in the last two years. This ban is consistent with my experience that Yulin and the rest of the country are changing for the better. I am very impressed that the younger generation in Yulin and in China is as compassionate as their counterparts in the rest of world. Duo Duo Project also wants to congratulate Mr. Mo Gong Ming, Yulin’s new Party Secretary, for his progressive and visionary leadership. I hope this will turn out to be the beginning of the end of the dog eating habit in China.”

Peter Li, China Policy specialist at Humane Society International, says: “The Yulin dog meat festival is not over just yet, but if this news is true as we hope, it is a really big nail in the coffin for a gruesome event that has come to symbolise China’s crime-fuelled dog meat trade. Millions of dogs and cats are stolen each year, including pets, and driven thousands of miles across China to be bludgeoned to death in front of each other. As opposition to this trade has grown within China and across the world, much focus has been placed on the Yulin festival and so it is significant politically that the authorities are taking the outrage to curb this cruelty seriously. At last year’s Yulin festival there were roadblocks set up to deter dog trucks coming in, and now this ban signals further progress. Regrettably, many dogs and cats will still be killed for the Yulin festival in advance of the ban, so their suffering is not over yet, but this is certainly a milestone victory and we commend the Yulin authorities for taking this action.”

Duo Duo and HSI are urging Yulin authorities to make the ban permanent; make public service announcements warning against transporting dogs for the dog meat trade that highlight the new associated penalties; enforce food safety laws and regulations; and build a government facility to house dogs confiscated from the dog meat trade.

More than 10 million dogs and around four million cats are killed every year across China for their meat. Contrary to popular belief, the Yulin festival is not a traditional event but one invented in 2010 by dog meat traders to boost flagging sales. At its height an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 dogs were killed at Yulin, reduced to 2,000 to 3,000 in recent years. Most of the dogs are stolen pets and strays grabbed from the streets still wearing their collars when they reach the slaughterhouse where they are typically beaten to death. Most people in China don’t eat dogs, and pet owners and dog thieves have had numerous violent clashes. The dog meat trade also poses a threat to public health, with the World Health Organisation warning that the trade spreads rabies and increases the risk of cholera.

Last year, a petition with 11 million signatures was handed in to the Yulin government in Beijing on behalf of Humane Society International, Duo Duo Project, RaiseUrPaw, Care2 and Avaaz. The late Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher and her dog Gary gathered with the campaigners outside the Chinese Embassy in London to send the petition on its way. Speaking at the event, Fisher said “There is so much animal suffering in the world, and much of it you feel helpless to end. But stopping the Yulin dog meat festival and ending all that suffering is easy. All the Chinese authorities need to do is declare it shut down, and the killing stops. These poor dogs need us to fight for them. Every single one of them is as precious as my dear Gary, every one of them is someone’s best friend.”

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., introduced a congressional resolution last year condemning the Yulin dog meat festival and urging China to end its dog meat trade. He reintroduced it this year, and H. Res. 30 already has the bipartisan support of 153 cosponsors.

In Memoriam: Well-Known Yellowstone White Wolf Dies Unnatural Death

by John Soltes as posted on Earth Island Journal

“Twelve-year-old alpha female deserved a wild end to her wild life, but that was not to be…”

Photo Neal Herbert/National Park Service
The wolf, pictured above, was one of three rare white wolves in the park and had 14 living pups. Park officials are offering a $5,000 reward for information on who might have shot her.

Officials at Yellowstone National Park first shared the sad news in mid-April: A well-known white wolf in the park had been found severely injured and was later euthanized. Then on May 11, after a necropsy by the US Fish and Wildlife Service forensics laboratory in Oregon, they shared the real shocking news: This wolf, the alpha female of the Canyon Pack, had “suffered from a gunshot wound.”

Details are still emerging on what happened, when and where; the investigation remains active.

It all began on April 11, when hikers discovered “a severely injured” alpha female wolf, according to a press release from Yellowstone National Park. The white wolf, well-known among wolf enthusiasts and park officials, was seen near Gardiner, Montana, the town at the north entrance to the iconic park.

Staff eventually found the wolf in “shock and dying from the injuries,” and made the difficult decision to euthanize the majestic canine. The necropsy confirmed the animal had suffered from a gunshot wound, and park officials believe the incident took place near Gardiner or the Old Yellowstone Trail, located along the park’s northern boundary. The shooting likely occurred on April 10 or 11.

“Due to the serious nature of this incident, a reward of up to $5,000.00 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for this criminal act,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said in a press release.

When the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf, which can be gray, black or white in color, was taken off the endangered species list a few years ago, states were given the authority to set up their own wolf management plans. In 2015, Montana saw 210 wolves hunted or trapped. Yellowstone, which is nationally protected, is mostly in Wyoming with slivers of land in Montana and Idaho. Hunting and discharge of firearms are prohibited in the park.

There are approximately 100 wolves in Yellowstone, which is an impressive number given that the canids were once extirpated from the local wilderness. In 1995, wild wolves were released into Yellowstone National Park as part of an extensive recovery program. The population took hold, and now the park features several packs that fluctuate in numbers. The oasis that is Yellowstone is often seen as the best place in the world to view wild wolves.

Of the nearly 100 wolves in the park, only three were known to be white in color. The white wolf who was euthanized in April was 12 years old, twice the average age of a wolf in Yellowstone. She was a leader of the Canyon Pack and could be seen in many areas of the park. “For these reasons, the wolf was one of the most recognizable and sought after by visitors to view and photograph,” the press release states.

I think I saw that alpha female during a wintertime visit in January of this year. Of course, it’s difficult to 100 percent confirm that the sighting was of the Canyon Pack alpha female, but all signs point to this impressive 12-year-old animal being the one…(CONTINUED)

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,

To ALL Mothers Great or Small: We Love and Honor You This Day!

“It is my most sincere hope that no Mother visits this blog, today, but instead is with her family celebrating this day of life and hope.  But should some stray, animal loving mom stray a bit and visit us we would like to dedicate the blog to you and all mothers regardless off number of legs, wings or fins.

Today is yours, we love you all!!!” ~ R.T.

Special Report: KPVI Investigates Cyanide traps and the USDA

story by as broadcast/published on

“This is not the first time the USDA had a run in with the Gate City…”

It’s almost been two months since a Pocatello family lost their dog and almost their son to a cyanide trap set 300 yards behind their house. Since then the USDA says they’ve taken all the traps out of the Gem state. But that hasn’t changed anything to investigators who say they were never notified of the deadly chemical, meant to kill predators, planted around Bannock County.

The incident began in the Buckskin area back in March. Canyon Mansfield says, “I panicked and sprinted down to get my mom.” The 14-year-old and his dog Kasey were 300 yards away from their house. He describes, “Suddenly there’s like a pop and then orange gas spews out.” The Mansfield family dog died and they almost lost their son as well. Theresa Mansfield, Canyon’s mother says, “We didn’t want to believe it was from Cyanide poisoning, but deep down it scared the crap out of us.”

The Cyanide trap was placed on BLM land with no warnings in sight. Investigators found a second trap not far from the first. Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen says, “We’re not Alaska. There are wilderness places where people go. I don’t care what the purpose is. If it’s endangering public it shouldn’t be there.”

Since the death of Kasey there’s been a worldwide outcry. The Bannock County’s Sheriff’s office has launched their investigation. The city has also stepped in. In March Pocatello’s Mayor Brian Blad wrote a letter to the USDA asking them to stop manufacturing Cyanide Traps, or M-44’s, in the city. Since then the agency reached out to the mayor. He says he toured the facility, learned about their safety precautions and products “They’re going to continue to do their practice until congress acts,” said Blad.

This is not the first time the USDA had a run in with the Gate City. Seven years ago the agency was responsible for illegally setting “Quick Kill” traps, meant for Rock chucks within city limits. Obtained by KPVI in an incident report by Pocatello’s animal control, an elderly woman called them after finding a cat trapped alive in a “quick kill” trap or Conibear trap in her backyard. She admitted to the city she requested the traps from the USDA. She says at least three cats had been killed before and they were removed by the local USDA representative Todd Sullivan. Sullivan is the same man involved in the Mansfield investigation. In 2010 the charges against Sullivan were dismissed by a federal judge.

The city and USDA came to an agreement that they would not place Conibear traps in Pocatello without notifying the city first. The USDA declined to speak to KPVI on camera, but gave us a written statement answering our questions. They told us, the incident involving the Mansfield Dog is still under investigation and can’t comment. But claimed they had “107 M-44’s set on 16 properties in the state and all have been removed.” Our request to tour the Pocatello manufacturing facility was denied, they say because of security concerns.

The agency tells us the Pocatello location has been manufacturing M-44 deceives since 1969. And also handles, “Gas cartridges for fumigating rodent burrows, rodent grain baits…, predator lures, and repackages other products such as order control products and animal immobilization drugs.”

The sheriff’s investigation is now left in the hands of county prosecutors to find if any state laws were violated. In the meantime, the sheriff says this to residents, “We now have to be aware of our surroundings. If there is something that is out there that is not part of… leave it alone, leave it alone,” Nielsen said.

Bucket’s Eye-View of Desert Animals Drinking Water Is Uniquely Surprising

by John Wells as published on

“Something a little different for today…water; the essence of life.  Wild Burros actually dig water holes in the desert which help and aid other critters in their quest for the rare, arid commodity.  This piece is artfully crafted and well worth the watch.  Enjoy.” ~ R.T.

John Wells is a researcher of alternative energy and sustainability who lives in Terlingua, Texas. The area is a desert, so water is in short supply. He decided to capture an incredibly cool perspective of the animals living in the area by placing a GoPro camera in a water bucket. He ended up capturing roosters, birds, a rabbit, burro and a steer.

Wells writes:

“Everybody loves water in the desert. I was pleasantly surprised during the edit to see that George made an appearance. I know him from all the other rabbits because of the tiny notch in his ear. A burro just happened to come by in time to be included. Ben [the steer] went against the script and decided to just nudge the bucket. You can lead a steer to water but you can’t make him drink. Note: The swimming bees were rescued.”

Share this surprisingly entertaining and unique “bucket’s eye-view” with your family and friends!