National wild horse adoption looks to build awareness in 2010
Organizers of National Wild Horse Adoption Day are looking to 2010 after the successful events of 2009 worked to place 499 wild horses in homes throughout the U.S.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the first National Wild Horse Adoption Day,” said spokesperson Julie Bryant. “The ‘day’ actually stretched into more than two months of activities focused on raising awareness about wild horse adoption and the need to find homes for animals currently being cared for in Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holding facilities.”
Bryant said that according to government figures, the placement of the 499 horses means a savings of nearly $5 million to tax payers for the lifetime care of each horse—approximately $10,000. She continued, saying that in 2010, wild horse enthusiasts can look forward to several events taking place throughout the year focused on raising awareness.
“The focus on wild horse adoption is an awareness campaign that really goes beyond a single point in time,” she said, “although the group will likely continue to have a ‘high point’ for each year.”
The groups supporting National Wild Horse Adoption Day, in addition to BLM, include Wild Horses 4 Ever, the American Horse Protection Association, the Mustang Heritage Foundation, and The Humane Society of the United States.
“Certainly, a private group being able to assist in lowering government spending is a coup,” said Bryant.
“However, more importantly, these wild horses have found their way into homes where people will see to their needs on an individual daily basis.”
Nearly 33,000 mustangs roam federal lands across the West. In order to manage the herds and maintain both land and herd health, BLM oversees the adoption of wild horses and burros through public adoptions held throughout the U.S. Since 1973, more than 220,000 wild horses and burros have been adopted.
Horses between the ages of 1 and 6 years old are typically selected from the herds for adoption, but a horse of any age can fit into the right farm or ranch. For many mustang adopters, having the opportunity to work with a horse or burro with a storied past and an unconventional upbringing brings a unique and special element to their relationship.
For more information regarding the National Wild Horse Adoption Initiative, call 512/869-3225 or go to adoptawildhorse.com. — WLJ