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We have a new mule at the rescue, who I have named Sage. When she came in the week before Christmas I was told that “she is extremely shy and won’t come up to you.” The first time I went to see her after she arrived she did not want me close, so I just stood and talked to her for a few minutes. I gave her my “this is now, and that was then” speech, tossed an apple on the ground for her, and left.
Over my next few visits with her she let me touch her, but was pretty tentative. I didn’t push it, just scritched her withers and told her she was loved.
Over the weekend, I went to see her, shedding blade in hand. I just stood and talked to her for a few minutes, then reached out and she didn’t move away. I started brushing her with the shedding blade and talking to her. I took her by the halter and looked her in the eyes and told her she was safe now and she didn’t have to worry anymore. She lowered her head and sighed…she let a huge breath out as if she had been holding her breath for a very long time. I just started crying — crying for all the animals who won’t be safe, for the loss of my mom, for all sorts of pent up stuff I’ve been holding onto, for the fact that this one mule at least is now safe, and that she trusts me. I just hugged her neck and cried and cried and cried… and she just stood there with her head low, leaning into me ever so slightly.
But wow….MULE MAGIC.
I’m sharing this with you because interactions like this are so powerful and meaningful to us. It’s been a tough fall and winter so far for me. I found myself wondering why I got involved with rescuing donkeys and mules; and with just the lowering of her head and a sigh, Sage helped me put everything back into perspective.
Saving animals and providing a better life for them is what we do. We are only able to do this because of the amazing generosity of people like you. Please know how grateful we are to you for your ongoing support.
Please help us help them. We can’t do it without you.
You still have time to donate and get the tax credit for 2013. Won’t you please send a donation, large or small, to help us help animals like Sage?
Wishing you all a healthy, happy New Year.
Ann and the herd
1. Lawmakers didn’t pass the SAFE Act to protect horses from slaughter.
2. Major food retailers didn’t take a stand against equine slaughter.
3. There is no wild horse curriculum in public schools.
4. Helicopter roundups continue in summer heat and winter cold.
5. Director of the Wild Horse and Burro Program Joan Guilfoyle dissed us twice by refusing to take hundreds of thousands of signatures in her hands.
6. The government shutdown interrupted the horse and burro adoptions programs and may have affected care standards.
7. Other government organizations rounded up wild horses without protecting them from danger of slaughter.
8. Bureau of Land Management only provided shelter for a small percentage of horses and burros in their care.
9. Navajo Nation President Ben Shelley reversed his decision to stop selling horses to slaughter.
10. Secretary Sally Jewel did not address the failures of the wild horse program.
As we look forward to 2014 we want to focus on what we can do to affect change. I hoped that after Ken Salazar left the Department of the Interior the wild horse and burro program would improve, but Sally Jewel hasn’t done anything to change the failing program either.
The Secretary was kind enough to send a representative to speak with me when I was in Washington DC but he said that Ms. Jewell had not even been briefed on the wild horse and burro program because she had other priorities.
We must take the well-being of the captive horses and burros in our own hands by sharing the Great American Mustang Exodus Campaign widely. If we band together to provide homes for the horses and burros, we could force the BLM to change their focus from caring for captives to managing wild horses on the land.
Sally Jewel has turned her back on the horses and burros. The situation is alarming. There are more captive horses than ones living free. If we don’t do something drastic to save the horses in 2014, we may have no more running free.
“One person can make a difference, but together we can make change!” – Robin Warren
Click for more information about the Youths’ Equestrian Alliance.
Jasper the Mule stops by your TV screen once again this Christmas! Celebrate Christmas with Jasper and all his friends as Jasper: A Christmas Caper airs on Rural TV (Dishnet Channel 232) on Christmas Eve.
It’s the Christmas season and Jasper and his human family are in high spirits as they travel to visit far-away friends a few towns over. When Jasper and his pal, Moxie the dog, get out of the yard and wander down a strange alley, the two friends are headed straight for one big adventure!
Presents disappear, mysterious strangers appear and friends go missing. But junior detectives Jasper and Moxie are on the case. With the clock ticking, Jasper has to use his “mule smarts” to tackle this puzzle of a mystery and put the pieces together before the big parade. But will he solve the mystery in time?
Airing on Rural TV (Channel 232 on Dish Network or check your local listings).
Tuesday, December 24 at 7pm and 11pm ET (4pm and 8pm PT)
If you don’t get Rural TV or miss the airings, all Jasper episodes are also available for rental on demand.
This month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) completed another devastating helicopter round up, capturing and removing 586 wild horses from their homes on the range in Wyoming. The roundup was conducted specifically to appease ranchers who enjoy taxpayer-subsidized grazing on the public lands where the wild horses live.
It’s a stark reminder of what we are up against.
Only the power of the people can counter the powerful special interests that seek to destroy America’s wild horses and burros. That’s why I’m so excited about the new film, AMERICAN MUSTANG, which made its world premiere last month in Denver.
AMERICAN MUSTANG is a powerful 3D nature film that combines the story of a young girl with breathtaking footage of wild horses on the range, and a dramatic documentary about these majestic animals and their fight for survival in today’s West. The Huffington Post called the film “… sweeping and intimate; a visually stunning love song and call to action.”
AMERICAN MUSTANG promises to energize and activate a whole new generation of wild horse advocates. This film has the potential to reach a huge, mainstream audience, including thousands of people who have no idea what is happening to wild horses and burros on our public lands in the West.
We need your help to spread the word and bring the film to a city near you!
AMERICAN MUSTANG has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $40,000 to launch the movie in select cities in California, Florida and Colorado in the first quarter of 2014. Already, the film is 87% of the way toward its fundraising goal with 14 days to go – a testament to the excitement surrounding this movie!
Please watch the Kickstarter video below, support the project and receive great rewards in appreciation for your support.
The wild horses and burros who remain free in Wyoming and in other Western states – and the 50,000 mustangs and burros who are incarcerated in BLM holding facilities — are depending on us to get the word out about their plight.
This is Stan Palmer.
He’s the man the federal government chose to “adopt out” wild horses rounded up earlier this year from the Oregon-Nevada border.
He wasn’t a new choice.
Under a previous contract with the feds, Palmer couldn’t account for the whereabouts of as many as 202 of the 262 wild horses he received — despite being required to do so. We know some of those wild horses ended up at livestock auctions frequented by kill buyers.
The results of his new contract were predictable.
Within days of taking possession of the wild horses, one of Palmer’s employees urged people on Facebook to “show up with your trailer and load em up….need gone asap!!!!” adding, “when they leave my house they are no longer my business.”
Soon after, truckloads of horses were taken from Palmer’s property to unknown destinations. We suspect that many will end up in the slaughter pipeline.
Fortunately, we had the resources we needed to put the Washington bureaucrats responsible for this backdoor slaughter program under scrutiny. And as a result of our efforts, Congress started asking questions and now the bureaucrats are on notice and so is Palmer.
Our work is far from over. We continue to press for a full accounting of the whereabouts of all horses sent to Palmer in 2013, and to make sure that the government never again pays this Mississippi middleman to launder horses into the slaughter pipeline.
A $10 donation from you right now enables us to escalate our fight in Washington to reform federal wild horse and burro policy so that these national icons remain wild and free on the range where they belong.
We can’t continue this work without your support.
Colorado Gives Day is an initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. On this one day–Tuesday, December 10, 2013–Coloradans will come together to raise millions of dollars for nonprofits. Last year, $15.7 million was donated. Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day has taken place during a 24-hour period each winter since 2010. Donations are accepted through the website ColoradoGives.org, with a goal to inspire and unite Coloradans in supporting local nonprofits.
This is Hearts and Horses’ first year as part of Colorado Gives Day and their goal is to raise at least $10K for their amazing programs.
Why contribute through Colorado Gives Day? There are no fees, so 100% of your donation goes to Hearts and Horses. Donations of $10 and above are accepted, empowering MANY to participate. Hearts and Horses will also be vying for thousands of additional dollars to be awarded to Larimer County non-profits based upon unique donors, social shares, and dollars raised. This prize program is available in addition to the statewide Incentive Funds and exclusive to the 94 participating organizations in their region.
And this year, Meredith Hodges will match dollar for dollar all funds raised for Hearts and Horses on Colorado Gives Day, to continue helping them attain the resources necessary to become one of the premier therapeutic riding programs in the country.
Click here to schedule your donation to Hearts and Horses, or bookmark the link to donate on Tuesday!