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The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, with the help of friends like you, is on the frontlines of the battle to save America’s mustangs and burros! Thanks to you, our wonderful supporters, 2014 was a tough but important year in which we made some significant strides:
- We saved over 70 historic Virginia Range mustangs in Nevada from the slaughter auction.
- We waged legal battles in three states to defend wild horses and burros from assaults by ranchers and their political allies.
- We’re implementing on-the-range management solutions in Nevada to Keep Wild Horses Wild.
- We’re growing the grassroots army of citizens willing to speak up and defend wild horses, tripling our ranks in this year alone!
Across the West, wild horses and burros are under attack as never before. Government holding facilities are full with nearly 50,000 wild horses stockpiled. Roundups have been scaled back and ranchers and their political allies are up in arms. They’re fighting back with lawsuits and legislation aimed at removing thousands more horses from their homes on the range and selling the wild horses stockpiled in holding facilities for slaughter.
We are literally the last line of defense between our wild horses and burros and their certain doom.
Your end of year gift will help AWHPC to:
Protect wild horses and burros through humane on-the-range management programs.
Advocate for wild horses and burros by giving them a strong voice in federal court and in the halls of government.
Inspire people to appreciate and stand up for our magnificent wild horses and burros as a unique and historic American legacy.
If you have not yet sent in your year-end gift, I hope that you will do so soon. If you have, thank you for sharing your love for our wild horses and burros and for your commitment to saving them.
On Wednesday, December 17, AWHPC filed a motion to intervene in the State of Wyoming’s lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The lawsuit, which continues Wyoming ranchers’ legal assault on mustangs, seeks the removal of hundreds of additional wild horses from public lands in the state. Also last week, we filed the opening brief in our lawsuit against the BLM for its massive roundup of 1,263 wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard. Read more about our lawsuit against the BLM here.
We are joined in both legal actions by our coalition partner The Cloud Foundation, photographers Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl, and our founding organization Return to Freedom. AWHPC is committed to providing Wyoming’s wild horses a powerful voice and vigorous defense in federal court. Thank you to everyone who donated to support these legal actions. With fewer than 2,500 wild horses left in Wyoming, this work could not be more important.
Over 100 horses were found malnourished, dying, or dead on Jerry Earl’s property and all he is facing are misdemeanor charges. Animal abuse, especially at this scale, demands justice. For too long animals have been treated like property with minimal, if any, consequences for their abuse.Our petition is calling on the Mississippi Attorney General, Jim Hood, to do a complete independent investigation of one of the worst cases of animal abuse in the state’s history.
On November 29, 2014, two individuals went to a property in Copiah County, MS to view a plot of land for sale. To their horror, they discovered a scene of appalling animal neglect and abuse. Over 100 horses were either dead or struggling to stay alive. They immediately took photos of the horses and brought them to local law enforcement. A deputy went out to the property and told the couple the sheriff’s department would handle it from here, telling them there was no need to fill out a report or sign an affidavit.
By the time law enforcement and a veterinarian with the State Board of Animal Health, also the accused’s neighbor, arrived, the dead horses had been buried and the sicker animals removed. A review by the State Board of Animal Health was released stating the remaining horses had some need for medical care, but for the most part were in good condition. The couple says the review in no way captures the scene they witnessed and the photos they took.
This is why we started this petition calling for an independent investigation by Attorney General Jim Hood. It is the only way all the evidence can be evaluated with the weight it deserves and justice served for such mass cruelty. If all Jerry Earls gets for abusing over 100 animals is a slap on the wrist, we are sending a message that Mississippi doesn’t take animal abuse seriously.Being clear animal abuse will come with harsh consequences, along with Jerry Earls close ties with investigators, demands the Mississippi Attorney General must step in. Please sign and share our petition for an independent investigation today.
Sign Katherine’s petition (warning: this page contains graphic imagery)
It’s unimaginable, but it’s true. The State of Wyoming is pulling the trigger on a flat–out assault on wild horses … this action coming right after one-third of all wild horses remaining in the state were relentlessly rounded up and removed just two months ago!
Last week, backed by powerful ranchers, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead carried out his threat to file a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management to get even more wild horses removed from his state.….the very same state that hypocritically promotes wild horses in its tourism ads proclaiming that “not everything was meant to be tamed” and touting Wyoming as a place where the free and unbridled spirit of the West is still alive!
It’s clear that the governor places no value on wild horses — the very embodiment of the Western values his state promotes. He and his allies won’t stop until mustangs are wiped off Wyoming’s landscape forever.
Only 2,500 wild horses are left in the entire state, and we know from experience that we can’t count on the government to defend them.
Although we are already waging numerous legal battles throughout the West, we have no choice but to file a motion to intervene in this latest greed-driven legal attack. The Cloud Foundation, renowned photographers Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl and our founding organization Return to Freedom are lined up to join us in this battle.
Make no mistake, if Wyoming is successful in this lawsuit, more Western states will follow suit.
This could be their last stand. Please help if you can today.
Meredith Hodges was recently interviewed by Anna Roth for Modern Farmer, a website and magazine for people interested in global agricultural issues, as part of a series of donkey-themed articles! Meredith discussed her training methods and philosophies, and specifically how they relate to—and must sometimes be altered for—donkeys.
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to call equine specialist Meredith Hodges a “donkey-whisperer,” considering that she’s spent most of her life coaxing donkeys and mules into unprecedented acts. She fought to get them incorporated into competitive equine events around the world, and is a firm believer in the animals’ intelligence, thoughtfulness and the fact that a donkey or mule can do everything just as well as a horse can.
From her Lucky Three Ranch in Colorado, she’s created a small empire of books (including the influential Training Mules and Donkeys: A Logical Approach To Longears), TV shows, charitable programs, and animal welfare and advocacy groups. Her training approach — culled from other equine experts, including Richard Shrake, as well as behavior modification techniques she learned during her time as a psychiatric technician in the ‘70s — includes patience, mutual respect and plenty of oats. It works, and now Hodges is a much sought-after sage for donkey owner woes.
Modern Farmer: How did you get started with donkey training?
Meredith Hodges: I started with my mother’s ranch out in Healdsburg. That was my introduction to mules. I found out real quick that the horsemanship training techniques that I had learned before were just too expedited and not detailed enough [for donkeys].
I thought everything that everyone else does, that [donkeys] were stubborn and don’t want to do things. It took me about three months to realize that they are just simply looking out for themselves. They have a very high sense of self-preservation. They’re extremely intelligent, sure-footed, resistant to disease and when they get into a situation, get tangled into a fence or something, they won’t thrash around but wait quietly to get themselves out of it.
Mules do exactly what you teach them. If you chase them they think they’re in a game and supposed to run away. They think it’s pretty funny. They have a tremendous sense of humor and love to humiliate human beings. We’re pretty foolish, we don’t realize we’re getting sucked into a game here.
MF: How do you get them to do the things you want them to do?
MH: I realized that every equine we were working with would respond and repeat good behaviors when they were rewarded with the oats. I used to feed the animals who go for [pasture] turnout oats in the morning, and when I turned them out for an hour they wouldn’t want to come in from the pasture. I decided to shift the oats to the evening feeding, and as long as the oats were there waiting for them they always come in to the dirt pen. I never had to chase them, it was just, here they come. I thought, there’s something to this.
Check out the full interview here.
Please call your U.S. Senators TODAY to ask them to OPPOSE Title XXX (30), a package of public lands riders that has been added to the Defense Authorization Act. One of the riders would automatically renew livestock grazing permits for public lands – including areas where wild horses and burros live — without requiring existing mandated environmental review and regardless of whether the grazing allotments meet accepted rangeland health standards. Another rider would turn over 2,400 acres of the Tonto National Forest — where the famed Salt River wild horses live — to a foreign-owned mining company.
AWHPC has joined 46 environmental organizations in calling for defeat of this package. Add your voice today by clicking below. The bill passed the House of Representatives last week and may come up for a Senate vote as early as tomorrow, so please don’t delay!
STARFIRE AND BRAVEHEART ADOPTED BY CAROL HAGGARD
The little colt with a warty nose has officially been adopted! He was transported with his stable mate “Starfire” who was also adopted by Carol Haggard. Carol saw the horses on Facebook through various adoption campaign efforts and she instantly knew that those were the horses for her. We were there to document the happy occasion.
BURROS NOT GOING TO GUATEMALA
SUCCESSFUL MEETING WITH FACILITY MANAGER THAT OVERSEES 6000 HORSES MAY LEAD TO MORE ADOPTIONS
While were were visiting the BLM office at Palomino Valley Holding Facility to celebrate the adoption of Starfire and Braveheart, I took the opportunity to approach Facility Manager John Neill for a meeting. We are happy to report that discussions went great and that we have future hope and potential of coordinating adoption efforts with the BLM in order to save more horses from life in holding.
WE MADE IT OUT OF A WINTER STORM THAT HAD US STRANDED IN UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY
While traveling 1200 miles, we became stuck in a National Weather Service Winter Storm Warning in Northern Nevada! We could use your help to help us replenish our travel fund for all the travel we have left to do this week for the rally and the movie because we incurred some very unexpected expenses to weather that storm.
Thank you for your kind support this joyous month of December. We cannot wait to see the movie and we will be traveling another 500 miles this week transporting children to and from the rally and movie. With your help, we were able to purchase 20 tickets for kids!
Today is Giving Tuesday, the launch of the holiday giving season. This year, we’d like to share a story that illustrates what your support can achieve for wild horses and burros.
Meet Blondie, a proud, flaxen-maned stallion born wild and free on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA) near Gardnerville, Nevada. Last year, Blondie, his family and two dozen other horses found themselves in the BLM’s crosshairs when they wandered outside the invisible boundaries of their HMA and were targeted for capture and removal.
But, instead of becoming just another BLM statistic — one of 50,000 mustangs robbed of freedom and family and warehoused in holding pens — Blondie today remains free! Thanks to strong community support and the unwavering dedication of AWHPC supporters, Blondie and his family are now part of a humane birth control pilot program launched as an alternative to removing these horses from their homes on the range.
This story shows us what it’s all about…..Keeping Wild Horses Wild and Free….Changing government management policies step by step, herd by herd…..Preserving what’s left of this precious American legacy and protecting the magnificent public lands that our wild horses and burros call home.
Today we ask for your support to keep fighting for wild horses and burros in 2015.
Here are three ways that you can help: `
2. Start your own “friendraising” campaign! Get your friends in the holiday giving spirit by creating your own webpage and raising funds for wild horses. The top two fundraisers will win a special gift of appreciation from the AWHPC!
3. Join the #Unselfie campaign for #GivingTuesday (and the rest of the week). Post a picture of yourself on Facebook or Twitter with a sign or note about why you are helping to raise funds for wild horses and burros this holiday season.
With ranchers becoming more radicalized in their attacks on wild horses and burros, 2015 promises to be a challenging year. But standing together, we can and will prevail in defending these iconic and cherished animals!
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your kindness, generosity and support.