The cost to vaccinate a single mare with a PZP vaccine is just $30.
But instead of utilizing this proven, safe, and cost-effective method of keeping wild horses in balance with the environment, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to brutally round up our wild horses and burros in deadly helicopter chases.
Humane fertility control programs keep wild horses wild, while the roundups sentence tens of thousands to a life of captivity, depriving them of the two things they value most: family and freedom.
As if that weren’t bad enough, thousands of these beloved animals are entering the slaughter pipeline through the BLM’s disastrous Adoption Incentive Program (AIP). We have exposed the extent of the problem through our ongoing investigation into the AIP, and theNew York Times exposed the situation in an explosive report based on our work.
On Nevada’s Virginia Range, where a population of state-managed wild mustangs is threatened by habitat loss, we’ve operated the largest PZP fertility program for wild horses in the world for almost 4 years – and Meredith, our work there is paying off.
Our PZP program has reduced foaling rates by 62% while allowing these animals to remain free as nature intended. This success is helping us prove to lawmakers and to the BLM that there is a better, more humane, and cost-effective alternative to the agency’s current approach to managing our wild horse populations.
On behalf of the board and staff of the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), we wish you and your family a very happy and joyous holiday season.
Your support and dedication to our cause mean so much to us, and we never take for granted the trust you have put in AWHC to protect our magnificent wild horses and burros.
As our attention turns to family and celebration, we hold the wild horse and burro families in our thoughts and in our hearts. In that spirit, we share the story of one family on Nevada’s Virginia Range.
Harriet was born on April 1, 2013 — it was raining the day one of our volunteers first spotted her, so we fondly referred to her asLittle April Showers. Her mother, Starlite, stood guard over her while her father, Handyman, kept watch — making sure his family was safe. For about a year, our volunteers would spot the little family now and then around the canyon on the Virginia Range.
It wasn’t until about a year ago that our team spotted Harriet once again! She is now all grown up and has a family of her own! She lives with her stallion, Ozzy, and has two adorable daughters, Peg and Sue — they both look so much like Harriet when she was young.
It’s stories like these that inspire us to keep fighting. These innocent animals deserve nothing less than to live out the rest of their days with their loved ones, wild and free.
They show us how to be patient and kind, and how to persevere in the toughest of situations. We are taking these lessons from the wild with us into the new year and in our continued fight to preserve the freedom of these beloved animals.
On behalf of everyone at AWHC, we are grateful to you for being part of our family. Our very best wishes to you and your loved ones for the happiest of holidays — and a healthy and joyous New Year!
Suzanne + the AWHC Team
Thank you to AWHC volunteer, Deb Sutherland for capturing the photos and story included in this email.
As 2022 comes to a close, we want to reflect on the major wins we were able to accomplish together this year for our cherished wild horses and burros. Wins like securing language in the final Fiscal Year 2022 spending bill that reallocated $11 million in BLM funding away from helicopter roundups and towards humane fertility control or launching a nationwide public awareness campaign that brought thousands of new supporters to the AWHC herd.
These historic wins are worth celebrating, but until our beloved wild herds can live out their days wild and free, there is still much to be done. So, our team is already busy setting our priorities for 2023 – and, Meredith, as one of our most dedicated AWHC supporters, we want to hear from you!
Do you remember Blue? He’s been at AAE for some time now, trying to heal after a nearly seven pound mass was removed from his hind fetlock in Fall of 2017.
Graphic photos of his progress are included below.
Blue is a 2010 Virginia Range (NV) mustang gelding who came to AAE March of 2017 after a request for assistance from the Virginia Range Wild Horse Sanctuary and Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund. Blue had been carrying around a large mass of proud flesh (granulation tissue) over his left rear fetlock/pastern area for some time. Although he had been haltered and handled some previously, he was not halterable when he arrived at AAE, and we knew we had a big job ahead in helping Blue.
Before we could evaluate the mass, he had to be gentled, haltered, and his legs/hooves had to be handleable. With a straightforward mustang, not a big deal, but Blue had some substantial fear/trust issues. Initial efforts with befriending and haltering him were lukewarm. Thanks to Dr. Stolba and Team LBEMC (throughout Blue‘s journey), he had made enough progress that we were able to sedate him, radiograph the bony area beneath the mass, and collect tissue samples for biopsy. We wanted to make sure there was not an underlying reason for the mass other than old injury before getting too deep into corrective measures if they would be for naught. It was not an easy feat. Even with sedation, he kicked quickly and with purpose.
Radiographs and biopsy showed no obvious issues, so the work continued. Weeks in, Blue seemed to have had a reaction to something and developed a mysterious condition that turned out to be a form of vasculitis. He developed sores/ulcers throughout his mouth. They were horribly painful. Though his history and symptoms didn’t suggest, we had to quarantine him and test him for vesicular stomatitis. Thankfully, it was negative. We scaled back our efforts to reduce his stress and allow him to heal. But, the mass was growing.
After several weeks, he improved, and we resumed course. He would take a few steps forward, then a couple steps back. Finally, after many weeks with nominal results, we had a marathon day. We worked until we broke through, six hours. The next day, our learning curve was much shorter, and the next and the next, until finally, we could halter, touch all over, and pick up his left hind and handle it all over. We practiced with bandaging materials and wrapped it up, and he was a gem!
We scheduled surgery, and in late August 2017, he lost nearly seven pounds in a matter of minutes. The mass looked like a big brain, and it weighed in at nearly seven pounds. Imagine what that must have felt like with every move. Needless to say, it was done!
However, the mouth lesions returned. There were more, and they were worse this time. They were on his body, around his anus, and on his sheath. Poor guy, these things were awful, and they appeared to be an autoimmune issue. At one point, we questioned his prognosis and quality of life, but before jumping to conclusions, we biopsied the tissue. We ended up with a vasculitis diagnosis. The best thing was, we changed up his meds, and the sores began to heal. The area where the mass was removed was beginning to heal. In the meantime, the next test came when it was time to change his first bandage. With a bit of sedation, it went fairly smooth, but cleaning the lesion was a little challenging. But, wow, it looked amazing! Such a tremendous improvement. It was like a victory in and of itself, even though not healed.
Healing was progressing nicely!
After several bandage changes, Blue was getting resentful of the needle for sedation, so we tried without. It went well with cleaning a few times, but oddly, after a few times, he didn’t like it when placing the medicated bandage over the lesion. It seems he was healing and he could feel the area again. He stomped the bandage off, over and over. The stomp was a little intimidating, but really, he was only trying to get the “big white bug” off his leg. He didn’t kick out or kick at. His stomp was purposeful in knocking the bandage off his leg. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep the bandage on, so we had to go back to sedation for a bit. Eventually, we could remove the bandage, clean the lesion, and replace the bandage without issue, without sedation, thankfully. Healing continued.
By November 2017, the lesion was almost healed, but there was a small area where the granulation tissue was persisting, so it was trimmed off. By January 2018, the lesion had nearly healed again. Blue made tremendous progress. However, as the months went on, the small area persisted and started to grow again. We lasered the area and biopsied for a third time, and this time the biopsy revealed a sarcoid. Persistent little buggers!!!
We tried some different medication over the months, but nothing resulted in complete healing, and by Fall, we decided to laser again; however, by November 2018, the sarcoid was growing, it was removed, and another course of treatment began with new medications.
Blue stands quietly for bandage changes weekly. He’s still not healed, but he’s healthy, happy, and in much better shape than when he arrived. He’s dealing well with his bandage changes and seems to understand the routine these days. He continues to have challenges with trust, mostly when introducing new things, but he continues to show progress, one baby step a at a time. As long as he stays healthy and happy, we’ll continue to work on conquering the sarcoid. He continues to love his carrots, and he also enjoys being Uncle Blue to the younguns,
a job he does well!
Like we said last year, Blue‘s story is not an uncommon story in terms of the hurdles we cross with any intake with special needs. We have unexpected bumps in the road that required more than anticipated. For Blue, it was the bouts of vasculitis and later, the discovery of the sarcoid. For some, it’s colic; for others, abscesses, lacerations from tree branches or scuffles with others. We can’t plan for these things, but need the resources to handle them when confronted. We are grateful to have your support now and throughout the year to assure we can manage most any unexpected issue along the way.
19 days until 2019, YOUR donation means more horses can be helped! Donate Today!
‘Tis the Season, time to join AAE every day this month as we share stories straight from the barn to show how your support has helped horses in 2018. This year was very special, and there are so many stories to be thankful for!
As we count down to 2019, please help us prepare for another year of helping horses. Your donations will assure we have ample funding for veterinary care to
Not only is BLM pushing Congress for permission to slaughter America’s mustangs, it’s blatantly violating the law rounding them up right now in Wyoming
We’re not backing down. Even as we push the U.S. Senate to stop slaughter, we’re fighting the feds’ illegal actions to destroy mustangs. Last week, we won two critical lawsuits to stop the Forest Service from shrinking wild horse habitat in California and the BLM from destroying an Idaho mustang herd by sterilizing every horse in it.
And, last Friday, we filed suit in U.S. District Court Wyoming to stop the BLM from illegally rounding up hundreds more wild horses than authorized by pretending young horses born this year don’t count.
We’re not going to let them get away with it, but we need your help.
We’re winning, but these lawsuits are expensive. They’re draining our funds and our staff resources.
As the BLM prepares for a possible pro-slaughter policy, the roundups are increasing and intensifying. Alarmingly, the agency is sending captured mustangs to private feedlots in Idaho and Utah where they may never be seen again. Our latest lawsuit challenges that too.
Our nation’s beautiful, majestic wild horses and burros deserve our protection, not helicopters rounding them up, shipping them out of public view to private holding pens, and putting every one of these innocent animals at risk of being brutally killed or slaughtered.
Blue is a young mustang gelding out of Nevada who came to AAE after Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund and Virginia Range Wild Horse Sanctuary asked for assistance with this handsome guy. He had a large mass over his rear fetlock/pastern area, and was unhalterable when he arrived at AAE.
He made great progress getting ready for his initial veterinary evaluation (exam, radiographs, and biopsy) resulted in a positive outlook. The bone in his fetlock area looked good and a biopsy confirmed the growth to be granulation tissue (proud flesh). However, due to the size of the mass, healing was expected to take considerable time.
We started working on gentling and desensitizing Blue to get him comfortable with his legs being handled for post-surgical care (treatment and bandaging). However, he experienced a set back with what we initially thought was a reaction to something (e.g. fly spray, a weed, a bite, or some other toxin) and required additional diagnostics, treatment and healing before we could move forward with surgery.
Blue made great strides with accepting humans and allowing his leg to be handled. Understandably, he was very sensitive with anything near the “blob”. His surgery was successfully completed on Wednesday, August 23. Due to the size, nature, and location of the surgery, he will need long term bandaging and care for best healing results. We are anticipating needing lots of bandaging materials, post-op care, and likely the use of sedation in early visits to ensure safe handling.
As I write this, I am remembering how quickly you get “baby brain”. The time when your brain turns to mush from lack of sleep.
Wow – it seems like the Rolling Foal Hospital never stops. We are so very pleased to be able to let folks know just how important this trailer is, and that it is constantly being used to save the lives of our beloved horses.
We left last Tuesday to take Seanna, Cicero and Go Go Boots to their new home in Idaho. We had to meet with Doc on Wednesday in NV to procure the proper paperwork and off we went.
We arrived to a stunning property and an amazing woman waiting for the babies. God has once again blessed us with the help we needed for these young horses. They have a wonderful place with a river, many streams, a clean and clear pond and wild life all around. They have space and will have folks to continue their training.
They have settled in well and although there was the usual heartbreak as we drove away, all was well and it was the best scenario we could hope for.
All the way there, and even prior as we were prepping the trailer, something kept telling me we would not be coming back empty. So I made sure we had our “new baby kit” well prepped. On our way back home, we received an emergency call. Shirley (my friend in NV who was caring for Velma), was in the hospital and we needed to come and pick up the baby. We are blessed as I am Shirley’s back up and she is ours if we have emergencies.
So we picked up Velma, (whom I had had quite a bit of time with the night prior to our vet visit with Doc), whose world was once again upside down. Although pretty scared at first, she traveled beautifully, and as always we took our time and gave her lots of rest stops. Here is the link for a short video of her enjoying one of her bottles. (Beware – this is cuteness over load at it’s finest.)
Velma is eating very well, and she eats every two hours round the clock. She has never been around any horses, as after she was born in the puddle she was immediately rushed to Shirley’s after her mama pretty much ignored her and continued eating. She will go through approximately a 40 pound bag of milk and then some every two weeks. She is healthy and although she was a tiny bit colicky after we picked her up she is doing well and settling in nicely.
Much to her initial dismay, we put Belafonte (our mini goat) in with her. She has no real manners as of yet as she had no chance to learn natural boundaries. But he will help her and is gentle, yet firm. She was very pouty after he gave her a tiny little headbutt when she was being inappropriate. She stood there with a look on her face like she could not believe what had just happened.
As always, things happen quickly. We took 3 babies and came back with 1, but that is the reason we do what we do, and why it is important to find homes for these kids once they are doing better and ready for the next chapter in their lives.
We are still looking for homes for the 40+ wild ones, and are so very grateful we have managed to keep them safe thus far. Please share far and wide so we can find them their forever homes.
We so appreciate everyone who is part of this rescue and helping us keep these horses safe. Please share far and wide so we can continue to find forever homes for these horses. We also have a possible home for more of the wild ones in Virginia. We are working on that – who knew there were angels everywhere? With so many people in the United States, we only need a few to step up and help us place the remaining horses. Together we CAN do it!!
If you want to help keep milk in that little bottle or with all the rest of the expenses, You can go to You caring – https://www.youcaring.com/let-em-run-foundation-for-55-wild-horses-orphaned-foals-415297 to help us save these horses.
You can go to Paypal – Palominodancer@yahoo.com or go to our website
www.chillypepper.org if you would like to help these horses.
You can donate via check at Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, 34694 Sidebottom Rd., Shingletown, CA 96088
530 474-5197 If you are interested in visiting or adopting one of these beautiful horses.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a mega roundup of wild horses in the Beatys Butte Herd Management Area (HMA) in southern Oregon later this month. The roundup will shatter the lives of 1,500 wild horses and cost American taxpayers as much as $76 million for the helicopter stampede and lifetime warehousing of captured mustangs in government holding facilities!
This massive roundup is being conducted to appease ranchers in the Beatys Butte Grazing Association, who graze their livestock on our public lands at taxpayer-subsidized rates. This small group of ranchers has been pressuring the BLM to remove horses so they can graze more cattle in the same public lands area.
Please take a stand today! Your signatures will be hand delivered later this month to the Oregon BLM at a joint meeting of the agency’s citizen advisory boards that oversee most of the wild horse areas in the state.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Summer 2015 roundup season is underway. Newly captured wild horses and burros will be added to the nearly 50,000 currently stockpiled in holding facilities. Of note is the BLM removal numbers are significantly lower than those of previous years, which is largely the result of BLM’s inability to remove larger numbers of horses due to lack of holding space. This situation creates an opportunity, and should make it necessary, for the BLM to increase the use of humane fertility control as an alternative to removing massive numbers of wild horses and burros from the range. However, the agency continues to fight against making progress towards creating a humane and sustainable on-the-range management program.