U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Release: Feb. 22, 2007
Wild Horses, Burros Available for Adoption in Turlock
Young and healthy wild horses and burros, direct from public ranges, will be looking for new homes when the Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 900 N. Broadway, Turlock.
The event runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The adoption event opens with an hour of silent bidding beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. Animals not taken during bidding will be available for a $125 adoption fee. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at the arena at about 2 p.m. on March 23.
Those who want to learn more about training their new mustang can watch free training demonstrations by Lesely Neuman, a Placerville-area trainer with extensive wild horse experience. She will work from a round pen during both days of the adoption event.
The Back County Horsemen of California is co-sponsoring the adoption and will hold its annual rendezvous at the fairgrounds on March 23 through 25. A public lands training program will be held on March 22. Information on the rendezvous is available on the web at http://www.bchc.com/rendezvous/
To qualify, adopters must be at least 18 years old and have no convictions for inhumane treatment of animals. BLM staff members will interview all prospective adopters to be sure they meet the BLM adoption requirements. Newly adopted horses and burros must be kept in corrals with at least 400 square feet of space per animal (20 feet by 20 feet), surrounded by a fence built of pipe or boards. Six-foot fences are required for adult horses.
“Adopted animals should be kept in this corral until they can be approached, handled, haltered and led,” Odom said. “Non-gentled animals cannot be placed in large, open pastures.”
Adopters must provide a halter and lead rope. BLM wranglers will halter and load adopted animals. All animals must be transported in step up stock trailers. Drop ramp trailers will not be allowed.
Title to adopted wild horses and burros remains with the federal government for one year. After providing a year of good care, adopters can receive title. The BLM or a representative will check on the condition of the animal during the one-year adoption period.
“Wild horses are strong, loyal, intelligent and very trainable,” Odom said. “Adopters find they are great for pleasure riding and trail riding, back country packing, ranch work and competition. People train burros for back country packing, pulling carts, and riding.”
Wild horses and burros are protected by a federal law, the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law recognizes the animals as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the west,” and requires the BLM to manage the wild herds.
The BLM periodically gathers horses and burros to control herd populations on ranges shared with wildlife and domestic livestock. Herd sizes are controlled to ensure there is sufficient feed and water for all range users and to ensure that natural resources are not over-used.
There are about 31,000 wild horses and burros roaming on public rangelands in the western states. More than 213,000 animals have been placed in private care since the BLM’s Adopt-a-Horse-or-Burro Program began in the early 1970s
For additional information on the adoption event or wild horse management, contact the BLM toll free at 1-866-4MUSTANGS or Odom at (661) 391-6049. Information is also available online at http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/index.php.