News Release

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2008
Contact:   Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332 

Horses, Burros up for Adoption at Litchfield Corrals

Free Training Demonstrations, Free Delivery of Adopted Animals Part of Event 

An outstanding selection of 50 wild horses and burros will be available to the public when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holds a special adoption event, Saturday, June 14, at the Litchfield Corrals east of Susanville.

Adoption gates open at 8 a.m. and the adoption gets underway with an hour of silent bidding beginning at 9. Animals not taken during bidding will be offered for a $125 adoption fee. Anyone interested can preview the animals from 1 to 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 13.

The BLM will deliver adopted animals up to 200 miles from Litchfield at no charge.

"We will offer 29 mustangs, including yearling fillies and geldings, and 21 burros of all ages," said BLM Corral Manager Doug Satica. "We have a nice selection of color, including pintos and buckskins."

Adopters and anyone interested in horse training can watch free demonstrations to gain new insight about gentling and training mustangs. The demonstrations will be held at various times through the day.

All available animals are certified healthy. The BLM has provided worming treatments and vaccinations for a variety of equine diseases including West Nile virus and rabies. Adopters receive a complete set of health care records.

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 horses over 2 years old.

Horses under 18 months old can be kept in corrals with five-foot fences, and four-and-a-half-foot fences are allowed for burros. 

Adopters must provide a two-sided, roofed shelter to provide protection from extreme weather.

"Adopted animals should be kept in this corral until they can be approached, handled, haltered and led," Satica explained.  "Non-gentled animals should not be placed in large, open pastures."

Adopters must provide a halter and lead rope.  BLM wranglers will halter and load adopted animals.  Adult horses must be transported in stock trailers with side-swinging gates. 

Those opting for BLM delivery must schedule delivery by June 27.

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 adoption period.

"Adopters love their horses for all kinds of riding, including trail riding, back country packing, ranch work and competition.  People train their burros for back country packing, pulling carts, and riding," Satica said.

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 manage herd populations on ranges shared with wildlife and domestic livestock 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 33,000 wild horses and burros roaming on public rangelands in the western states.  More than 220,000 animals have been placed in private care since the BLM’s Adopt-a-Horse-or-Burro Program began in 1971.

For additional information on the adoption event or wild horse management, contact the BLM toll free at 866-4MUSTANGS or the BLM Litchfield Corrals, (530) 254-6575.  Information is also available online at


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