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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Central California District
 
Release Date: 11/03/11
Contacts: David Christy , 916-941-3146  
News Release No. CA-CC-12-11

Horses, Burros Available for Adoption in Santa Maria


Residents of the Santa Maria area will have the opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families when the Bureau of Land Management brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Elks-Unocal Event Center, 4040 S. Highway 101, Santa Maria, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19.

The BLM will offer 20 horses, mostly yearlings, and 10 burros for public adoption. Anyone interested can preview the animals from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 18. After that, animals will be available for a $125 adoption fee. The event gates will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

"With cooler days ahead, this is a great time to begin training an adopted mustang or burro," said Art DiGrazia, manager at BLM’s Ridgecrest wild horse and burro facility.  "Our horses and burros are certified to be healthy and they are ready to begin training."

The horses are from herd management areas in Northeast California and Northwest Nevada.  Burros (donkeys) came from Southern California deserts.
 
All available animals have received de-worming treatments and vaccinations for West Nile virus, rabies and common equine diseases.  All have negative Coggins test results.  Adopters receive complete health records for their animals so they can begin health care programs with their veterinarians.
 
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).  Corrals should be constructed of materials such as pipe, horse fence, or boards. 

The corral enclosure must be six feet high for adult horses.  Horses under 18 months old must be kept in corrals that are a minimum of five feet high, while four-and-a-half-foot corrals 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," DiGrazia explained.  "Non-gentled animals should not be placed in large, open pastures."

At the adoption event, 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.

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.

"Wild horses are strong, loyal, intelligent and very trainable," said DiGrazia.  "Adopters love their horses for pleasure riding and trail riding, back country packing, ranch work and competition.  People train their burros for back country packing, pulling carts, and riding."

Wild horses and burros are protected by a federal law, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.  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.

For additional information on the adoption event or wild horse management, contact the BLM toll free at 1-866-4MUSTANGS (687-8264) or the Ridgecrest Corrals at1-800-951-8720.   Information is also available online at www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.




--BLM--

Central California District   2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825  

Last updated: 11-03-2011