Bureau of Land Management
For immediate release: Monday, May 4, 2009
Contact: Tom Gorey
National Wild Horse Adoption Day Set for September 26
Wild Horse Advocates Set 1,000 Horse and Burro Adoption Goal
The Bureau of Land Management, wild horse groups, and other animal advocates from across the nation are joining forces for a single cause – to encourage the American public to consider and act on the adoption of a wild horse or burro. A goal of 1,000 adoptions has been set for the first National Wild Horse Adoption Day, which will be held September 26, 2009.
More than 36,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed lands across the West. To ensure that the number of animals does not exceed the land’s capacity to support them, the BLM removes several thousand horses and burros from Western rangelands each year and works to place as many animals as possible into private care through public adoptions that are held throughout the United States. Since 1971, more than 220,000 wild horses and burros have been adopted.
Horses between the ages of one and six years old are typically selected from the herds for adoption, but a horse of any age can fit into the right farm or ranch. For many mustang adopters, having the opportunity to work with horses or burros with an intriguing past and unconventional upbringing brings a special element to their relationship.
Groups supporting National Wild Horse Adoption Day, in addition to the BLM, are Wild Horses 4 Ever, the American Horse Protection Association, the Mustang Heritage Foundation, and the Humane Society of the United States. The groups are working together to educate Americans about wild horse management issues while promoting the adoption of wild horses through adoption events, training programs, and motivational experiences.
“Wild horses and burros are living symbols of the Western spirit,” said BLM Acting Director Mike Pool. “I encourage anyone with an interest to consider adopting one of these noble animals, which are known for their intelligence, sure-footedness, strength, and endurance.”
The goal of 1,000 horses and burros adopted through the National Adoption Day program, besides creating opportunities for equine enthusiasts, will save money for taxpayers by moving animals from holding facilities into private care.
State BLM offices, wild horse groups, rescue centers, and volunteers will be engaged in activities leading up to and on September 26 to promote awareness of the need to provide new homes for wild horses and burros. For more information on events or how to volunteer, go to nationalwildhorseadoptionday.org or contact Coordinating Director Angie Grizzell at 817-559-5650 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the BLM, please call Sally Spencer at 202-452-5196 or send her an e-mail (Sally_Spencer@blm.gov).
The BLM manages more land – 256 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, and cultural resources on the public lands.