104 wild horses and burros find new homes in Texas as BLM starts adoption season strong

As the Bureau of Land Management kicks off the prime season for adoptions, 104 wild horses and burros found new homes at a two-day event in Beeville, Texas last weekend. More than 50 similar off-site and facility adoption and sale events are planned through October 2021 as the agency celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act – the legislation that provides for the protection and management of wild horses and burros on public lands.

To make the Beeville event possible, staff from the BLM Oklahoma Field Office hauled 120 wild horses and burros to the Bee County Expo Center, where they were available for viewing and adoption by the public March 5-6. Most of the animals available were gathered from overpopulated herds roaming public lands in Nevada. An estimated 250 people stopped by to view the animals and ask questions of the BLM staff, and some took the next step of completing an application and adopting a wild horse or burro.

“We were ecstatic for the interest from the local Beeville community and beyond,” said Robert Pawelek, Field Manager, Oklahoma Field Office. “Placing more than 100 animals into private care during a single event is fantastic, and not something that is easily accomplished. This is a community that truly understands the value of these animals and what they can do.”

Long time adopter, Lorrie Grover of Corpus Christi, Texas, adopted two burros at the event in Beeville. Lori has adopted several horses and has competed and placed in several Extreme Mustang Makeovers. However, this is her first burro adoption. Before the pandemic, Lorrie and her mini horse, Sparkle, visited local assisted living centers and nursing homes in the Corpus Christi area. The residents loved seeing Sparkle. Lorrie and Sparkle also have a toy drive in December to help children in need. Once gentled and halter trained, the burros, Grandma and Butter Bean will accompany Lorrie and Sparkle in visiting with residents in assisted living centers, nursing homes and with the annual toy drive.

The event in Beeville was one of several BLM events that took place last week. Another event in Springfield, Ohio placed 26 animals into private care (and an additional 6 horses went into a training program). Find a full list of upcoming events on the BLM’s website.

All BLM adoption and sale events follow guidelines as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities, including social distancing and mask wearing. Some events are by appointment only, and some are held virtually.

Wild horses and burros placed into private care help support the management and protection of wild herds on public lands, which, with virtually no natural predators, can grow rapidly and overrun the forage and water available to them if not managed. Unadopted wild horses are cared for by the BLM for the remainder of their lives on pastures contracted for their use. Each animal placed into private care helps save taxpayers an average of $24,000 over the lifetime of the animal.  

Two burros in a pen.