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Release Date: 05/21/09
Contacts: Erin Curtis (970) 244-3097    

Abandoned Horse Found Near Grand Junction

The Bureau of Land Management recovered a horse abandoned in the Winter Flats area Friday, May 15, inside the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Herd Management Area north of Grand Junction. Officials are investigating to see if they can determine the owner of the horse. The male stud horse had experienced injuries from other wild horses in the area, and BLM is keeping the animal in a pen at one of its facilities until an investigation has been completed.Abandoning any kind of animal—large or small—on public lands is inhumane as well as illegal and punishable by state and federal law. BLM’s Grand Junction Field Office manages up to 150 wild horses on public lands designated specifically for that purpose.

"If you find that you can’t take care of your horse or no longer want it, please don’t abandon it on public lands," said Wild Horse Specialist Jim Dollerschell. "Domestic horses are not adapted to the rugged terrain or to foraging for food in the harsh desert, and chances of a slow and painful death are high."

Wild horses will typically ostracize and fight off horses that are unfamiliar to their band, increasing the odds for injury to animals. More importantly, domestic horses can introduce disease to a wild horse herd, increasing the risk of a catastrophic die-off of the herd. Dealing with abandoned animals diverts BLM resources away from the wild horses they are tasked with managing.

BLM urges citizens to act responsibly and humanely in caring for your own animals. If you are struggling with adequate care of large animals, don’t wait until you are faced with no options. Place an ad in your local paper to find another owner. If it is an older animal with health issues, have it humanely euthanized. While most rescue organizations in the country are overwhelmed with too many unwanted horses, you can try researching organizations online that are still accepting animals.

For further information on the management of wild horses, contact BLM Wild Horse Specialist Jim Dollerschell at (970) 244-3016.

Editor's note: click for JPG photo of abandoned horse.  

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  BLM Colorado Grand Junction Field Office, 2815 H Road      Grand Junction, CO 81506  

Last updated: 05-21-2009