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New Homes Sought for Captured Wild Horses

PHOTO: Owning a horse that once roamed the Nevada range is possible through an adoption program. Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management.
PHOTO: Owning a horse that once roamed the Nevada range is possible through an adoption program. Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management.
January 24, 2014

PHOENIX – The state of Nevada is reaching out to people who may be interested in adopting a wild horse captured in the Virginia Range near Reno.

Deniz Bolbol, communications director with Return To Freedom – American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, which handles the adoptions, says 15 of the animals were recently rounded up and are being housed at the Carson City prison.

She says owning a horse is a long-term commitment.

"Really, we're looking for just homes that are going to provide forever home,” Bolbol explains. “Home that is going to be there with these horses through thick and thin for the rest of the horses' lives."

Bolbol adds several of the horses have been halter-broke, which means they can be haltered and led around, and at least two of the animals have been saddled.

She also says there are several foals and yearlings, and the rest of the animals are probably between 5 and 8 years of age.

According to officials, the horses are captured after they pose a public safety concern.

Bolbol explains that means they probably have wandered into an inhabited area, which was likely part of the horses' natural range for many centuries.

She says the Return to Freedom organization is working on a deal with the state to help preserve horse range while protecting the public interest.

"To keep the horses on the range, but at the same time keeping the horses out of areas that the Department of Agriculture doesn't want the horses going into, such as neighborhoods,” she says. “We're working to secure that cooperative agreement with the State of Nevada, as we speak."

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva has joined with Return to Freedom in calling for an end to wild horse roundups, in favor of managing the horses with fertility control.

Adopting a wild horse costs $125, but Bolbol says that's probably the cheapest part of owning the animal.

She points out that shoeing, feeding, training and veterinary expenses also need to be considered before making the adoption decision.

Nevada's wild horse population could be as high as 10,000 animals.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ