Friday, February 5, 2010

BLM to Hold "Adoption" Sale: Offers $500 to Potential Adopters as Incentive to "Adopt"

I wish the BLM would stop calling these outright sales "adoptions." Now they are offering $500 to potential adopters as incentive to adopt. That means the kill-buyers "adopting" wild horses will make a KILLING when they bring them to meat-market auction houses or direct to slaughter sale.

Be sure and read the part at the bottom of this article where the BLM claims it "follows up" on their adoptions....ROTFLMAO!

Mustangs available for adoption at auction
By Felicia Frazar
The Gazette-Enterprise

Published February 5, 2010

Next week, a bit of the Old West will come to Guadalupe County.

The spirit of the open range lives on through the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, which is working to protect the wild horses and the western rangeland resources.

Paul McGuire, BLM public affairs specialist, said wild horse herds have been protected for decades under a congressional law.

“There was a law congress passed in the 1970’s to protect and preserve the wild horses as fixtures in the western landscape,” he said. “Congress recognized that wild horses are a highly valued symbol of our heritage and the Bureau of Land Management was charged with the responsibility of managing the resource.”

In order to properly manage both the land and the herds efficiently and effectively, occasionally the packs of mustangs need their numbers to be reduced, McGuire said.

“What we do periodically is we have to thin the herd so they don’t over populate the areas,” he said.

Through the Wild Horse and Burro Program, some of the excess animals are auctioned off or sold to people who qualify to give them a safe home, McGuire said.

“Basically the adoption program is an extension of the primary management responsibility that we have and it’s a way for the public to be directly involved,” he said.

On Feb. 11-13 the BLM will be at the Guadalupe County Fairgrounds giving locals a chance to purchase and care for an icon of the American West.

Mustangs have many favorable attributes, McGuire said.

“In the wild they had to develop a number of strengths to be able to survive — endurance, stamina, strength and speed,” he said. “One of the things about a mustang is they are very intelligent animals and they respond very well to people when it comes to training. There is the sheer versatility of the animal that appeals to a lot of folks, whether they plan on getting them for ranch work or recreational purposes.”

While they are incredibly intelligent animals, McGuire added that mustangs do come with some traits that make them a bit more difficult than domesticated horse.

“One of the key challenges is getting the animal accustomed to you and realizing that you are not a threat to it,” he said. “A horse in the wild views human beings as potential predators and so you have to initially overcome that hurdle of trust.”

There are two chances of obtaining a horse from the event — auction or sale, McGuire said.

“The main reason we do that is if we have more than one person interested in an animal, it’s the fairest way that we have to see who gets to adopt what animal,” he said. “Once we get through with that we open it to first come first serve for the rest of the day on Friday and all day on Saturday. Any horse that remains can get adopted for the $125 processing fee.”

McGuire suggests that anyone interested in the mustangs come a day early to scope out possible choices and to get the application process started.

“We approve the applications on site,” he said.

Adopting a wild horse comes with a few requirements, McGuire said.

A person must be 18 years of age or older to sign a contract with the federal government, must have a facility with a sturdy corral at least 400 square-feet and a stock trailer for transportation.

Once taken home the fostered animal still belongs to the federal government for up to a year, McGuire said.

“After that point, if you have taken proper care of that animal you can apply for formal ownership of that animal and receive the title for it,” he said.

Full time employees of the bureau are entrusted with keeping close watch over the iconic horses and ensuring their security and safety.

“We have people that are compliance inspectors. They follow up on adoptions,” he said. “At some point in that first year prior to titling we will come check up on the animal.”

During routine checks — either by phone or in person — if a problem arises, the surveyor will work with the adopters to assess and fix the situation, McGuire said.

“If it appears that the animal is underfed or it’s feet don’t appear properly cared for, we will work with the adopter to identify the inefficacy and to correct it,” he said. “Rarely have we had a situation where we had to repossess a horse, but if we have to we will because our first concern is to ensure the animal is in a good home.”

“We are going to be running a $500 incentive program here in Seguin,” he said. “Any animal that is over four years old we are offering a $500 incentive to adopt one of these animals under normal terms. After one year, when you receive the title we will cut you a check for $500.”

Gates will open Thursday, Feb. 11 from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. with adoptions starting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information on the program go to .

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