Mother’s Day Letter Writing Campaign Press Release with Fallon Updates

International Fund for Horses and The Cloud Foundation launch Mother’s Day effort on behalf of captured Mustang mares

Photo copyright Cat Kindsfather

Stop the roundups and respect our wild mothers

WASHINGTON D.C. (May 4, 2010) ―The American wild horse crisis is filled with issues of animal cruelty and the world looks on and asks, “Why?”. Currently the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding over 1800 captured Calico mustangs at a privately owned, feedlot-style facility in Fallon, Nevada. The manure-strewn pens have become a makeshift nursery for captured mares now giving birth without cover or protection from the elements.  In honor of America’s wild horse mares and their foals, International Fund for Horses and The Cloud Foundation launch a letter writing campaign First Lady Michelle Obama this Mother’s Day, requesting a moratorium on roundups in the American West.

Photo Copyright Elyse Gardner, 5-2-10

“The American public is no longer buying the false claims by the BLM that wild horses are starving and must be removed from the range,” states Vivian Grant, President of the Int’l Fund for Horses. “Time after time we see healthy wild horses being rounded up by the BLM and tragically it is the mares and their newborn or unborn foals who pay the highest price.” More than 40 late term abortions and 87 adult horse deaths have occurred as a result of the stressful helicopter roundup in northwestern Nevada in the dead of winter.

While the Calico mustang mothers and their newborns continue to be held in the dusty corrals, their sons are being castrated without proper pain medication or medical oversight. Complications that often arise with domestic horses such as hemorrhage, evisceration (protrusion on the intestine through the scrotum), inflammation, swelling in the cavity and lasting damage to the penis go untreated. “Prompt recognition of post-castration complications and expedited application of appropriate treatment is essential in all cases” according to Liberty M. Getman, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, from the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. Dr. Getman went on to explain that “approximately one-third of all castrations develop some form of post-surgical complication, and these complications constitute the number one reason of malpractice claims against North American veterinarians.” The 1800-plus mustangs in Fallon are under the watch of only one veterinarian and castrated males, in obvious pain with swollen scrotums, receive no pain medication or post-surgical care. Humane observers are denied access except for a two hour staged public tour once a week.

Photo copyright Cat Kindsfather

Celebrities such as Sheryl Crow and Viggo Mortensen as well as scientists and more than 160 international organizations, have signed a unified moratorium letter calling for a freeze of BLM roundups until a truly sustainable plan is in effect. Currently BLM spends roughly half their $64 million budget rounding up mustangs and the remainder feeding captured mustangs in government holding millions. This poor management policy is leading to the destruction of the last of our western wild herds.

Photo Copyright Elyse Gardner- *note, these two look like but aren't twins we think

The two foundations ask the First Lady for help to end the cruelty, stop the wild horse round ups, and call for an investigation of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program. “Tell our First Lady how you really feel about what is happening to our wild horses and burros,” urges Ginger Kathrens, Cloud filmmaker and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is a fiscal train wreck for the American taxpayers and an on-going nightmare for the Calico horses. Adding more wild horses and burros into holding facilities while the ranges are emptied of the last of our iconic mustangs makes absolutely no sense.“

Now the public of all ages is invited to write to: First Lady Michelle Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500, fax her at (202) 456-2461, call her office at (202) 456-1414 or email her online at

“What do we need to do to get a response from this Administration? Put holding pens on the White House lawn?” asks Hilary Wood, President and Founder of Front Range Equine Rescue in Larkspur, Colorado. In the meantime, the BLM is revving up the helicopters for the next invasion of wild horses and burro ranges slated to begin in June. “We’d like to keep mothers and their foals living free, in the wild, as Congress intended in the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act,” adds Wood.

# # #

Links of interest:

Fallon Facility Daily Reports

Photos of Fallon mares, foals and castrated males


Roundup Schedule- updated February 2010

Wild Horses: Management or Stampede to Extinction? Reno Gazette Sunday Special by Frank X. Mullen.

American Herds – “What’s Left?”

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues

The Int’l Fund for Horses is the most influential equine advocacy organization of its kind. Headquartered in the United States, the Int’l Fund for Horses works for the passage and enforcement of horse protection laws and act as industry watchdogs intervening on behalf of horses in health, safety and welfare matters. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter at

The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.

Learn more at Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado


9 Responses to “Mother’s Day Letter Writing Campaign Press Release with Fallon Updates”

  1. jan eaker Says:

    Seeing these pictures brings home the horror of what is happening to these horses. They deserve so much better, and HAD so much better than these filthy conditions.

  2. Suzanne Says:

    Makes me sick. Especially worried about post castration complications. Happened to my horse, and with “care” like this we would have lost him. :o(

  3. Linda Says:

    Mares and foals in the stinking muck. Happy Mother’s Day, Mrs. Salazar!

  4. Karen L. Says:

    Just appalling! I’m wondering, why not extend the Mother’s Day card campaign to Mrs. Salazar as well? That may be a new source of empathy not shown by the White House at this point in time. None of this is “real” to many of the friends and families of the government officials involved in the “gathers” of the horses. Maybe show them the actuality of the horses’ situation.

  5. Jan Says:

    i got the one photo of the mare with the two babies – from another group and they asked me what shd be done – i said sent photo to everyone in congress and all horse rescue groups and horse groups and explain what is happening – i have a question how young do they geld the male horses as she told me that was a young male horse in that picture – foal on the right that had been gelded – do they geld them at 6 months or younger – that is a crime

  6. Jan Says:

    is there a mrs salazar – who could be married to such a blood-thirtsy person

    and does he have kids or grandkids

    how about don abbey – does he have kids – do their families even know what they do – i doubt it

  7. Jan Says:

    the one thing i notice they post on the blm page – is that all horses are gaining weight – is that posted to show american people that horses are thriving and improving? how could anyone thrive in such horrible conditions?

  8. Kristen Walker Says:

    All I see in these horrible photo’s is horses suffering and so broken. They look worse and worse the longer they spend at the hell hole in Fallon. I was reading my two small sons a beautiful book the other night called, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble. Its a native American legend and it is so touching and beautiful about this native american girl who eventually becomes a horse because she loves them so much and lives forever with the wild horses. I just could not get halfway through the book and was in tears, because it is just so heartbreaking how we are throwing away these magnificent creatures and gone are the days of that wild horses were loved, cherrished and held to the highest regard. We could really learn a few things from the American native people. This is a short song in the end of the book, Black Elk an Oglala Sioux, had a dream in which he heard a stallion sing a song:
    My horses, prancing they are coming.
    My horses, neighing they are coming.
    Prancing, they are coming.
    All over the universe they come.
    They will dance; may you behold them.
    A horse nation, they will dance,
    May you behold them.

    I sent this to the first lady, I hope she gets it. I hope they dance again.

  9. jan eaker Says:

    FYI, update from BLM reports 2 more deaths from Fallon, a yearling colt was euthanized because of colic/diarrhea, a 2 year old was found dead, necropsy revealed a pulmonary hemorrhage as cause of death, probably from anesthetic administered in previous day’s gelding.

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