A bunch of time and resources were devoted to the Fallon Auction (McDermitt) horses. More time than we intended but when called on for the horses it is hard to say “no.” Hopefully much of the “drama” and “needs” have been met so that other projects can move into center stage. Many of those that said they would help with Sheldon have exhausted themselves and resources on the Fallon Auction as well.
Grijalva coming to PVC was great PR for the BLM horses. It was a great crowd and Grijalva was “good on his feet” with reporters. This was needed for BLM horses.
HOWEVER as press releases go out that have a celebrity name (Wendy Malick) and a Congressman in the spotlight the main stream press seems to be ignoring Sheldon… AGAIN.
Sheldon NWR is NOT BLM. Many people posting on social media still have it confused. Sheldon is Fish and Wildlife. Sheldon is “feral” horse eradication. Sheldon has a history that includes fertility experiments with no data collected on survival or effects to the herds, Sheldon horses historically are removed without public observation, Sheldon horses also routinely end up a sale auctions without fanfare in some “podunk” venue and disappear.
In MAY of 2013 Sheldon finally finalized an investigation into one of their contractors (all contractors were looked at) and found that 262 horses sent to that contractor over the course of the last THREE years and all horses can not be accounted for…. some even going to a supposed rodeo stock contractor that is NOT listed in any contractor list used for any accredited rodeo, nor do they even have a functioning phone number. One of the “adopters” that this “contractor” approved admits to taking horses to the sale barn because he was told he could do what he wanted with the horses.
IN MAY Sheldon put out a bid for contracts. They are claiming they spread it “far and wide” among the horse groups. While Wild Horse Education’s Laura Leigh was preparing for surgery she did hear from someone that Sheldon was seeking new contracts from the same gal that told Sheldon in NOVEMBER that there were issues with J&S Associates in Mississippi, but received absolutely NOTHING from Sheldon (if you know of anyone that has a rescue that received any notice from Sheldon would you let us know?).
As late as August 1 the breakdown of horses leaving Sheldon looked something like this: 120 to Carr’s, 40 to a rescue in Texas, 200 to a man in Montana…. it looked like the renewal of J&S might not happen. As late as August 15 Sheldon said they would consider all reasonable alternatives.
In the meantime Sheldon changed gears. It appears they plan to remove ALL the horses in a TWO year period (not the FIVE year period approved in the CCP). They increased numbers to 400 to be removed this year and a clean sweep to happen next year. AND the Montana contract did NOT go through.
So SHELDON now plans to send 252 horses to a contractor that can not account for all of the 262 horses he has taken in the last three years! And the all of the horses he took in the last three years were NOT even attempted to be “placed safe.” “You can do what you want with ‘em,” seems to have been part of the “sales pitch.” JUST the horses going to this contractor will cost the tax payer (I think they forget that what they see as “their funding” is actually tax payer money) a whopping QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS.
We are making a last ditch effort… however Sheldon is refusing to reduce the numbers removed and go back to the five year plan (we were told they are “feral,” in a manner that absolutely used the term like a dirty word). There is a claim that a special grant was received by National Fish and Wildlife and the money can only be used for two years. Sheldon is refusing to allow the Dufurina holding (permanent structure at Sheldon) to be used as staging for adopters and the funds used to have outside entities care, feed and screen adopters. In our conversation today it was apparent that those managing Sheldon have very little knowledge of horses and even less as to the reality of horse slaughter… a “sale barn” is not an adoption option.
They are claiming that they could “send the horses to auction” if there are no contractors and that J&S will “do better” because they changed some of the wording on the contract to require names and phone numbers of adopters. So RIGHT NOW Sheldon NWR will give J&S Associates over a quarter of a million dollars and 252 horses… even though their own investigation has shown they have failed to provide protections from slaughter in the past.
However they have announced “public viewing” (we are doubtful of meaningful observation) but if you want to go to Sheldon they will only accommodate the first ten people that get on the list.
We are still exploring all options. Why wont Sheldon slow it down? Take 200 this year and allow us to place 40? Let us as a country see what we can do for our “War Horses?”
We presented an option today… tomorrow we see what steps we must take… but tonight? Sadness fills the air for the horses America forgot.
We are still running all our other legal actions and have “eyes on the ground” in Sheldon. We need your support: http://wildhorseeducation.org