Lantry, SD- Inflated hay prices have created an urgent need to downsize wild horse herds at the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) Conservation Center, according to ISPMB president Karen Sussman.
"This first time adoption opportunity comes on the heels of a severe drought in South Dakota," Sussman said. "Not only are hay prices extraordinarily high, it is difficult to find hay unless trucked in from hundreds of miles."
Given that reality, Sussman said the ISPMB must reduce its four wild horse herds to sustainable levels. "Adoptions of our finest horses to qualified homes will begin at our ranch in Lantry starting August 19th," she said.
Sussman is also reaching out to the generosity of the public with a plea for hay donations from ranchers throughout the five-state area. "If the organization received just one load of hay each from 100 ranchers," said Sussman, "we would have enough hay for the winter." Sussman said that cash donations for hay may be made online and all donations are tax-deductible.
The need for a large tract of open range has always been a priority for the ISPMB, Sussman said, adding: "A long-term remedy for the organization's horses would be funding for a larger ranch that could sustain the horses without the need for hay." She said land can be donated to the ISPMB, or leased at reasonable rates.
Formed in 1960, the ISPMB is the oldest wild horse protection organization in the country. In 1971 federal protections were afforded wild horses and burros thanks to the efforts of ISPMB and its first president, Wild Horse Annie. "Had it not been for ISPMB's efforts, odds are there would be no wild horse herds left in our country today," said Sussman. Another significant historical contribution ISPMB made was conceiving and implementing an adoption program for free-roaming wild horses in 1969. The concept was given to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 1976 and since then the Bureau has placed 230,000 animals into homes.
In 1999, ISPMB created the first ever Conservation program, taking rare and endangered wild horse herds and conducting extensive behavioral studies on these herds. Sussman said, "ISPMB is creating a much needed model for managing wild horse social structures, thus reducing fertility rates in the wild and the need to remove wild horses." She adds that ISPMB has recently partnered with Princeton University, hosting a Princeton student conducting a summer long study of ISPMB's herds.
Sussman said half of America's wild horse herds have been eliminated, and the remaining wild horses are in danger of being genetically compromised, and the intrusive removal of free-roaming wild horses tears apart their social structures. "Generous donations," Sussman said, "and people willing to open their home to a beautiful wild horse, will see us through this difficult time, and the ISPMB will continue to spearhead efforts to save America's wild horses and burros."
ISPMB can be reached at 605-964-6866. Download adoption application HERE
With limited hay supply in our area, it will be extremely important that we raise enough funding to purchase what hay is left in our area. It will go quickly.
We must purchase 1500 bales within a month as we downsize our horse family and prepare for winter. Each bale is $100.
We hope you can:
Please spread the word to all your Face Book friends, family, and Twitter.
You can download and print this poster and place in as many feed stores, tack stores, barns, public announcement boards, etc. as possible. Simply click on the PDF poster on the right.
For more information you can contact ISPMB at 605-964-6866.
Adoptions will begin immediately.
Download adoption application HERE.
Download adoption flier HERE.
Thank you for your generosity!
The girls left early morning 8/28/13 to beat the heat. These two mareswere taken from their herds when they couldn't keep weight on. They spent ayear just eating Purina Senior feed and hay and all the care they could receive. The following year, both mares were turned out with the other horses in the corral and became fast friends. The dark brown mare is from our White Sands herd and is an original gal from NM coming here in 1999.The sorrel mare is an original mare from the Catnip herd that came here in 2004. We are so pleased that they will spend the rest of their lives together, bonded, and in a super home! Thanks April and Claudia for traveling all this way to take them.