Path Home Shows 2009 Show Archive August 2009 Show 0933 Horse Adoption

Horse Adoption

Oklahoma's Bureau of Land Management has a wild horse and burro program that is giving wild horses a place to kick up their heels.
Horse Adoption

Petting a horse

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U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Show Dates

Show 0933: Horse Adoption

Air date: August 16, 2009



Rob:  Well dating back to the time of the Spanish conquistadors, wild horses have long roamed free on what is now federal land in ten western states.  Now to ensure there is enough food for both the wild horses and domestic cows, the U S Bureau of Land Management thins mustang herds to about twenty-seven thousand, by rounding up and adopting out any horses over that number.  Our Russ Jowell traveled to Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma, where some formerly rogue animals are saddling up for a second chance at life, and he joins me now here in the studio.

Russ:  Well Rob, during the nineteenth century, over two million horses roamed the American West.  But today, only about thirty-six thousand remain on public lands, which is about ten thousand too many for the available resources.  And that’s why the U S Bureau of Land Management is spearheading a nationwide effort to put these horses into loving homes and help preserve an iconic American species.

Two-O-four-O (2040) is one of them.

Russ:  For Aubri Smith, the choices are endless, black or brown, young or old, tame, or a little bit wild.

Aubri Smith:  Really, I don’t think I have any specific requirements, just somebody that looks like they kind of really need a home or a good friend.

Russ:  And in her quest for an equine friend, Aubri has found herself in Paul’s Valley at the Federal Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Facility.

Holle Hooks:  We would love to see people come out and adopt these horses and find them good homes.

Russ:  Holle Hooks is with the Bureau of Land Management who sponsors the adoption, and says the program sprouted from the grassroots efforts of a famous horse advocate and her team of youthful supporters.

Hooks:  It starts off with Wild Horse Annie, and she was an advocate for wild horses and didn’t want to see anything happen to them.  So, she and a lot of school aged children went over to Congress and wrote lots of letters, and Congress passed an act, The Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

Russ:  Legislation meant to protect the large numbers of wild horses that roam the American West.

Hooks:  Basically, it protects the animals that roam free, so people can’t go out and round them up or capture them or anything else.

Russ:  While the facility may be located here in Oklahoma, the horses they receive come from all parts of the country, including Nevada, California, Arizona and Utah.

Hooks:  There are plenty of animals that are available for adoption here in Paul’s Valley and throughout the United States.  I mean, this is not just a localized program.  It is nationwide.

Russ:  And for horse enthusiasts like Aubri, the adoption program is not only a chance to find a new friend, but an opportunity to provide a loving home and wholesome care to a would-be neglected animal.

Smith:  I like the fact that they’re hosting them, that they’re giving us, the public, an opportunity to become owners of them, to try to either gentle them down or use our pastures.  We have a lot of pasture land, and you know, why go to a breeder when there’s a lot more horses out here that could use our help.

Russ:  Giving a second chance at life to these iconic inhabitants of the American West.

Russ:  Now the adoption program may be getting a boost from congress.  The house passed Resolution 1018 which amends the Wild Horse and Burro Act to allow animals awaiting adoption the privilege of living on federal land instead of in pens.  However, that measure has yet to pass the senate.

Rob:  So Russ, if someone is interested in adopting one of these horses, what can they do?

Russ:  Well adoptions are held on the second Tuesday of every month in Pauls Valley.  There are certain requirements you must meet such as having a sufficient trailer to transport the horse, and, of course, having enough land for the horse to live on.  Other than that, there’s some simple paperwork, a nominal fee, and the horse is yours.

Rob:  All right, thank you Russ.