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South Dakota reaches settlement transferring control of 520 at-risk horses to Fleet of Angels; Public’s help needed in massive rescue operation

January 28, 2017

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Public’s help urgently needed in massive S.D. wild horse rescue and adoption effort

 
For immediate release

Fleet of Angels: Elaine Nash, (970) 799-1000

Return to Freedom: Neda DeMayo, (805) 737-9246

Horses endure blizzard-like conditions near Lantry, S.D.
 

Lantry, S.D.–A team of seven is working long hours in blizzard-like conditions to place 520 at-risk horses in new homes as part of one of the largest horse rescues in U.S. history.

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Control of the privately owned horses was recently transferred from the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros to Fleet of Angels as part of a settlement agreement between ISPMB and South Dakota state’s attorneys.

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On Oct. 11, 2016, the court in Ziebach and Dewey counties impounded 810 ISPMB horses following a finding of neglect. A consortium of equine welfare organizations worked with state and local officials to prevent the horses going to public auction, where most of the horses would have fallen into the hands of kill buyers.

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The support of the public is now critically important to the success of the rescue and adoption effort. In addition to the funds already spent, an estimated additional $250,000 will be need to be raised in order to complete the rescue mission.

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Donations are urgently needed to pay for labor, veterinary and farrier care, among other costs. Funds to subsidize transporting the horses have been depleted, and the feed bill alone will reach $40,000 per month until each horse reaches an approved home or sanctuary.

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While the condition of most of the horses has improved since October, others still suffer from a variety of health issues, including eye infections and blindness, hoof problems, and parasites. Foals and pregnant mares are most at risk.

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Elaine Nash, executive director of Fleet of Angels, said that the dedication of her ground team, managed by Palomino Armstrong, enabled the successful move of 270 horses to adoptive homes before Christmas. The team continues to put in 10-hour days in miserably cold and hazardous conditions, working in blowing snow in pens and pastures where some drifts tower 15 feet high.