A South Dakota organization dedicated to protecting wild horses says it needs help from Coloradans in finding good homes for some of the animals under its care.
Andrea Laderman, a Los Angeles and Aspen resident who sits on the board of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, said inflated prices for hay have put the nonprofit in a tough spot. The group is planning to downsize its wild horse herds, for the first time, to a level it can handle, she said.
In addition to needing good homes for some of the horses, the group also is in dire need of financial donations, Laderman said.
The group has been active in Colorado, working to protect wild mustangs in the state from roundups in which the animals are captured en masse and then processed like cattle.
“This organization has protected several of the herds in Colorado for decades but is now struggling to continue with that work,” she said.
Another reason the group is reaching out to the Aspen area, Laderman said, is the community’s penchant for assisting good causes.
“Colorado is also a likely place for finding qualified homes for some of these mustangs,” she said.
The group was founded in 1960. In 1971, the organization successfully fought for certain federal protections of wild horses and burros. In 1999, it created a wild-horse conservation program, taking in rare and endangered wild horse herds and giving them an opportunity to live “as nature intended,” according to the group.
“Not only are hay prices extraordinarily high, it is difficult to find hay unless it is trucked in from hundreds of miles away,” the group’s president, Karen Sussman, said in a statement.
The higher hay prices are the result of a severe drought in South Dakota, Sussman added.
She said half of America’s wild horse herds have been eliminated over the years and the horses that remain have had their families torn apart by “intrusive removals from the land on which they roam.”
Through its conservation program, several herds have been kept intact, with their family structures preserved, the statement said.
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