Sunday, September 3, 2017

Return to Freedom: Sad History Repeats Itself

"The President's proposal for the 2018 budget includes provisions for the BLM to use all tools available to reduce wild horse and burro populations including mass slaughter and unlimited sale without restriction. Return to Freedom needs your support to keep our voice heard every day."
-Robert Redford
Photo credit: Kristina Loggia
Dear Friends,
There is so much suffering in the world. No one person or organization can right all the wrongs, but everyone can strike a blow for justice when the time is right.
We at Return to Freedom stand ready to do just that every day and America's wild horses and burros desperately need that help.
This past February when I heard the BLM announce plans to conduct another roundup of the Sulphur Springs Herd from SW Utah, it was terrible déjà vu for me, unhappy history repeating itself.
You see, in 2003, RTF took in 2 family bands that had endured capture from the Sulphur range.
Yet here we are again today with more than 400 wild horses from the Sulphur Springs range captured and removed, with mares, foals and stallions scattered in all directions.
You can imagine the heartbreak as close-knit families are methodically separated and ripped from their freedom on the range forever.
That's why we're here - you and I.
An unstoppable force, for 19 years Return to Freedom has been working tirelessly with you and other wild horse protectors to allow our precious wild horses to run free on their rightful range, and to end the suffering of lives torn apart.
The sad scorecard of the Sulphur Springs roundup?655 horses captured. 30 euthanized or died during the roundup. One horse colliding with a truck, not yet found?and horribly?a three-year-old stallion breaking his neck trying to escape from the trap.
As the dust settled, 192 horses were returned to the range. More than 400 of the younger horses, including 141 foals and yearlings, now orphaned in government corrals, will be offered for an adoption they should not need.
Can you imagine the utter fear and confusion in these young innocents, ripped from their herd and left with no family to watch over them and teach them?
After his capture, Chief (center) suffered horrific abuse, having water and food withheld, and later was stabbed with a pitchfork, causing him permanent lameness. Photo by Kate Lloyd.
This recent roundup strikes especially close to home. At RTF's American Wild Horse Sanctuary, we have 2 family bands in our Sulphur Springs herd, which we, with the help of loyal supporters, previously rescued from an equally unkind fate.
One band is led by Chief, a magnificent dun stallion, the other by Bear, a stunning grulla stallion.
And again in Utah this August 124 horses were captured and removed from the 223,000 acre Bible Springs Complex where an estimated 619 wild horses grazed alongside elk, pronghorn and over 3,000 privately owned cattle and 1674 sheep.
This recent roundup is now part of a sad history. But please join me right now and do what you can to help continue our crucial work to save America's wild equines, now and into the future. There's so much more we want to do to help horses, and your gift today will make it possible.
Return to Freedom has always been an important voice in this fight. At this dangerous time for horses, we have just added a long-time advocate and lobbyist to our team so thatwe have a daily presence in Washington D.C.  This is only made possible with your help! ! If you can, please make a gift to our Wild Horse Defense Fund to help us keep our team on the range and on Capitol Hill.
You can?t know how much it means to all of us at RTF, lucky horses like Chief, Bear, and their bands who are now safe at the sanctuary, and all the nameless ones who, with your help, we will continue to fight for to remain free and protected- forever.
This stallion escaped the helicopters but returned when his family cried out from the trap. He charged back to free them, but finally gave up and fled up the mountain alone. (Photo by Steve Paige 2017)
In honor of all of the valiant stallions like the one pictured above, fighting for his lost family, we need your kind generosity to continue our work.
To the Wild Ones, and those who stand by them,
Neda DeMayo
President and Founder, RTF
P.S. Protect wild horses by giving today. We have many horses at the sanctuary needing sponsors! See our sponsor options at, and choose a horse, burro or herd you want to help.
Click to Donate to RTF's Important Work

Contact Us

Return to Freedom
P.O. Box 926
Lompoc, CA 93438
Phone: (805) 737-9246

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