It’s time for ACTION! BLM bring them shade

Calling all internet warriors YOU are needed this week! Wild horses DIED in the 2013 heat wave and it will happen again. We must demand BLM bring them shade now before more perish.

Wild Hoses in most BLM holding facilities are denied shade and shelter going against basic animal husbandry rules of 1.) Food 2.) Shelter 3.) Water. We must take action for BLM to change before more die!

Last summer we officially requested BLM bring shade to captive wild horses and burros to avoid deaths but the feds denied our request and other requests for basic animal welfare.

Protect Mustangs held an investigation and discovered America’s wild horses were dying in the triple digit heat waves.

Watch the video report from the Protect Mustangs investigation:

Read the Associated Press article that went viral across the country in print, on TV News and on radio in 2013:

Now let’s make this petition with more than 32K signatures go VIRAL before the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting in Wyoming on August 25th!

Pictured is a photo from Protect Mustangs’ Investigation in the summer of 2013. We found SHADOW (name chosen by Jim Hart on the Protect Mustangs investigation) who had died SUFFERING in the heat wave. Others died too. Read the press release that went viral in the news

International News: July 2, 2013 Horsetalk, NZ: Captive wild horses need shade, advocates say

International News: July 17, 2013 Horsetalk, NZ: Captive wild horses need relief from heat says HSUS

BLM wants everyone to forget the fact that BLM is CRUEL and ABUSIVE to wild horses and burros. TAKE ACTION and SHARE this so people know the truth!

TAKE ACTION: Write your elected officials a hand-written letter requesting wild horses and burros have access to shade and shelter at all holding facilities.

Join us to make change!

(Photo © Jim Hart for Protect Investigation 2013)

Appeal to President Obama to abolish cruelty towards wild horses and burros

PM Obama Poster web.001

Presidents’ Day 2014

Dear Mr. President,

We request a 10 year moratorium on wild horse & burro roundups for scientific research before they are wiped out. Here is our growing petition:

There is no overpopulation problem despite what the spin Dr.s say. What we find on the range is an underpopulation problem.

Recently the Washington Post covered the crisis: and mentioned the Princeton study showing Wildlife and cows can be partners, not enemies, in search for food

Americans and people around the world want the cruel roundups to stop. The petition to defund and stop roundups is growing too:

We request the U.S. government stop removing wild horses and burros to allow fracking on the land. Fracking pollutes the environment and causes global warming. Here is the petition to protect them from fracking:

We respectfully ask that the U.S. government classify America’s wild horses, E. caballus, as a native species and protect them correctly. The petition is here: Horses originated in America and were either returned to their native land or never left. More information can be found here:

After native wild horses and burros are torn from their land they are held captive in pens without shelter. This is horrible and violates basic humane standards. The petition for emergency shelter and shade is growing and the public is outraged:

This is what some roundups look like:

Please order the BLM to abolish mustang atrocities!

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.


Anne Novak

Executive Director of Protect Mustangs

Read about the wild horse crisis in the news:

Signatures needed to help America’s wild horses


We are going to a meeting at Senator Dianne Feinstein‘s office soon and need your help to get more signatures on 3 important petitions:




Please help by sharing and emailing the two petitions to your friends and family. Thank you so much for helping America’s wild horses!

( Senator Feinstein photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Help needed for captive wild horses and burros with no shelter

Screenshot for educational purposes

Screenshot for educational purposes


Dear Friends,

It’s 5ºF right now at the largest wild horse processing and adoption facility in Palomino Valley, Nevada.

Close to 2,000 captive wild horses nave no shelter from the harsh winter elements at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Palomino Valley Center alone.

The BLM’s Rock Springs, Wyoming facility is also housing more than 600 wild horses with no shelter in below zero temperatures. Traumatized wild horses become at risk of upper respiratory infections post-roundup–especially without access to shelter.

In the wild they can migrate to natural sheltered zones. Trapped in pens under the “care” of the BLM they are being cruelly held without shelter–a basic necessity in animal husbandry.

It’s time to take action. If you live in the United States please contact your congressional representative and your senators with a link to this petition:  Ask them to intervene and take immediate action to end the cruelty in captivity.

Please share the petition with your friends, family and network via email, Facebook and other social media asking them to sign and share so we can all help the wild horses and burros.

If you live outside the United States please email your friends and family. Ask them to sign and share this petition via email and on social media. It’s a huge help and we thank you!

Together we can end the suffering in captivity while we work to return them to the wild where native wild horses belong.

Thank you for taking action.

In gratitude,

Anne Novak

Executive Director of Protect Mustangs™


Shelter urgently needed for captive wild horses in Nevada and elsewhere

Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nevada and all other holding facilities must provide access to shelter from the elements. Denying shelter is abusive.

Please sign and share the petition:

“Now it’s time for BLM facilities in Nevada, Colorado, Utah and other states to stop making excuses and provide shelter for captive wild horses in their care,” states Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs.
“Contact your elected officials and ask them to intervene to bring shelter to America’s indigenous horses trapped in pens,” urges Tami Hottes, Protect Mustangs’ Outreach Coordinator for the Midwest and South, who was pleased to discover shelters at the Nebraska BLM holding facility.

Send an email if you want to help Protect Mustangs:


Horses’ Shade Preferences Evaluated

“We have been requesting shade for wild horses at the BLM holding facilities since June 2013 and conducted an investigation that revealed captive wild horses are dying in heat waves with no shade,” explains Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs. “The BLM has delayed proper management and is wasting time conducting additional trial studies overseen by the PhD mentioned below, when it’s obvious they need access to shade and shelter.” 

Cross-posted from The Horse

The team concluded that shade provides horses significant physiological benefits, even with limited use, and when given the choice mature horses show a preference for using shade under summer conditions, Holcomb said. Photo by Kathryn Holcomb, PhD

The team concluded that shade provides horses significant physiological benefits, even with limited use, and when given the choice mature horses show a preference for using shade under summer conditions, Holcomb said. Photo by Kathryn Holcomb, PhD

The benefit of horse housing might be obvious during cold winter months, but what about during sun-filled summer days?

Researchers at the University Of California, Davis (UC Davis), College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Animal Science worked together to execute several studies to investigate. Researcher Kathryn Holcomb, PhD, presented the results of two studies at the 9th Annual International Society for Equitation Science, held July 18-20 at the University of Delaware in Newark.

“Research shows that shade benefits livestock, leading to increased weight gain and milk production,” Holcomb said, but existing research about horse housing and weather primarily focuses on winter conditions. For the two UC Davis studies, researchers chose to look at climate conditions more common in California—sunshine and heat.

Both shade-related studies measured physiological and behavioral changes in horses, as well as environmental data.

Physiological measurements included:

  • Rectal temperature (RT);
  • Respiration rate (RR);
  • Skin temperature (SK); and
  • Water consumption.

Behavioral measurements included:

  • Foraging;
  • Locomotion; and
  • Proximity to water.

Environmental and weather data included:

  • Ambient temperature;
  • Relative humidity;
  • Black globe temperature, which measures the combined effect of ambient temperature and solar radiation;
  • Soil temperature; and
  • Solar radiation, which can be thought of as measuring the intensity of the sun, Holcomb said.
Twelve adult horses were housed individually for five days in either completely shaded pens (above) or completely unshaded pens (below), and then traded places for five days to serve as their own controls.Photos Courtesy Kathryn Holcomb, PhD

The first study evaluated horses’ physiological and behavioral responses to shade. Twelve adult horses were housed individually for five days in either completely shaded pens (SH) or completely unshaded pens (SUN), and then traded places for five days to serve as their own controls. Horses in the SUN group had higher RT, RR, and SK than SH horses, and SUN horses also stood near water more often and consumed more water than horses in the shade group.

The second study sought to quantify horses’ preference for shade. Researchers housed 11 adult horses individually for five to seven days in half-shaded pens.

“Horses were observed in the shade 7.1% more during daylight hours than would be expected by chance,” Holcomb said. “We defined ‘in shade’ as two or more hooves in the shade.”

“Time of day was a significant factor,” Holcomb said. She said researchers observed the horses in shade more frequently at midday and late afternoon, corresponding to peak solar radiation (midday) and, to their surprise, just after peak ambient and black globe temperatures (late afternoon).

The team concluded that shade provides horses significant physiological benefits, even with limited use, and when given the choice mature horses show a preference for using shade under summer conditions, Holcomb said.

She noted that these studies addressed preference and benefits, and that additional research is needed to determine if and under what conditions horses require shade.

Bad science, spin and alleged subterfuge

BLM Aug 2013 Spin-shop

Joan Guilfoyle (BLM), Debbie Collins (BLM) and Facilitator

 For the record

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) public workshop on August 6, 2013 in Reno was a pitch session for the agency’s point of view that shade is not necessary at the Palomino Valley Center (PVC). The facility is the largest wild horse and burro short-term holding, adoption and processing center in America.

PVC resembles a feedlot–fattening up wild horses before probable slaughter for human consumption. Even so there is no shelter for the close to 2,000 captive wild horses, including pregnant mares and foals, at the huge facility.

The workshop was more of a “spin-shop” and failed the BLM’s interactive promise. Often questions from the public were repeated but not answered.

The BLM’s neglectful point of view was supported by biased consultants with a history of working for the cattle industry–a long time foe of the wild horse.

We received many complaints from members of the public who were in the room, and those on the webinar, stating that their questions and comments were not answered.

Advocates were put off after traveling to Reno to give public comment but were not allowed to share their findings because the BLM was not letting them speak.

There was no brainstorming session of substance–only a BLM pitch against shade that allowed the concerned public to ask questions and some colorful writing on boards.

The advocate community and members of the global public are up in arms that the BLM appears to have found consultants from U.C. Davis who speak with alleged forked tongues to back up the BLM’s negligent care.

Ph.D. from U.C. Davis advises against minimum standards of shade/shelter at BLM facility

Ph.D. from U.C. Davis advises against minimum standards of shade/shelter at BLM facility

The recommendation by Dr. Carolyn Stull, Ph.D. from U.C. Davis, to deny America’s captive wild horses access to shade/shelter is appalling. Everyone knows the minimum basics of Animal Husbandry 101 is food, shelter, water. Obviously there is a conflict of interest. Is this because of her ties to the cattle industry or is it something else?

Stull wrote a paper titled “Managing Equine Neglect Cases” in which it states at the top, in the definitions, quote, ‘NEGLECT: is the failure to provide proper shelter, food, or water. Neglect may also include failure to provide veterinary care to a horse that is ill or injured.”

When I asked her why she was recommending no shade/shelter for captive wild horses in the BLM’s care, especially after Stull herself wrote a well known paper on NEGLECT, she appeared to downplay the importance of shade by stating that her paper was for domestic horses in California.

Everyone saw through her shocking response. Many advocates have the episode on video and will publish the whole dog and pony show soon.

The BLM’s proposition to shade only the “compromised” equids is outrageous. All captive wild horses and burros need access to food, water and shelter.

The crowd in the room, the viewers on line, and the public wants all the captive wild horses to have access to shelter.

The BLM requires all adopters provide shelter in order to adopt wild horses and burros yet they are not providing it themselves.

When asked questions about the number of uncounted dead wild horses, the BLM’s vet appeared evasive and appeared to demonstrate a blatant lack of transparency to the taxpayer. He seemed to show disrespect for his oath as a DVM by appearing to hide information about all the dead horses at the government facility.

The BLM and/or their vet appear to have neglected to perform necropsies to prove exposure to triple digit heat–without shade–contributed to the death of more than 3 wild horses during the heat wave. Without necropies, there is a lack of scientific proof–even though the BLM’s negligence points to subterfuge. Keep in mind, the BLM is routinely skewing the death count by not counting the dead without brands showing their id numbers.

The BLM’s mortality statistics avoid counting the majority of captured dead horses and burros. False mortality statistics are reported to convince Congress things “aren’t so bad”.

We request accurate death counts for transparency. Congress and the greater public need to know the truth.

More than 26,000 people have signed our petition and the number is growing every hour.

Every day the BLM refuses to bring emergency shade and shelter, more people learn about the horrible way America’s captive wild horses are being treated by the agency charged to protect them.

Research on shade for wild horses and burros would be a waste of taxpayer funding as food shelter, water and veterinary care are the basics for animal welfare.

More roundups are inexcusable when the BLM neglects their basic care in captivity.

Protect Mustangs formally reinstates our request for captive wild horses and burros to have access to shade and shelter from the elements.

This shameful issue is being well documented by many advocates. The bad science allegedly pushed by consultants is being well documented. The BLM’s lack of transparency and avoidance to work with the public is being well documented and the whole world is watching their heinous acts of neglect towards native wild horses and burros.

If the BLM had cared for the captive wild horses then little Shadow would probably still be alive. See and share the video investigation here:

Please sign, share and email out the petition for emergency shade:

Now contact your senators and representative and request they intervene to bring shade/shelter to the captive wild horses and burros.

Best wishes,

Anne Novak

Executive Director of Protect Mustangs

Protect Mustangs is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Our mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

Links of Interest:

August 9, 2013 This is Reno, Palomino horse facility needs shade

July 20, 2013 Kansas City Star by Martin Griffith, The Associated Press BLM seeks ideas to protect wild horses from heat

July 20, 2013 CBS San Francisco BLM seeks ways to protect wild horses from heat after pressure from Bay Area advocate

BLM’s wild horse and burro program looks to community for ideas at workshop:

Captive wild horses need relief from heat says HSUS

Captive wild horses need shade, advocates say

How many foals are dying after roundups?:

BLM’s email revealing they are not counting the unbranded dead amongst the 37 dead mustangs at the Nevada facility

BLM avoids necropsy to avoid proof of heat distress

BLM avoids necropsy to escape public outcry

PM PVC Investigation Photo 'Shadow'


For immediate release

How many wild horses must drop dead in the heat waves before BLM gives them shelter?

RENO, NV (July 20, 2013)–The public is outraged that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does not provide shelter for the captive wild horses and burros at Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nevada.  Nevada State Senator Mark Manendo and Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs warned on June 9th that wild horses would suffer, get sick and could die from heat related illnesses. They called for shade but the BLM refused to take action. In the morning of July 2nd, the Protect Mustangs investigation discovered a branded young wild horse who died during the heat wave.

Protect Mustangs documented the incident with video and photographs. They immediately sought help from several senators and representatives and requested Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell, bring shade to the trapped mustangs.

“The BLM’s historic disregard for America’s wild horses is a global embarrassment,” states Anne Novak. “We hope the new Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell, will intervene to bring them shade and call for a moratorium on roundups for population studies, based on science of course. They’re underpopulated on the range now. That’s why they are breeding at a higher rate–to prevent extinction.”

The BLM neglected to perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death for 2 branded young wild horses who died during the last heat wave, on June 30th and July 2nd.

Another death on June 28th could have been due to exposure to high temperatures without access to shade. The wild yearling had a respiratory illness known as strangles that is often occurring at the holding facility. According to the BLM, the wild horse’s death was attributed to strangles but the factor causing death could have been that she was forced to stand in the triple-digit temperatures which aggrivated her condition–ultimately causing her death.

“If a horse has strangles, its immune system is being compromised,” explains Dr. Lester Castro Friedlander, BA. DVM, President of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter. “When there is a heat wave, the horse’s body becomes dehydrated and the major organs try to keep the body in a stable condition, but then it can not fight the bacterial infection. High temperatures increase the death rate of horses with strangles, due to a chain reaction of major organs being compromised.”

All the branded mustangs that were recorded to have died were female: one was a 3 year old and the others were yearlings.

Currently the deaths of all young unbranded wild horses and burros are not counted at the BLM facilities. The BLM’s lack of accountability is raising concern amongst elected officials and members of the public.

“Our investigation uncovered the dead branded yearling during the heat wave but the BLM avoided performing a necropsy,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “It’s as if they don’t want the public to know the truth. Why won’t they let the public know how many young mustangs have died? Why are they avoiding transparency?”

“I can’t believe they didn’t do a necropsy to find out what the animals died from during the heat wave,” says Dr. Lester Castro Friedlander, BA. DVM, and President of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter. ”Due to the high temperatures there is a very good possibility the horses died due to heat related conditions. By not doing the necropsy the cause of death is “unknown” and they avoid public outcry.”

Despite the BLM’s lack of transparency, today protestors gathered in Carson City to demand shelter for the wild horses and burros captive in pens.

Due to public outcry from wild horse advocates and groups, the BLM announced it is consulting PhD.s from UC Davis to determine if wild horses prefer shade and to determine the environmental conditions at Palomino Valley Center. The BLM is also as holding an open forum requesting public input on how the BLM can best care for the horses at Palomino Valley. Still no emergency shade has been brought in.

Another heat wave is hitting Reno this weekend but the BLM still clings to the belief that it’s OK to treat native wild horses and burros like something on a feedlot waiting to be slaughtered.

The public is encouraged to meet with their elected officials around the country and ask for them to intervene to bring emergency shade to the captive wild horses.

“These captive wild horses need emergency shade,” explains Novak. “Exposing them to another heat wave without shade is cruel.”

Protect Mustangs is circulating a petition for emergency shade on

# # #

Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415.531.8454

Kerry Becklund, 510.502.1913

Photos, video and interviews available upon request

Links of interest:

BLM’s wild horse and burro program looks to community for ideas at workshop:

Captive wild horses need relief from heat says HSUS

Captive wild horses need shade, advocates say

How many foals are dying after roundups?:

BLM’s email revealing they are not counting the unbranded dead amongst the 37 dead mustangs at the Nevada facility

NPR: Fertility drug, nature, better than horse roundups

Information on native wild horses:

Wild-horse advocates: Rallies held in 50 states to drum up opposition to roundups, slaughter–Wild-Horses-Rallies

Animals Angels investigative report:

Palomino Valley Center:

Protect Mustangs’ press releases:

Protect Mustangs in the news:


4 horses died during the last heat wave but only 3 deaths (A,C,D) could be related to the heat wave. (see email from BLM below). Strangles is a respiratory illness (Equine Distemper). Horses with repiratory illness have a higher chance of death when enduring a heat wave, because they are already having difficulty breathing and the heat aggrivates that.

BLM’s Debbie Collins responds to Anne Novak’s email:


So, I am listing a response to the specific questions you submitted to Jeb below:1.  How many unbranded foals, etc. have died from June 27 to July? 

Jeb has already provided you a response to this, but at this time no records are kept on unbranded animals that die.


3.  For the listed time period, what were the dates of any deaths, how old were the horses and what were their id #s?

A. #12620475 – 1yr old Female – Died 6/28/13 from strangles

B. #06619316 – 7yr old Gelding – Died 6/28/13 from Neck/Head injury

C. #10617585 – 3yr old Female – Died 6/30/13 from Unknown*

D. #12619358 – 1yr old Female – Died 7/2/13 from Unknown*


* PVC’s Vet and staff reported no signs of heat-related symptoms prior to the deaths of #10617585 & #12619358. In addition,  these animals had a continuous supply of water, quality hay, and sprinklers present; therefore, there was no life or death issue present. It is not always possible to make a determination of the cause of death. But, if the BLM has any future deaths at PVC that are not associated with a particular illness or injury, a necropsy will be performed.