Have wild horse advocates been falsely accused?

Advocacy groups have released wild horses with Nevada Department of Agriculture in the past

Photo courtesy of Let “Em Run Foundation

In the recent KRNV story about the south Reno horses going to the livestock auction, Nevada Department of Agriculture’s staff appeared on camera claiming that the cooperators weren’t being used because they released horses onto the range. Where is the proof?

A Virginia Range pinto gelding named Dickie disappeared from the Tahoe Reno Industrial Complex (TRIC) property around March 2012 and magically appeared overweight later on in another county at Clearwater in Reno. How does this happen?

Photo of Dickie on July 14, 2012 used ot compare with his file photo for ID

The Department of Agriculture’s statement implied that the wild horse groups were involved in something improper. Yet in the past groups did release horses – belonging to the department – at the direction of the department – under the direct supervision of the department.

The largest release involved 55 horses freed at TRIC. It was covered by the media and a short film was made of the release. The short still can be found on the Internet. Here’s a link to one copy.

Call Governor Sandoval and ask him to stop Nevada from selling historic wild horses at auctions frequented by kill-buyers 775-684-5670 or 702-486-2500


Let ‘Em Run Foundation: http://www.letemrun.com/index.html

Least Resistance Training Concepts group: http://www.whmentors.org/

Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates Sept 7th update: on Dickie and livestock sale: http://www.aowha.org/war/ndoa_horse_sale_1203b.html#dickie

KRNV Story: http://www.ktvn.com/story/19548710/wild-horse-controvesey-heating-up

The controversy over wild horses in Nevada is heating up again. A group of about two dozen organized a demonstration in front of the Capital in Carson City on Friday. And earlier this week an emotionally charged confrontation between a private landowner and a wild horse advocate took place in south Reno. (It was later posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6uZPdD_PWM )

An unidentified woman charged at the camera protesting that horses were being trapped and moved rather than simply fenced out. The landowner caught it on his cell phone and launched it on YouTube.

“This is a fence out state!,” insists Tonia Tavcar. “If landowners don’t want horses on their land they don’t have to trap them and send them to slaughter, they can just fence them out!”

“It seems logical, I admit,” says Ed Foster, Public Information Officer with the State Department of Agriculture. “But we are charged with responding to complaints when stray animals, including horses, are a nuisance and doing something about it. But we don’t have the authority to make a landowner put up a fence!”

Foster adds the drought is fueling problems as more horses search for food and water. And he says for a while they did sell horses back to the advocates at a very low price. That he say, seemed to work until those same horses resurfaced on the range and were picked up again.

It’s all resulted in a lawsuit filed Friday, by the State of Nevada against the advocates for releasing the animals.

Foster says since his department no longer gets funding to house or administer birth control to the animals and has no option but to remove any problem animals and sell them as livestock.

Horse advocates say they’ll continue to fight for the future of animals so many other states would love to have roam their land.

The lawsuit names advocate Willis Lamm. It charges the ‘Let ‘em Run Foundation’ with failure to brand or mark their animals, abandoning an animal and allowing an animal to be injured or deprived of food and water – all misdemeanor charges.

We also contacted the office of the landowner, Mike Diloretto about this story, but he is out town.

KRNV story Written by Erin Breen

Wild horse advocates endure bidding war to rescue horses

Virginia range 23 rescued from auction house fate

From a Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund press release:

Captured Virgina Range Horses

The Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund (HVWHPF), in an effort to save the first 23 of an estimated 74 Virginia Range wild horses trapped by the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA), attended an auction today, September 19th, at the Nevada Livestock Marketing, LLC, located 1025 Allen Road, Fallon, NV where the horse were sold to the highest bidder.

NDA Brand Inspector Blaine Northrop diligently and methodically organized the delivery of the horses to the auction floor in a manner specifically designed to minimalize stress and trauma to these animals and ensure the bands or families would remain intact.  Once the bidding started at approximately 7:15 pm, HVWHPF successfully out bid several kill buyers and one individual who obviously ran the bid up far higher than what any of these horses should have sold for.  A normal bid price for such horses should not have exceeded $175 – $200 per head, however by the sale of the 12th horse the individual had raised the price to over $1,000 for a mare and baby pair.

At that time, one of the auction attendees recognized the individual to be that of Jack Payne, the owner of the auction house, Nevada Livestock Marketing, LLC.  After Mr. Payne was recognized, he continued to bid on the remainder of Virginia Range 23 and continued to intentionally raise the bid.  The Department of Agriculture agents on locations at that time were questioned by HVWHF volunteers about the legality of Mr. Payne bidding without first disclosing that he was the owner of the auction house and also the act of intentionally raising the bid to an amount obviously much higher than the expected bid range price.  The agents were unable to confirm whether this action was appropriate, commenting that it was a public auction and open to anyone.  Representatives from the NDA were able to confirm the identity of the individual as that of Mr. Jack Payne, the owner of the Nevada Livestock Marketing, LLC.

The HVWHPF is questioning the legitimacy of the transactions that took place this evening at the auction of the Virginia Range 23, formerly the property of the NDA until all were safely acquired by the HVWHFP.  Is it appropriate for an auction house owner to partake in and intentionally raise the bid on any product to be sold in that auction house?  Did these actions cause the auction house to gain financially by increasing its commission on the sale?  Did this auction house cause the people of the State of Nevada to overpay the commission charged by the auction house to the Department of Agriculture to handle the sale of these 23 horses?

The HVWHPF will be requesting a full and immediate refund from Nevada Livestock Marketing, LLC of all the funds spent at its facility in the acquisition of the Virginia Range 23 wild horses.  All the money allocated to the rescue of the wild horses comes from donations received from local, national, and international sources.  The HVWHPF is an all-volunteer registered 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the Virginia Range wild horses.

Additionally, another 31 Virginia Range wild horses are scheduled to be sold at auction at this very same facility on Wednesday, September 26th.  The HVWHPF will be requesting that the NDA stop all plans for this auction pending a full investigation of the activities of the management of the Nevada Livestock Marketing, LLC related to the auction of the Virginia Range 23.  The HVWHPF will also ask NDA to reconsider a plan that would allow for all NDA horses removed from the range to be placed with qualified, accredited rescue organizations, allowing the organizations’ donated funds to be better spent on efforts to find permanent placement for these creatures rather than lining the pockets of those who would deceive and do wrong.

HVWHPF asks that, in the spirit of Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnson, children of all ages write to Governor Sandoval asking him to reinstate a Wild Horse Commission that will work with all interested parties to ensure that our Nevada Heritage Horses become a vital and valuable part of our state culture and will show that we can live harmoniously with these precious relics of our past.

Please donate to the fund to save Wild Horse Annie’s horses here: http://hiddenvalleyhorses.com/main.php?c=donate

Breaking News: Horse lovers from around the world unite to save Nevada’s wild horses from kill-buyers

Advocates were bidding against auction house staff who kept raising the bids

Virginia Range Wild Horses @ Peace (Photo ©Anne Novak, all rights reserved.)

For immediate release:

RENO, Nevada (September 20, 2012) –Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund spearheaded and saved 23 historic Virginia Range wild horses from going to the kill-buyers last night. The herculean effort lead by Shannon Windle, president of Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund. Country singer Lacy Dalton’s non-profit, Let ‘Em Run Foundation, also raised funds for the rescue.

“We are very grateful everyone joined together to save the horses from Wild Horse Annie’s herd,” says Shannon Windle, president of Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund.

Last night many wild horse advocates and groups from the greater Reno area joined forces to help with transportation and foster care to make this rescue effort a success. The list includes the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund, Let ‘Em Run Foundation, Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC) Horse Power and The Starlight Sanctuary with support from many other groups in the West. The efforts were coordinated through the Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates.

California-based Protect Mustangs joined in to help with outreach, raise awareness about the issue and contact Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval to stop the sale.

Donors contributed from across the USA and abroad to save Nevada’s indigenous wild horses from being sold to kill-buyers who sell the horses to slaughter plants for human consumption in foreign countries.

A staff member of the auction house was bidding as well as a kill-buyer against the wild horse advocates. Is it legal for the house to drive up the bids?

“How much did the auction house make with the owner driving the price up? ” asks Windle “Is this illegal?”

During the auction, a thin Virginia Range wild horse mare sold for over $500. while a stocky domestic buckskin sold for $200. A wild mare and foal sold for $1000 which is grossly abnormal at a livestock auction frequented by kill-buyers.

Advocates paid more than $11K to save the 23 wild horses–more than three times above market value.

31 additional wild horses will arrive at the auction house next week. More than 60 wild horses have been rounded up and face a horrific end if more foster homes, adopters and donors are not found quickly.

Essential donations are also needed to feed the wild horses rescued last night who will live in foster care until they are adopted or accepted into a sanctuary.

Send donations to the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund here: http://hiddenvalleyhorses.com/main.php?c=donate

Governor Brian Sandoval ignored public outcry and took no action to save America’s iconic wild horses from going to an auction frequented by kill-buyers tonight.

“We hope Governor Sandoval realizes that outside of Nevada 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter,” explains Anne Novak, executive director of California-based Protect Mustangs. “This could be a pivotal point in his political career–the point where he tarnishes himself to the extent that he will never win the hearts of the 80%. He still has time to take action and become a hero and we hope he does.”

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Follow Protect Mustangs on Facebook for updates

Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415-531-8454, Anne@ProtectMustangs.org

Kerry Becklund, 510-502-1913, Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org

Links of interest:

News 4 reported on the story last night: http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/default.aspx

News 4 reporting continues: http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/story/Wild-Horse-Advocacy-groups-go-through-bidding-war/k57ef-ffOkq2QbDJKkhPEg.cspx

Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund: http://hiddenvalleyhorses.com/main.php

Let ‘Em Run Foundation: http://www.letemrun.com/index.html

Lacy Dalton bio, president of Let ‘Em Run Foundation: http://www.letemrun.com/Lacy-Bio.htm

Least Resistance Training Concepts: http://www.whmentors.org/

Starlight Sanctuary http://thestarlightsanctuary.webs.com/

Governor Brian Sandoval: http://gov.nv.gov/

Plea to Governor Sandoval to stop Nevada from selling wild horses to killer-buyers at auctions: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=2459

Information on the Virginia Range wild horses: http://www.aowha.org/war/virginia_range0901.html

Protect Mustangs: http://www.ProtectMustangs.org