Late Friday night, August 16, we received a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) — as a result of our lawsuit against the federal government — to block the sale of all unbranded horses at the Fallon Livestock Exchange in Fallon, NV, which was due to start the next day. All of the horses had been captured from the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Reservation and surrounding public lands. Branded horses were separated from unbranded horses on Saturday morning. After visually inspecting every pen, we ensured that 149 unbranded horses were pulled from the sale.

On Wednesday, August 18, however, U.S. District Court Judge, Miranda Du, lifted our Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) which allowed for the sale of the 149 unbranded wild horses captured by the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe in northern Nevada.

The outpouring for these horses has been amazing. A grassroots effort to assure that these horses did not end up in the hands of kill buyers bound for slaughter in Canada and Mexico showed clearly Americans disdain for horse slaughter.

The Cloud Foundation reached out to Victoria McCullough of the Triumph Project in Wellington, Florida, and Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo and they negotiated with the tribe. An offer was accepted today (August 23).


If you would like to provide a permanent home for any of the horses who have been rescued from the McDermott Reservation/Fallon Auction, please read our Terms and Conditions and, if they are acceptable to you, proceed to fill out an Application. When completed, please email or fax both the Terms and the Application to:

Fax: (805) 800-0868
Return to Freedom
PO Box 926
Lompoc, CA 93438


This was and continues to be a collaborative effort. Beginning with a law suit filing the TRO (American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Return to Freedom, Cloud Foundation, and Western Watersheds) to an emotional auction of branded tribal horses last week, to the successful purchase of the 149 unbranded horses today.

Rallying behind the scenes to find places for the unbranded horses to land and avoid sale to kill buyers, was a collaboration of The Cloud Foundation, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), Ellie Phipps Price (Dunston Wines), Madeleine Pickens (Saving America’s Mustang), Liberty for Horses, Horse Power, and Return to Freedom.

Some of the organizations taking horses will be looking for qualified adoptive homes. We still need help with various costs, from veterinary care, transportation, and feed.


A special thanks to those of you who have helped us during this critical role in helping us save these 149 horses and ensure that their federal legal protections are upheld.

Sadly, until the SAFE Act is passed to ban horse slaughter, there is no legal way to protect privately owned horses sold for slaughter. In the end, approximately 316 horses were sold at Saturday’s auction. The kill buyers got about 200, while about 100 or so branded horses were rescued last week.

It was devastating to see horses — including mature stallions and mares who had just had their young foals pulled from them — sold in lots to the kill buyers. We saw very lame horses, horses with what appeared to be spinal injuries barely able to stand, horses with gaping wounds on their chests, bloody faces, orphaned foals.

There is no mistaking what a tragedy this was. But we also have to think about what has been achieved so far.

Before we got involved, the Forest Service was going to round up 700-1000 horses and send them to the slaughter auction. This was a backroom deal to launder federally protected wild horses through a tribe and use federal dollars to send them to a slaughter auction, allowing the tribe to reap the profits. We stopped this action, and took a stand against these kinds of sordid backroom deals.

Thanks to our legal and public relations efforts, the Feds pulled out of the roundup, and far fewer horses — approximately 467 — were actually captured. Of those, 149 unbranded horses were pulled from the auction, and another 100+ horses were saved by hard working rescue groups.

We’ll continue to fight for the unbranded horses whose fate will be decided at Wednesday’s hearing. Will you continue to fight with us?

We are proud to be joined in this litigation by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, Western Watersheds Project, and Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education.

This weekend was a strong reminder not only of the unfinished business we have before us, but also of what we can accomplish when we all work together. We hope that you will continue to stand with us, and we thank you very much for your compassion, caring, and support.