The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) recently informed Return to Freedom that it is holding 32 wild Virginia Range horses at the Carson City Prison. These horses were removed from the range and will be sent to a slaughter auction if we cannot find placement for them.

We have only until Wednesday, February 12, to notify NDA if we are going to purchase these horses.

Pictures of one of the bands can be below. They include:

  • Family of 13 from Steamboat south of Reno (1 stud/gelding, 6 adult mares, 3 foals (2m,1f), 3 female yearlings)
  • Family of 9 from Lockwood (1 stud/gelding, 5 adult mares, 1 young mare, 1 female yearling, 1 female foal)
  • 10 bachelor stud/geldings

Return to Freedom has a cooperative agreement with the state of Nevada that allows us to purchase captured horses directly from the NDA, preventing them from being sent to auction. We are also on the cusp of signing a second cooperative agreement that will allow us to manage the Virginia Range horses on the range in order to prevent removals by mitigating horse/human conflicts. Until the agreement is signed, we must try our best to place these horses.

After already rescuing 130 Virginia Range horses over the past 18 months, our local partner, Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund, is unable to take these horses into its program. Return to Freedom is full as well, with over 400 wild horses in our care in California. In addition, Return to Freedom is currently maintaining 12 additional Virginia Range horses in temporary housing in Nevada while permanent placement is found. (These horses are up for adoption as well.)

We have a potential adopter for the Steamboat family of 13, but nothing has been finalized yet.

If you have any ideas for placement of these horses, please let us know immediately by contacting:

Thank you so much. We will be heartsick if these horses go to the slaughter auction after all the work we have done on the Virginia Range.