State and local authorities have filed a motion to permanently remove hundreds of wild horses from a troubled north-central South Dakota sanctuary, and lawyers on both sides of the case will make arguments to a judge later this month.
The motion, which was filed Thursday at the Ziebach County Courthouse in Dupree, seeks to transfer ownership of the horses to “a suitable caretaker.” The motion does not name the caretaker, but a pair of nonprofits said in a joint release Friday evening that they would assume the role.
The nonprofits are Fleet of Angels, a North American network of trailer owners that provides emergency assistance and transportation to at-risk horses, and Habitat for Horses, a rescue group based in Texas.
“This would be one of the largest known equine rescue and adoption efforts in U.S. history,” the groups said in their release.
Meanwhile, court documents show that the ISPMB has retained attorneys Nathan Chicoine and Quentin Riggins of the Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore law firm in Rapid City ahead of a hearing scheduled later this month before state Fourth Circuit Court Judge Randall Macy.
The ownership-transfer motion was filed jointly by Sherri Wald, deputy attorney general for the South Dakota Animal Industry Board; Steven Aberle, Dewey County state’s attorney; and Cheryl Laurenz-Bogue, Ziebach County state’s attorney.
Donations sought for care of wild horses
Ongoing costs to feed, care for and treat the 540 wild horses impounded in north-central South Dakota will be an estimated $40,000 per month, according to the nonprofit groups who want to assume ownership of the horses and find new homes for them.
The groups are encouraging donations to the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance, either online at wildhorsesanctuaryalliance.org or by mail to The Animals Voice, 1692 Mangrove Ave. #276, Chico, CA 95926.
Anyone interested in adopting a horse or horses is encouraged to contact Fleet of Angels by email at HoldYourHorses@aol.com or go to the ISPMB Horses/Emergency Adoption Mission page on Facebook.