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Two year old Pregnant Mare Dies at Palomino Valley Center

12 Jul

Yesterday, after seeing a photo posted by Patty Summerson-Bumgarner on facebook of a dead mare at Palomino Valley Center, I was urged to contact the correctional facility where the foal was taken.  I called them and was told they had no idea what I was talking about.  So I called Palomino Valley Center  775-475-2222  Saturday morning at 11:48 AM to ask about the new foal that was born as mentioned in the news report posted by  KTVN:

BLM Foal Taken to Orphan Care

“Photos surfaced online Saturday of a mare that passed away during childbirth overnight Thursday at the Palomino Valley Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro holding facility. 
John Neill of the Bureau of Land Management confirmed that the 2 year old mare was found deceased when workers arrived early Friday morning. The mother and foal were removed from the pen and the foal was successfully delivered. The foal was taken to Northern Nevada Correctional Center where the BLM has an orphan care program. “

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Hot August Nights No Fun for Some

3 Aug

After recently looking at all the horses and burros available for adoption in the short-term holding pens via the BLM Internet Adoption auction, many of them have suffered more that two freezing winters without out shelter from the wind in winter or two sweltering hot summers without shade, with nothing to do as well. Even though the wild horses and burros are supposed to be protected by BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, so far all we’ve seen is BLM WH&B program jump through hoops for the cattle ranchers and ignores every request or offer of help by the public to construct some shelter for the horses from the sun and wind, built in the corrals, free of charge. Sure would be appreciated if HSUS would speak up about the lack of  a CAWP.   ~admin

Hot August Nights No Fun for Some by Monika Courtney


The public’s appreciation for wild horses is strong. So is the call for a moratorium on round ups and reform within. Now, mid-late 2014, we have gained:

1)  NAS recommendations stating helicopter round ups are cruel and restructure of standards are long overdue.

2)  A “workshop” (2013) with concentrated efforts by the public to assist / provide input for shelter in holding.

3)  A clear recognition by unbiased equine experts and the tax-paying public that relief is needed and warranted – written input and recommendations and much more, submitted at Reno workshop.

4) Yet, we have gained NOTHING in all aspects, such as: increased comfort, shade/shelter, CAWP (Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program), or common ground as discussed during Advisory Board meeting in DC of last year. Concrete inquiries thereof are ignored.

5)  And more herds are destroyed, wiped out and sent to government suffering.

July 10, 2014 91 degrees Palomino Valley BLM Photo by P Bumgarner  ("left there close to noon, after trying to cool down in the office")

July 10, 2014 91 degrees Palomino Valley BLM Photo by P Bumgarner (“left there close to noon, after trying to cool down in the office”)

Concerns of wild horses being funneled to slaughter through tribal nations possibly government funded for this are stronger than ever. The association of Boyd Spratling  (BLM Board / DVM) to United Horsemen and cattle men who want to rid our wild horses with slaughter, is alarming.

The HSUS remains silent, while BLM spins their way out of cruel treatment, frivolous use of taxpayer monies, and protection of the welfare ranching industry. While offers by individuals like me to raise funds to accommodate the need for “increased comfort” aka shade are ignored, a dubious shade trial geared to appease further delays the topic at core is prevalent.

For those needing a look at the ongoing crisis, please see this:

Please send letters. Voice your outrage over the lack of CAWP and innovative shade / shelter for severe weather protocol. Horses step into snow on mountain tops to cool down in summer, and seek shade, a clear, logical proven fact, continuously refuted by BLM minimalist “trials” to possibly announce the non-utilization in the near future to further dismiss the topic.

Wild horses seek shade to survive summer heat, near Dayton, NV July 23 2014 photo taken by : Lea Harney Dudum

The violation of humane standards cannot be tolerated !

Where is the Humane Society of the United States? Where is  improvement suggested in a letter to BLM by Holly Hazard of HSUS, last summer? Was that just a placating appeal or a perfunctory duty? What is the HSUS’s work in this besides the devotion for contraception – but the cruelties of stampedes and social disruption of horses ? Why the lack of disclosure in “All Animals” of the horror, destruction and chaos in round ups?  Why not show the squalor of holding camps to the membership?  Where is CAWP?  Where is any reform – preached by Abbey back when, then Guilfoyle, then Roberson?

Then BLM contracts a pro-slaughter defender (during the debate over Prop. 6 in CA, who lobbied hard for the AVMA) – another paid “expert” to join the ranks of BLM propaganda – to establish (in the face of public outrage) the non-need of shade for wild (but trapped!) ones, because there are “no” studies??  There is plenty of evidence by experts who know the range and wild horses’ needs and behaviour in the wild – photos were mounted on poster boards and submitted at workshop. To denounce their need for shade from heat stress in barren feed lot setups is ridiculous !

Why do the wild horses of America not get a fair shake?

These two deaths could have been avoided – yet the bad norm goes on. A lack of federal guidelines and modern humanity goes on. Inquiries are ignored – of horses being choked by extreme tight tags, horses suffering in the sweltering heat and horses disappearing. Yet… bureaucratic trials and costly, unnecessary studies are established instead of real reform.


Feeling choked ? Photo courtesy by P. Bumgarner

Feeling choked ? Photo courtesy by P. Bumgarner 

Ask yourself if this is how democracy operates. I believe not. I am still waiting for a reply by Debbie Collins, and Zachary Reichold of PVC on the latest, re CAWP, helicopter “data” submitted to BLM by Dr. Stull in May, and real, effective shelter progress. In plain- just an update of all they keep promising us, since years. I am also waiting for help by HSUS, beyond the donation of tarps for sick pens or the good work they do against slaughter. Help for the wild ones, as they suffer the most, a demonstration of common ground and solutions that serve the wild horses, the symbol of freedom in this United Land of the Free. 

Palomino Valley Hay Storage photo ©2011 afroditi katsikis
Shade for hay but not horses! Palomino Valley hay storage photo ©2011 afroditi katsikis


Where is the Shelter for BLM Wild Horses and Burros in Holding Pens

20 Nov

Even though promises were made at the BLM workshop-webinar last August, the shelter issues have not been resolved. Winter is almost here and the horses in most of the temporary holding pens still have no shelter!

Those who adopt the BLM wild horses and burros must comply with the BLM rules that require it. Why do they hold strict standards for the adopters if they themselves don’t? Is this clearly not a double standard? It should be a no-brainer to understand that horses need shade in the summer and protection from rain, snow and wind; they seek it out in the wild, why wouldn’t they need it in the holding facilities?  BLM knows this otherwise they would not require adopters to have shelter from the weather?

As a result of that workshop-webinar, BLM decided to review all the submitted comments and ideas and announced a couple weeks later they would test several options but only for the pens that sick horses were in! Shortly thereafter some very meager shade structures were built over the sick pens at Palomino Valley Center that only made shade. They do not provide any relief from wind or rain and partially provide relief from snow – that is…until it starts melting.

No doubt that the HSUS does good work for the animals but so far have not educated the community about the need for shelter for the wild horses in BLM’s care or about the double standard by the BLM on this subject? Please read the letters below and then compose your own letter to Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president, urging the HSUS to educate the community about BLM’s double standard and the needs of all the wild horses in holding for protection from all the elements – not just shade.

Monika Courtney’s emails to HSUS:

Hello Wayne,

I have to say I thought you meant what you said. Meeting you was nice but being ignored is not.

I’d like to see you do a public awareness campaign about the mustangs’ plight. I understand you keep the dialogue with BLM – but there is more that can be done to educate your members. In that very room in Denver, where you spoke, many attendees, such as the very lady who helped the ground hog in Boulder; had NO idea about the mustangs’ plight. Matter of fact, it is kept hush hush – and gets little attention, seemingly due to other driving factors which disgruntle many amongst us. With good reason.

Let’s give love to those who helped us build this nation. To those who are forgotten in the war against schemes and VIP cattle ranchers who run the show. To those who are illegally removed from their rightful lands and sold to greedy middlemen, contracted for years by the agency who is assigned to “protect” them.

HSUS is a powerhouse that does great work for puppymills, against horse slaughter, soring, etc. yet the wild horses receive little if no publicity. Why ? I know you have a partnership with BLM, but to keep your ethical commitments as the HSUS founder established them… the mustangs are not getting a fair share by you in the bigger picture.

I’d like to hear back from you Wayne – we are all busy, and here is another year gone by with nothing much progressing towards a more humane world within BLM. As you said, the Interior Secretary can “turn the program around”. Yet, is this just more political talk.. as Ms. Jewell, being evasive, has not appeared to show much concern or taken a strong stance to do just that ?? How about helping out a bit ? I am sure with all the reps and legal experts available to you, there is more you can do to assist.

Currently, most cruel round ups on Navajo lands are going down, again. Horses chased by ATV’s, colts left behind. Of course we know the drift by Navajo President Shelly, as he is yet another clever PR person to try to pacify the public, whilst in reality he does nothing but pursue an agenda. Polite inquiries again.. have gone unanswered. Pleas and attempts by the public to stop the madness, as well. I think HSUS and a blog issue by you on this very shameful chapter would enlighten many, which in turn would apply the necessary pressure to reach any results.

I think the issue with you on Jane Velez (  

was an attempt to expose the topic of wild horses somewhat – yet it was also a good incent [incentive] to recruit more members, which deserve to know what is going down within our own government, and their destructive impact and constant cruelty on wild horses. We have so many in holding because the same pretentious lies continue.

We, the people, are getting tired of the same old – while horses suffer and get little help in the face of political games and agendas. Humane management on the range is long overdue, and ovariectomies are not part of the intent of the 1971 Act, nor is the constant merciless pursuit and brutal eviction of the so claimed “excess” horses… which are not excess at all, just a clever misnomer to keep up the same crappy propaganda.

Furthermore, a polite inquiry to Dr. Stull on her much anticipated animal welfare program to having been published by this past October… has gone unanswered. Perhaps you could update me on this.

The public is getting tired of being assuaged. We are all busy, such as you are I am sure. But this deserves attention, not delay. People want answers and results.

Please respond. Thank you for your time.

Monika Courtney



Subject: Is it ? ‘Tis the season to stop the cruelty ?

Here we go again. The “Season” is  fast approaching…. with the teardrucker [tear jerker] approach to milk well meaning people – use the “holiday” spirit to give…. milk those folks. No disregard to dogs in puppy mills … they suffer, no doubt…

Yet in this very season… our wild horses still suffer too, still have no shelter from any elements in holding,


still are forgotten and the HSUS still has not started an effective public awareness campaign to educate all American HSUS members on the comprehensive, allover horrific plight and situation of the last wild horses in this country.

Matter of fact, the crisis for wild horses has reached biblical proportions – you are witnessing their very extinction – just  cleverly disguised. Take your grand kids now to see a wild horse if you still can find one…. they are fast disappearing. Ovariectomies and brutal, evicting round ups are the real mantra – not humane population control on their rightful western landscape.

So perhaps with the “season” approaching, you also could kindly ask Mr. Wayne Pacelle to reverberate not only on the dread of puppy mills etc., but on how wild horses suffer, are secretly sent to slaughter by middle men and exploited by political and personal agendas – all at your tax payer’s fund and cleverly covert, with no progress in sight.

How about sending some season’s considerations the mustang’s  way ? For the thousands of HSUS members in America, most still don’t know what is going down for our mustangs and burros. While much good work is done on other fronts, our wild horses and burros being doomed under the brutal, manipulative tactics of our Bureau of Land Management regime; enjoy little, if no public exposure. The truth would knock your socks off and if found out, make you pale in the joy of holiday glitter and spirits.

So here comes another season of giving… some of which could well go to wild equines suffering in holding, during most cruel round ups and heading to slaughter middle men as I type.    Wild horses… still have no shelter in holding, still are stuck in closed government feed lot style pens with dark futures, still are the secret lucrative harvest of Western public lands… while BLM’s gospel of “transparency and new paths”  echoes down the halls decked with holly…. in a hopeless, hollow and miserable sound.

Happy Holidays. Chose your giving wisely.

Monika Courtney

Proud supporter of

(Please be civil and professional in your correspondence in asking the HSUS to pump up their public awareness campaign for the wild horses and burros – especially for the horses in BLM temporary holding facilities that need shelter.)

Wayne Pacelle
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20037

The Desert Independent

12 Nov

Inquiry on Equine Welfare Standards for BLM / Shelter for Holding

Evergreen, Colorado

November 11, 2013

The life [the horses] lead now is misery, boredom, loneliness and agony. We as humans have a duty to engage not only to further our own agendas and deeds… but to engage and give our time and ability to those who suffer at our hands, and improve their existence.

The horses in holding suffer. To claim otherwise is inexcusably denying the truth and their perspective, the real understanding of their nature and needs, riding down the usual minimalist path, influenced by agendas.

Dear Ms. Stull,

I attended the workshop in Reno. I was told by the HSUS that you are preparing a much anticipated “comprehensive animal welfare program” for BLM horses in holding. This was said to be released in October.

As some advocates have visited PVC, I got reports that there are a few small structures over sick pens. That is a good start. The media is inquiring on the welfare standards, and I am wondering where we stand with that.

Winter is coming. Still, the majority of horses in the pens have no provision of any form of shelter. While you recommend this very element in your Code of Standards for horses in CA, the lack of shelter or giving the former free roaming animals at least a choice thereof, as they have in the wild and seek out when able – is concerning. I remember the photos of past years’ brutal winter storms affecting young and older horses in holding, they were not pretty.

Any creature seeks comfort. In the wild they do. This has been observed. We need not depend on “studies” to dispute logic but apply common sense and what is humane and doable. To deprive all horses in holding but sick ones of any form of protection, whether it is wind, snow drifts, icy blizzards or hot sun, is cruel. It is not reflecting 21st century values. While we all strive for a more humane on the range management with a management approach other than permanent ovariectomies – those trapped in holding deserve better.

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