Donations by mail can be made out to "Return to Freedom AWHPC Fund" and mailed to PO Box 1048, Hillsborough, NC 27278.
For your records, AWHPC is supported through a dedicated fund at Return to Freedom, which is a 501 C 3 non-profit, so your contribution is tax deductible (tax exempt # 06-1484961).
AWHPC was involved from the beginning when the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) began its review of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. We participated in all public meetings, provided the panel with volumes of research documents and wrote formal letters of concern regarding committee composition and study focus. The end result was what we had hoped for: an honest assessment of this broken federal program and a strong scientific endorsement of the humane solutions available today. The report is truly a turning point for the proper management of our nation’s wild horses and burros. Now we must keep up the pressure to ensure that it is not swept under the rug.
Under the auspices of our parent organization, Return to Freedom (RTF), AWHPC entered into a cooperative agreement with Nevada to provide us with the opportunity to rescue captured wild horses from the state, altering the state’s practice of sending captured horses directly to slaughter auctions. We also secured passage of legislation to enable the state to enter into a cooperative agreement with RTF/AWHPC to humanely manage the Virginia Range wild horses, which fall under state jurisdiction, on the range. The program will prevent captures by addressing population growth through humane fertility control, and will address public safety concerns and mitigate horse/human conflicts through range management tools such as diversionary feeding and fencing.
AWHPC supporters contributed funds necessary to rescue over 200 wild horses captured by the state of Nevada and the federal government this year. Among the rescues: 64 wild horses captured by the Nevada Department of Agriculture from the Virginia Range near Reno, and a lovely family of eight federally-protected wild horses captured by the BLM from the Deer Run neighborhood near Carson City, Nevada. AWHPC supporters also underwrote litigation that prevented 148 wild horses, captured from public and tribal land in northern Nevada, from being sold at a slaughter auction. In addition, we continue to support the care of over 100 Virginia Range mustangs captured in 2012.
AWHPC’s video of a stallion nearly ripping his leg off as he tried to escape the trap pen at the BLM’s Antelope roundup caught the eye of NBC Senior Investigative Correspondent Lisa Myers. Myers then produced a powerful NBC News Today Show expose, “Cruel or Necessary? The True Cost of Wild Horse Roundups.” The hard-hitting piece raised national awareness and attracted thousands of new supporters to the wild horse issue. In 2013, AWHPC made several appearances on Jane Velez Mitchell’s CNN/Headline News program, and our work was covered in scores of media articles, including in The Atlantic, Washington Times, Denver Post, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and Public Radio.
More than a dozen prominent celebrities – including Robert Redford, Carole King, Betty White, Wendie Malick, Ed Harris and others – joined 30 members of Congress and 30,000 American citizens in signing the RTF/AWHPC Step in Sally petition urging new Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to step up for America’s wild horses and burros. We also created the “largest citizen uprising ever seen on Facebook” in support of this campaign.
AWHPC intervened in two lawsuits filed by ranchers seeking to eliminate wild horses from public lands. In Oregon, our involvement in a rancher lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service helped to ensure that the government did not agree to eliminate or reduce the permitted number of wild horses in the Murderers Creek Herd Management Area (HMA). In Wyoming, we intervened in a lawsuit filed by a grazing association seeking to eliminate wild horses from two million acres of land in the state. Our intervention did not prevent the government from settling the case, but it did set the stage for the next legal challenge, which we will launch when the BLM attempts to implement actions to “zero out” wild horses from these public lands.
AWHPC and RTF hosted a widely-covered press conference with Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House public lands subcommittee, and actor Wendie Malick to call attention to the out-of-control federal wild horse and burro program. The press conference was held at the BLM’s Palomino Valley National Adoption Center, where approximately 1,800 of the 50,000 wild horses and burros stockpiled in BLM holding facilities are held.
AWHPC was again on the frontlines in 2013 to witness the roundups and bring to the public videos and photographs that demonstrate the cruelty of the federal wild horse and burro program. AWHPC staff witnessed and documented roundups in the Swasey Mountains in Utah, the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada and the Blue Wing HMA in Nevada. We also documented the Ft. McDermitt slaughter auction in Fallon, NV.
Photo Credits: Associated Press/Mike Lorden.