BLM offers cash to adopt wild horses and burros

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Terri Russell, KOLO TV

March 20, 2019

PALOMINO VALLEY, Nev. (KOLO) -- Off the Pyramid Highway you'll see the signs to the BLM Adoption Facility in Palomino Valley. Hundreds of horses, geldings, mares, yearlings, and burros are held in pens waiting for adoption.

The BLM has held horse shows to underscore the versatility of these animals, and has plenty of success stories on how well-loved these animals are.

“We've had a Breyer horse that was a Mustang,” says Jason Lutterman a BLM spokesman. “These horses have gone on to work for the border patrol, and for the U.S. Marine Corps,” he says.

In 2018, the BLM says, it rounded up more than 11,000 horses in the west. Now they've come up with another incentive, $1,000 for each animal adopted.

“This is our way of trying to incentivize more people to give a horse a good home,” says Lutterman.

The cash would not be handed out immediately. It will come in $500 increments within a year’s time. Money the BLM hopes will be used for training or set-up costs.

“We don't like the idea,” says Deb Walker with the American Wild Horse Campaign.

Walker says her organization is opposed to the cash incentives. She says the money would be better spent by the bureau if the money went to fertility control of the horses on the range and working with volunteers interested in keeping the horses wild.

“So this is an excellent program. Over the lifetime of a mare, we can inoculate her and prevent pregnancies for as little as $700,” says Walker.

The BLM says currently such birth control methods last only one year, and the delivery systems aren't viable to address the populations and locations of horses.

For more information on the BLM cash program, click here.