Thanks for lending a hand on Saturday April 22, 2017! For more photos, see RTF’s Facebook page.

Thanks for Helping our Horses!

We are delighted that Return to Freedom’s kickoff to our tour season was met with great enthusiasm. Forty-four volunteers attended a special Volunteer Day to help wild horses as part of the ASPCA’s Help a Horse Day. In support of Earth Day, volunteers took ownership of projects that support RTF’s water conservation efforts and create a welcoming atmosphere in preparation of the 2017 tour season.

Of our volunteers, the youngsters did a fantastic job using garden tools to prepare the soil and situate drought-tolerant native plants in front of our Education barn.

After being whisked away to the entrance by RTV, 35 collective hours were spent on weed removal to protect the California State flower, the beautiful California Poppy, which is sprinkled alongside the entry gate.

Back at the pagoda, the seating area received an invasive species-free makeover. Always a favorite, the water trough scrubbing challenge was a hit and completed just before we broke for lunch.

Many participants were new volunteers and we found that some drove four hours to attend! We also culled great ideas for items to add to our wish list for future events.

After a productive day, we embarked on the highly anticipated walk to see the cache of the reservoir. Volunteers were lucky to come upon the notoriously elusive burros that live in our romantic oak forest!

Return to Freedom depends on the generosity of our volunteers. Thank you for making this such a successful day as we work to win the $25,000 grand prize! Every moment of your dedication to help Return to Freedom reinforces the strong community we’ve built over the last 19 years. Your gift of time in the service of wild horses means so much.

We could not have had such a successful day without the support of Wild West Pizza for providing a delicious lunch to sustain our hardworking volunteers. We are indebted to Hot Wire Foam Factory for creating a glorious sign represented in our Help a Horse Day group photo. Surfclass and AdVentures Academy worked tirelessly to prep a multi-day large scale volunteer project. Home Depot and Nielsen Building Materials were gracious to supply needed materials.

Keep Supporting the SAFE Act

Thank you to all those who took the time to fill out a postcard to your congressional representative supporting the Safeguard American Foods Act (H.R. 113), which would permanently ban the slaughter of American horses, in the United States or in foreign slaughterhouses, for human consumption. Please take a moment to sign our petition in favor of the bill and share it with friends and family.

Don’t stop there, though. Please call your congressional representative’s office or write a longer letter to urge them to support the SAFE Act. Click here to find your representative’s address and phone number. When calling or writing, please remember to mention you are a constituent – and to represent horses well by taking a positive tone. Your call or letter is more likely to be effective if you explain why this bill is important to you.

If you’re interested in becoming more involved in speaking up for wild horses and burros, we’re ready to help. Our Advocacy in Action program can help you develop your own voice as an advocate by learning more about wild horses during a tour or visit to the range or even to see a roundup in person. Contact outreach@returntofreedom.org to find out more.

Ready to Come Back to RTF?

RTF hosts volunteer days / tours at its Lompoc sanctuary from May-August – but that’s not all! RTF also hosts workshops, private tours and other special events. Keep an eye on our website for more information.