Happy Thanksgiving from Return to Freedom, Nov. 23, 2016

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At Thanksgiving, our thoughts turn to home and family. Here at the sanctuary, family has been at the core of our efforts since the start. Our priority is to keep wild horses in their original family bands or naturally selected social groups. It’s a key part of providing a safe refuge to almost 400 wild horses and burros in as natural a lifestyle we can provide.

Looking out at our resident wild horses standing together on the hillside, it’s easy to forget for a moment the trauma that they suffered during the roundups that wrenched them from their home ranges. Sadly, even as I write this, more terrified wild horses are being captured during a deadly roundup in northern Nevada.

RTF continues to advocate not just for humane, on-the-range management tools like safe, proven fertility control, but for federal and state agencies to recognize and value the importance of family and social bonds that exist in wild horse herds.

I just returned from New York to receive the ASPCA’s Horse of the Year on behalf of Sutter, one of our wild horse ambassadors. Sutter’s presence and his story have helped thousands of people, whether adults at clinics or children on school visits, to better understand wild horses and the shared responsibility we have toward them. (Read more about Sutter’s award and see a video of him here.)

I conveyed to the ASPCA audience how precarious this moment is for wild horses and burros. We all must work shoulder to shoulder in order to ensure that wild horses remain a part of a sustainable future for the rangelands of the West.

Fortunately for the wild horses and burros at the sanctuary, on the range, and in government facilities, they have supporters like you on their side.

Thanks to you, our supporters, two double semi tractor-trailer loads of hay arrived recently as we stocked up for the winter. Your support sustains this sanctuary where so many hundreds of horses have been able to find refuge from abuse and slaughter and serve as teachers to youth and adults from all over the world.

You are the only hope to secure a future for America’s wild horses and burros on the range. Together, we stand between America’s horses — wild and domestic — and the cruel decision to use slaughter as a population management tool when other solutions exist.

Whether you’ve written a check or signed a petition or rolled up your sleeves and volunteered here at the sanctuary, please know that what you do for wild horses does matter – and that all of us here at RTF are grateful.

Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings,

Neda DeMayo

Founder and President