On April 1, 2013, Hidden Valley Wild Horse Preservation Fund travelled to the Carson City prison facility to pick up six Virginia Range mustangs who had been captured by the state from non-federal lands in northern Nevada. Five of the horses were taken from the foothills community off Rim Rock Road in South Reno, where well-intentioned but misguided residents had been feeding the horses, luring them down into the neighborhood. The sixth horse was a stallion picked up from Stagecoach. (He has already been adopted.)
These are the first horses rescued under the Cooperative Agreement signed between Return to Freedom, parent organization of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), and the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Under the agreement, the Nevada Department of Agriculture will give Return to Freedom/AWHPC the right to purchase any horses captured from the Virginia Range, which spans from Reno to Carson City to Fallon to Fernley, Nevada. Return to Freedom/AWHPC will in turn works with Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund to rescue the horses and place them into their adoption program.
The agreement marks a significant improvement over the NDA’s previous policy of capturing wild horses and sending them to a livestock auction in Fallon, Nevada, where they were in danger of being sold to kill buyers. Prior to implementation of the cooperative agreement, Hidden Valley — assisted by financial support from AWHPC — was forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars to bid on Virginia Range mustangs at the livestock auction. Approximately 141 Virginia Range horses were saved from slaughter in this manner.
Many of these rescued Virginia Range horses are now available for adoption through Hidden Valley Wild Horse Preservation Fund in Nevada.