Feb 22, 2017

Return to Freedom's Solutions in Motion

Helicopter drives wild horses toward a trap
Helicopter drives wild horses toward a trap

Thank you, again, for generously supporting Return to Freedom.

We want to give you a brief update on some of our goals for 2017. First, though, we want to share a video summing up our efforts from 2016 in order to give you a feeling for the work that your support has helped us accomplish and will continue to build upon in the months ahead: https://vimeo.com/203360314

This year is already off to a busy start for RTF. In December, we played a key role in galvanizing support for more than 500 at-risk horses in South Dakota. With our partners, we were able to avert a public auction that would likely have seen many of the horses go to slaughter. Now, we are working to raise the money to care for and transport the horses to new adoptive homes -- always with an eye toward our keeping family bands and herds together whenever possible.

Our other goals for the months ahead include: welcoming more participants to our Advocacy in Action program and helping wild horse supporters host town halls with their legislators, growing our education work both online and at the sanctuary, and advocating vigorously for humane on-the-range management of wild horses and burros – and against horse slaughter.

We have continued to provide daily coverage of government helicopter roundups, including three of four held already this year. Having humane observers at roundups helps us to ensure transparency and humane handling of wild horses. Such documentation also plays a key role in educating the public and lawmakers on how tax dollars are being used on our public lands by sharing photos and video on our own site and social media – and with the news media.

We have some innovative ideas about how to grow the community of wild horse and burros supporters in exciting (and even fun) new ways, too – but we don’t want to spoil all of our surprises just yet!

In addition, we plan to increase the size of the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance, an organization we co-founded last fall to strengthen sanctuaries across the country, and our own Wild Horse Conservator Program. It gives property owners willing and able to provide suitable homes for wild horses and burros the help and guidance that they need to care for family bands in a humane and responsible manner.

Last, but never least, we will continue providing complete care for our resident 379 wild horses and 46 burros, which includes building infrastructure to support them. Our sanctuary gives them a loving home while doubling as a place where people of all ages learn about wild horses and the challenges that wild horses face. Just as it importantly, it provides daily proof of concept for our minimally invasive management model for which we advocate for wild horses and burros on the range. 

None of these or many other projects would be possible without the help of the donors, volunteers and supporters who make up the extended RTF family. On behalf of our staff -- and all of America’s wild horses, on and off the range -- we thank you for being part of this team effort.

Elle Fanning's visit at RTF's Sanctuary
Elle Fanning's visit at RTF's Sanctuary
Blind, black stallion in the snow without shelter
Blind, black stallion in the snow without shelter
Building our Hay Shelter!
Building our Hay Shelter!

Links:

Jan 26, 2017

Project Report - B Build a Hay cover for 300-Plus Wild Horses, Burros (25163)

hay cover 1-24-17.jpg
hay cover 1-24-17.jpg

Hay Cover Taking Shape

While we're thrilled to be receiving rain after 5 years of drought in California, extensive rain and the resulting mud have made progress on the hay cover slower going than hoped. This time of year feeding our wild horses and burros is a challenge in itself given the weather conditions and terrain. The water conservation reservoirs we built in 2016 are being fully utilized!

Our dedicated sanctuary staff work tirelessly to keep up with the many maintenance needs, creating special feed for our growing population of senior horses, all the while seeding our fields to support the natural grazing for our horses. 

Even so, using the 228 donations equaling $16,698 raised for this project to date, work has begun on building the hay cover, while we continue to raise the remaining $8,302 it will take to complete it.

Materials have been ordered, the building site on the property has been identified, the cross beams have gone up, and our contractor is actively on the job.

We remain grateful for the investment our supporters have made in an infrastructure project that will benefit the sanctuary's wild horses and burros for many years to come. We look forward to sharing additional photos of this important effort to provide for this basic need of our animal residents.

Lompoc, CA 93438
Oct 27, 2016

Hay cover project update -- and a raffle!

Wild horses at RTF
Wild horses at RTF

With the prospect of wet weather ahead (hopefully!), Return to Freedom is moving forward with plans to build a new hay cover at the sanctuary, even as we continue to raise the remaining $10,457 needed to finish the project.

When completed, the sturdy metal cover will protect hay for our resident wild horses and burros from the rain while increasing safety and efficiency for sanctuary staff. It will also allow RTF to buy hay when prices are best, stretching valued donor dollars.

Building the cover now will enable us to stock up on quality hay contracts from reputable suppliers before January, when prices historically go up and before inclement weather can cause disruptions in deliveries. 

 

 

Links:

 
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