Dozens of wild horses, ranging from yearling to 5 years old, will be up for adoption this weekend.
The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Program will bring about 40 horses to Good Evening Ranch in Canvas, Nicholas County, on Friday and Saturday for potential adopters at a low cost.
All animals that are under three years old are available for a minimum of $125, and those three years and older are available for $25. The buddy program allows approved applicants to choose a companion animal for $25 when adopting a like animal.
A wild horse or burro, as defined by federal law, is an unbranded, unclaimed, free-roaming horse or burro found on public lands in the United States. Wild horses and burros are descendants of animals that were released by or escaped from Spanish explorers, ranchers, miners, the U.S. Cavalry and American Indians.
The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 gave the program the authority to manage, protect and control the horses to ensure healthy herds and rangelands. Each year, the program gathers excess wild horses and burros from areas where vegetation and water could become scarce if too many animals use the area.
Those animals are then offered for adoption to qualified people through the Adopt-A-Wild Horse and Burro Program. Since the Adopt-A-Wild Horse and Burro Program began in 1971, more than 230,000 animals have been adopted nationwide.
The program holds adoptions at different locations throughout the United States based on public interest.
"Wild horses have become champions in dressage, jumping, barrel racing, endurance riding and pleasure riding, while burros excel in driving, packing, riding, guarding and serving as companion animals. Both wild horses and wild burros are known for their surefootedness, strength, intelligence and endurance," according to the Wild Horse and Burro Program brochure.
To qualify to adopt, those interested must be at least 18 years old; have no prior conviction for inhumane treatment of animals or for violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act; demonstrate adequate feed, water and facilities to provide humane care for the animals; and show ability to provide a home for the adopted animal in the United States.