Kevin Reynolds / Roundup
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hosted its Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro event at Pierce College on Saturday at the Equestrian Center.
Five animals were adopted on Saturday, one horse and four burros. Three of the four burros were adopted by Pierce College.
“In this economy, things are tough for everyone,” said DiGrazia. “All in all, I’d have to say that this was a pretty good adoption.”
Holding pens were set up on Friday and people were invited to come out and see the mustangs and burros that were available for adoption.
In 1971, congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burros Act which states that these animals that are located on BLM land are of important value to the people and should be protected.
These animals are federally protected, but there is not enough food in the wild for them to survive. In 1973, the BLM began adoption programs to find homes for them.
“This is a worthy cause,” said Art DiGrazia, wild horse and burro operations specialist for the BLM California Desert District. “The BLM does not put any healthy horses to sleep, and these animals need homes.”
The BLM hosts adoptions every month out of the Redlands from their Ridgecrest office, according to Stacy Peters, administrative assistant for the BLM
All horses and burros, which are still wild and require training, were sold on a first come, first serve basis for $150 each.
To adopt you must be at least 18-years-old, have adequate feed, water and facilities to care for the animals, and provide a home for the animal in the United States until you receive a certificate of title from the BLM.
“It’s a big commitment, especially with this economy,” said Peters. “But love you get from these animals is really like therapy.”
Pierce College rented the space to the BLM for the days they spent on campus, according to Helene Zinn, Pierce College graduate and member of the Boots and Saddles Club.
“If I could afford to take care of one, I’d take one home now,” said Zinn.
Since the creation of the adoption program, over 270,000 horses and burros have been adopted. All the animals are vaccinated, dewormed and freeze branded.
“It only takes one look to see how beautiful these animals are,” said DiGrazia. “It’s kind of like having a piece of the old west for your very own.”