35 Horses Save from Nevada Slaughter Auction

Saturday night (the 17th) Jason and Tawnee headed out towards Fallon NV, where the Fallon slaughter auction had taken place, and hundreds of horses were sold, mostly to killer buyers.

Mile after mile slipped under the wheels, and they arrived in Fallon about 1:30 am.

In a few hours they met up with the rescue team that had purchased horses at the auction.  They all headed to the auction to pick them up and transport them to safety.  There were a lot of other rescues there as well, and in total over 100 horses were saved by rescues.

We found it very interesting that the auction has this sign posted.  Most of the pro-slaughter advocates say that slaughter is necessary to deal with the old, weak, poor, and crippled horses.  This is the truth: they don’t want those horses, they want healthy young fat horses that they can make the most money off of.  Remember, the Fallon auction is a slaughter auction, horse slaughter is perfectly legal there, and they are not ashamed in the least of shipping horses to slaughter.  This sign says what kind of horses they want to ship.

The loading slip was handed to the corral workers and before long they saw the first group of youngsters coming down the chutes.  These precious lives were saved with your donations!

We got them all loaded up safely in the trailers.

Then it was time to head to the temporary shelter.

After a bit of a drive they arrived at the temporary shelter south of Reno.  This shelter was made possible by Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund and Wild Horse Mentors.  Many thanks to their hard working volunteers for getting this all set up!

The youngsters were so happy to get out and stretch their legs on the beautiful pasture.  It was such a beautiful place, and no doubt a relief to the babies after all the stress they endured at the auction.

They were all so cute, and were all curious about their new situation too.

23 horses in all were moved to the first temporary shelter.

We would like to thank the great group of folks at Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund and Wild Horse Mentors once again.  This is only a few of them that turned out on Sunday, there were many more that helped build the facility on Saturday.

One of the volunteers put together a short video of them making the temporary shelter.  Again we can’t thank them enough, to watch the video, click here.

After the first load was settled in at the temporary shelter, they headed back to the Fallon auction to find out if there were any more horses that needed sheltering.  A lady purchased over 40 horses with nowhere for them to go, she wanted to save them from slaughter, but had no homes or sheltering facilities lined up…

It was very disheartening watching trailer load after trailer load of horses heading to the slaughter feedlot, where they are housed for a couple days until they are shipped to slaughter.  In California killer buyers are so secretive about their intentions for the horses they buy in mass, but in Nevada it’s a whole different story.  They buy horses for $160, and the next day they are for sale for $500 to rescues, with the threat “They are going to ship tomorrow if you don’t buy them today.”  The KB’s in Nevada definitely have the emotional game going on, and definitely know how to use the situation to their financial advantage.  If only people would  buy the horses from the auction, outbidding the killer buyers by just a few dollars, instead of enriching the killer buyers after the auction.   

Finally at the end of the day there were 12 horses from the lady’s 40+ that could not be placed and had nowhere else to go.  Our trailers pulled into the loading chute to get loaded up.

It was definitely a sad situation, as horses were being given away from the group of 40+ to whomever had a trailer and was willing to “promise” they would give it a good home.  Sadly, we are almost certain that some of the horses were taken by friends of the killer buyers and taken to the feedlot.  Approving adopters and having a strong adoption contract is extremely important, especially in a slaughter state where killer buyers and their families circle like piranha’s, trying to get every horse they can.  At least the last 12 had somewhere safe to go: into our trailers.

This photo is just so cute and made everyone’s day after all the hard work.  The colt stuck his tongue out at the kb’s as the trailer pulled away.

After another bit of a drive, the horses made it safely to our second temporary shelter north of Reno.

One by one the horses unloaded and settled into their nice pens.  We can’t thank Jessica enough for opening up her ranch to these precious lives in need.

After the big horses unloaded it was the babies turn.  They looked so curious at their new surroundings.

The sun was setting as everyone was settling in for the night.  In all we rescued 35 horses and transported them to safety.  What an amazing day!

Monday morning bright and early found Jason and Tawnee at the South Reno Temporary Shelter.  It was going to be a busy day as all the horses had to have their health certificates and coggins test done.  There was one filly out of the group who showed particular interest in making friends.

Before long her friends started coming up with looks of friendliness and curiosity: could there actually be nice humans in this world?

Panels had to be rearranged to make catch pens and a squeeze chute.  Through it all the horses curiosity built.

Before long the vet was there, and one by one they were herded into the chute to have their blood drawn.  Remember, these are completely wild, unhandled horses straight off the range.  They all worked hard to make it as calm as possible for the horses, but it was still very scary for them.

Finally they were all done drawing blood on all 23 horses, then there was a huge stack of paperwork that had to be signed.

It was decided after the health certificates and coggins were done to move the South Reno horses up to the temporary shelter north of Reno.

After a couple trips everyone arrived safely, and all the horses we rescued over the weekend were in 1 shelter facility.  This made it a lot easier to care for them, and they were all in 1 location for picking them up when it was time.

By Thursday we had all the paperwork in order and in hand to bring them into California.  All the coggins came back negative and the health certificates showed they were all healthy enough to cross state lines.  One of our Facebook followers made a comment that made us all smile: “Is surprising how long it took y’all to get this paperwork done (legitimately) and the others were trucked right on out. Amazing. Thank you for being so wonderful.”

By this time when the trailer backed up to the loading chute, the babies headed right to the trailer and hopped in.  They are definitely getting in the routine of being moved around.  This will be their last trailer ride until they find their forever home.

It was late at night when the trailers arrived at the shelter in California with the precious lives.  It was such a long and exhausting week.  We would like to thank everyone who was part of this rescue, through volunteering and especially donating, you made  it all possible.

To see photos of all 35 horses, click here.

As you can imagine, this is a huge financial commitment to take care of this many horses. This is the largest out of state rescue we have ever done.  There was a lot of high keyed emotions going on at the auction, and one person donated $6,600 to us to rescue horses.  After rescuing the 35 horses, the killer buyers stated that they were going to be shipping mares and foals to slaughter, and they wanted the rescues to buy them, for triple what they had just paid for them.  The large donor demanded their money back, so they could buy more horses.  It was devastating to have the largest donor pull out, after we had made commitments based upon that donation.  They did allow us to keep $2,000 of it, but we need your help to fill in the difference.  Please donate to help with this very large rescue, this rescue all came together so quickly we didn’t have time to fundraise like we normally do.  To help out, click here.