Government offers incentives to adopt wild horses

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HARRISON, Ark. — Due to an overpopulation of wild horses in certain areas of the country — the government is offering financial incentives to those who are willing and qualify to adopt these animals. 

90-thousand horses are running wild in 10 western area states, which include California, Nevada and Wyoming.

“Not only is there 90-thousand running on the range. There’s another 55-thousand are in some kind of long term, or short term holding,” said Fred Woehl, chair of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. 

Woehl has several rescue horses on his ranch in Harrison that are up for adoption. He says out of the 90-thousand horses running wild, the rangeland can only handle 27-thousand, putting the horses in dire need of care. 

“One of the big things people say is well the cattle ranchers…get the cattle ranchers off of it,” Woehl said, “The cattle aren’t out there that long. They’re out there at the most, 90 days in a year. These horses are out there 24/7, 365 days a year.”

Now, the government has stepped in.

“One of the new things that we’ve got going on…it’s really good. It was a recommendation by the advisory board in 2016 … was this incentive program where they will pay you a thousand dollars to adopt one of these horses.”

Birdie Mae is a wild horse from Oregon. She has a very dinstinctive branding rigt on the side of her mane. This happens when horses get gathered. This mark let’s people know their history. So, whoever buys her, will learn all about her life.

“Now you get 500 dollars within 60 days and at the end of the year..See these horses, the title don’t transfer for a year. So, if you get one of these horses it’s not yours for a year,” said Woehl.

Woehl said the cost for horses running wild is about one thousand dollars per head, per year. He also said there’s usually two horse auctions per year, per state — but be very cautious and do your research before making a purchase. He says there a quite a few scams out there.

If you’re interested in learning more about the wild horses and how to adopt, click here.   

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