Wild horses, burros up for adoption this weekend
A piece of the old west will be up for adoption Saturday as the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management brings 40 wild horses and burros to Cass County.
Horses and burros from the ranges of the Western states will be up for adoption at McKinley’s Harmony Acres, 64247 Library Road.
The horses and burros will range in age from yearlings to 5 years old.
Interested parties can preview the animals Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. at McKinley’s.
The actual adoption will take place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a first come, first served basis according to Martha Malik, public affairs specialist with BLM.
Horses and burros under the age of 3 can be adopted for $125, while animals over the age of 3 are $25.
Each animal has been inspected by a veterinarian, vaccinated, de-wormed and blood-tested, according to Malik.
Not just everyone can adopt a wild horse or burro.
While the adoption process is relatively simple, criteria must be met in order for someone to adopt an animal.
Potential adopters must have sturdy corrals that are 20 feet by 20 feet or larger with fences at least six feet high for an adult horse and at least five feet high for horses younger than 18 months.
A shelter must be directly attached to the corral, and potential adopters will be asked to sketch out the set-up on the four-page application form.
Adopters must provide a stock-type, step-up trailer — not a typical horse trailer — to transport their animals after the sale.
“You truly are adopting a piece of history,” Malik said.
“These are mustangs and they are descendants of animals released or escaped from Spanish explorers, rangers, miners, U.S. Calvary or Native Americans.”
By definition, these wild free-roaming horses and burros are, by federal law, unbranded, unclaimed and found on Western public rangeland.
Malik wanted to make it perfectly clear that the horses are wild and cannot be ridden immediately.
“They do require gentling,” she said.