Mustangs available for adoption

OKEECHOBEE — Thousands of acres of habitat for America’s wild horses and burros remain in danger due to the lingering effects of drought and wildfires throughout the western United States. Therefore, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has conducted several gathers aimed at saving as many of these animals as possible. As a result, thousands of horses are now in need of homes and some are already in route to Okeechobee, for adoption on Feb. 3-4 at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center.

The two-day event will be held at the Agri-Civic Center and will feature approximately 65 spectacular animals that once roamed free on public lands in the West. The adoption starts at 9 a.m. on Friday and goes until 7 p.m.

Gates open again Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and the adoption will continue through 5 p.m. This adoption will be first come, first served for the entire event. For best selection, come early. Applications can be completed at the adoption, and approval is done on the spot. Adoption fee is only $125 per animal.

Wild Horses and burros heading to Okeechobee.

“There will be some exceptional horses from the western rangelands, and you can adopt one for a minimal fee,” said Southeastern States District Manager, Bruce Dawson. “These wonderful animals need new homes and, with your consideration, we’ll find great homes for all of them.”

To qualify to adopt, adopters must be at least 18, with no record of animal abuse. In addition, adopters must have suitable facilities and can adopt no more than four animals. All animals must be loaded in covered stock-type trailers with sturdy walls and floors – no drop ramp trailers.

“Wild mustangs are known for their strength, endurance, agility, and intelligence – characteristics bred into them in the wild which make them ideal for work or recreation,” said Dawson.

The process is called an “adoption” because the BLM retains title to the animal for one year after the adoption. During the year, a BLM representative or designee will visit each adopter to ensure the animal is being cared for and has a good home. During this time, adopters cannot sell their adopted animal. After the first year, adopters may apply for title. The BLM will pass title of the animal if all the stipulations of the adoption agreement have been met. The animal becomes the private property of the adopter only after the BLM transfers title, which completes the adoption process. Since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 2,450,000 horses in approved homes across the country.

For more information, call toll-free 1-601-376-8057or 1-866-4MUSTANG.

Wild horses heading to Okeechobee.

Wild Horses and burros heading to Okeechobee.

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