RENO, Nev. – Some 150 mustangs that had been set to be auctioned off for possible slaughter after their removal from the range in Nevada have been granted a reprieve.
With financial backing from Florida horse-lover Victoria McCullough, activists acquired the animals Friday for $200 a head from the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe in northern Nevada.
McCullough, who seeks a ban on the slaughter of horses for consumption and export to other countries, rescues the animals through her Wellington, Fla.-based Triumph Project. She also is chairwoman of the board of Chesapeake Petroleum, a leading oil distribution company in the Washington, D.C. area.
Plans call for the horses to be split up among rescue groups and to end up at homes in Nevada and California, said Ginger Kathrens, founder and executive director of Colorado-based horse advocacy group The Cloud Foundation.
The purchase was a joint effort by various horse defenders, including Madeleine Pickens of Saving America’s Mustangs. At McCullough’s request, Florida state Sen. Joseph Abruzzo negotiated with the tribe.
A federal judge cleared the way Wednesday for the tribe to sell the 150 mustangs over the objection of activists who claimed the unbranded animals are federally protected wild horses that should not be auctioned off for possible slaughter in Mexico or Canada.