I'm writing to you today with an urgent plea to help a very special group of wild horses who were victims of the deadliest Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) roundup in recent history.
It was January 2010, when the thundering helicopters descended on the pristine Black Rock Desert in Nevada's Calico Complex. For the wild horses living there, life would never be the same. The relentless helicopters, chartered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), forced the horses to run for miles. Stallions tried desperately to keep their families together; foals struggled mightily to keep up with their mothers. Finally, they reached the trap. In an instant, their families were shattered; their freedom destroyed.
In the BLM holding pens, Tomahawk, a stallion captured at Calico, hung his head low. General and Commander, loyal friends, huddled together. The tags hung round their necks made clear that these noble band stallions -- once great leaders and protectors of their herds – were now just numbers … casualties in the BLM's war against America's wild horses and burros
In total, 1,922 wild horses lost their freedom in the 2010 Calico roundup. Hundreds of them perished in the years following the roundup in government holding pens. An untold number were sold by the BLM to a kill buyer, and almost certainly met with a horrific fate at slaughterhouses in Mexico.
Thankfully, over 100 survivors of the brutal Calico roundup -- including Tomahawk, General and Commander -- are safe, because Return to Freedom, the founder and parent organization of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, rescued them. The horses are living peacefully in the sanctity of Return to Freedom's American Wild Horse Sanctuary in the rolling coastal hills of Santa Barbara County, California and at another sanctuary in northern California.
But Return to Freedom needs your help to continue to care for them. Will you join me in remembering the Calico horses by donating to Return to Freedom today?
Since 2010, our attention has turned away from Calico toward other roundups and battles. But Return to Freedom must still care for the Calico horses, as well as 300 additional refugees from other federal roundups. The price of doing so is steep. Hay costs alone are $40,000 per month!
For 15 years, Return to Freedom has been on the cutting edge of the fight to save America's wild horses and burros through its sanctuary, education and conservation programs. Return to Freedom pioneered a sanctuary model that utilizes birth control in order to allow wild horses to live together with their families, in their natural state. And Return to Freedom founded the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, a coalition that is now 50 organizations and tens of thousands of supporters strong.
Please, as we continue this fight, please let's not forget Tomahawk, General, Commander and all the other beautiful Calico horses. Please help us show Return to Freedom that we stand with them… that we as a community are united our commitment to America's wild horses both on and off the range.
Whatever amount you can give, no matter how small or large, will make a big difference in the lives of these horses. So please contribute as generously as you can today.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your compassion, generosity and dedication to saving our beloved wild horses and burros.
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The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving American wild horses and burros in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.