(February 16, 2022) As part of AWHC’s Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) investigation, our staff monitors over 20 kill pens across the U.S. Recently, we came across two Bureau of Land Management (BLM) burros posted for sale at a notorious kill pen in Oklahoma. These burros looked defeated. Their heads were dropped, their ears were lowered, and it looked like they had cuts on their bodies. We lept into action and reached out to our friends at Montgomery Creek Ranch (MCR) in Elk Creek, California to see if they could take them in and they said, yes!
But we didn’t realize how bad it was until our transporter and quartine at RJF Equine went to pick up the two. As soon as she arrived at the pen, the auction staff told her they had two more BLM burros that hadn’t been advertised and asked if we wanted them. Of course, we did.
Two burros turned into four, and the cuts we noticed from the photos were worse than imagined. Three of these beautiful animals had open wounds all over their bodies. It was abundantly clear they had been through unspeakable abuse and trauma. Someone had taken a hot iron brand to their little bodies and caused horribly painful wounds on their necks, shoulders, and hips. The fourth one, a sweet elder white burro, had what’s called a ‘fallen’ or ’ broken’ crest, which means the long ligament that connects the base of his head to his shoulder was damaged, probably from a lack of proper care.
These guys needed some love and time to heal.
They spent a few weeks in quarantine, to decompress and have their wounds treated. Then, at the end of January, they arrived at their new home at MCR’s satellite sanctuary in Sonoma, California where they took their first steps into their new lives. AWHC and MCR staff were there to greet them with cookies and lots of scratches, which the burros were very happy about!
We have obtained the brand and microchip numbers of these burros and have submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to determine whether they were adopted through the AIP and will update you when we know.
These sweet four will be looking for their forever homes once they are healed and trained. If you or someone you know is interested in adopting them be sure to check out Montgomery Creek Ranch to learn more!
The AIP has created a wild horse and burro crisis that has never been seen before. AWHC is so grateful to work with on-the-ground rescues to support saving wild horses and burros from kill pens when we are able to while working on a national level to end the AIP as we know it. We intend to continue our lawsuit against the implementation of the AIP and work with our Congressional partners to bring to light the atrocities being committed against our iconic and beloved wild horses and burros.