A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Mustang Monument, just outside of Wells, Nevada. This eco-resort and preserve for wild horses encompasses over 900 square miles of land, surrounded by mountain ranges. Here, owner Madeleine Pickens has rescued over 650 wild mustangs from the Bureau of Land Management roundups and overseas slaughterhouses.
Madeleine is a pretty remarkable woman- animal welfare activist, businesswoman and philanthropist. She maintained a successful career in thoroughbred racing and afterwards, focused on the preservation and retirement of horses. She led the fight to close the last horse slaughterhouse in the United States, and supported the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act from its beginning in 2007. (This Act had passed by the House of Representatives but did not pass in the Senate. It is still an ongoing battle and bills were reintroduced to Congress as recently as 2011.) During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Madeleine organized funds and aircraft transportation to evacuate and rescue over 800 displaced dogs and cats. In response to the 2008 announcement by the Bureau of Land Management that 30,000 wild mustangs were to be euthanized or sold to overseas slaughterhouses, Madeleine announced plans to develop a wild horse sanctuary. She founded the charity Saving America’s Mustangs and through it, raised funding to create Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preserve. The property will protect wild horses and provide sustainability of the sanctuary for years to come.