Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sanctuary Land Needed for Historic and Rare Horses


July 11, 2014,  North County San Diego- Wanted: At least 100 acres for lease or to buy, well-fenced with rolling hills and trees for shade and weather protection, water well access and grazing opportunities. 
Its purpose? To serve as a sanctuary for some of America's most historic and rare horses -
rescued Spanish and Navajo Mustangs recently saved after losing the land they lived on. Referred to by many as the Spanish horses, these Mustangs trace their lineage back to the reintroduction of equines to North America by the Spaniards in the 1500's.  These majestic icons now need homes after narrowly escaping government eradication.

"The Wild For Life Foundation (WFLF), a nonprofit charity dedicated to saving, protecting and preserving wild and domestic horses through rescue, sanctuary, and education, aims to provide a permanent public benefit sanctuary where horses and people are partners in healing," said WFLF's founder Katia Louise. The goal is to re-home 50-60 rescued Spanish and Navajo Mustangs in need, and give them a permanent natural habitat sanctuary within 30-60 minutes of San Diego.  

"With wild mustang herds across the west vanishing, the importance of protecting and preserving them, and providing the public the opportunity to view and experience wild mustangs in their natural environment is essential to the history and the future of our Nation," adds Ms. Louise.  
Since late 2013, WFLF has rescued approx 180 wild Mustangs, including approx 140 Monero Mustangs, and 40 Navajo Mustangs, including 21 orphaned foals (ages 1-6 months old), and several pregnant mares who all had lost their freedom and their homes in New Mexico. The baby horses had been orphaned as a result of the roundups and slaughter, which the vast majority of American people oppose. Two of the youngest most fragile foals were brought to Bonsall, CA, and have since been lovingly fostered by Linda Harris, Director of Ambassadors for Compassion.  

Volunteer emergency rescue team members began trucking in water and hay on a daily basis to over 100 imperiled Monero Mustangs in March this year, and began re-homing them into safe natural habitats in Arizona, Colorado, and Texas.  Thanks to an overwhelming outpouring of assistance from supporters, wild horse enthusiasts, and meaningful grants from the ASPCA, and Best Friends Animal Society, WFLF rescue team members have been able to provide essential veterinary medical care, hay, transport and housing for many Navajo and Spanish Mustangs in need.  

The WFLF seeks to secure appropriate natural habitat through sanctuary land acquisition in North San Diego county where these last few rare Spanish Mustangs can be permanently safe along with the Red Rock herd of Navajo Mustangs.
These horses are direct descendents of America's most historic Mustangs; Spanish horses, Indian ponies and early Calvary mounts that once roamed the western region of the U.S. in great numbers, but are now under extreme threat of extinction.  WFLF has managed to keep the small group rare breed Spanish horses together but they are not out of danger yet.  

The charity is preparing to bring these Spanish horses to California to be part of a sanctuary eco-conservation program under its charter. "Time is of the essence to permanently secure this vital land so we can assure a forever safe home for these and other imperiled and homeless victims," said Katia Louise.  WFLF seeks this land to be held in perpetuity for the horses and assure that these and other imperiled horses will never be at risk of slaughter again.

They are part of our history, yet the wild horses of today continue to battle for their rightful
place on their Native lands. Their unique adaptability and hardiness cannot be replicated in domestic breeding situations yet these indigenous horses are teetering on extinction due to their capture and removal by government agencies. And, America's wild horses cannot be reproduced once they are gone.

America's wild horses are denied their North American indigenous roots by U.S. government agencies that have instead labeled them as an "exotic, feral and invasive species" as a means to justify their removal from the range-lands. However, horses in truth have been found to boost biodiversity.  In fact conservationists in several parts of the world have been studying the re-introduction of wild equines to the range-lands as a way to restore the natural environment and wildlife. For example, the Tarpan wild horses have been successfully returned to the landscapes in both Britain and the Oostvaardersplassen of the Netherlands. Wild horses are scientifically recognized for bringing light grazing and natural fertilization benefits to the lands where they roam. Their restoration to the range-lands has truly helped the return of a wider variety of plants and invertebrates. "These majestic icons heal our hearts and they can heal the lands," says Katia Louise.

The Wild For Life Foundation has been working to secure permanent sanctuary land but recent efforts have not yet been fruitful. The charity is under deadline to secure sanctuary space for the last of the Navajo and Spanish Mustang herd members - even if short-term - which would allow more time to secure permanent acquisition.

"Ideally, all that's needed is something near North County San Diego where visitors and community members can benefit, take part and give back," said Ms. Louise. At minimum, they want about 100 acres, although the more the better so the horses have room to roam and to reduce the need for supplemental feed.  The charity is receiving pledges and grants toward costs as they continue to raise the balance of funds needed for acquisition and improvements.

Donations to WFLF's 'Seeds of Life' fundraising program will support this sustainable sanctuary expansion and make a meaningful difference in the lives of both people and animals.  

The sanctuary expansion is fitting for the Wild For Life Foundation, which has been at the forefront of international efforts to prevent animal cruelty, and to provide the urgently needed quality care which these victimized animals deserve.  WFLF also promotes equine assisted learning and therapy activities to aid youth, active duty military and veterans, and others in need. The wild horse observation program at the sanctuary will serve as an educational platform for the conservation and protection of Mustangs and burros who have been removed from the wild.  

As a recognized leader in animal welfare, the new sanctuary is vital for Wild For Life Foundation to respond adequately to the rapid pace growth in the number of animals and people it serves. The additional space, dedicated care areas and special facilities are needed to better provide for the animals in need. More significantly, the new sanctuary would enable WFLF to enhance the quality of its programs for for both people and  horses. "Ultimately and most importantly the new sanctuary would allow us to improve our ability to properly care for and rehabilitate more rescued animals and assure them of forever safe harbor," said Ms. Louise. 

Through monthly gifts of $10 or more, WFLF Lifeline Legacy Members help secure permanent quality care and habitats for these victimized animals. Monthly giving is the easiest way to support WFLF's lifesaving mission. Each monthly gift helps to provides a consistent, reliable income stream that allows the all volunteer rescue team to tackle whatever case may come through their doors, and assure that these vulnerable victimized horses will never be at risk of mistreatment again!  

Katia Louise is the Founder and President and volunteer Executive Director of the Wild for Life Foundation.  Ms Louise, Lakota Sioux descent, is a lifelong horsewoman and experienced equestrian with a background in emergency and crisis support, equine rescue, wild horse preservation and equine assisted learning programs.
The Wild for Life Foundation (WFLF) is a U.S. registered tax exempt 501 (c)3 nonprofit charity dedicated to the prevention of animal cruelty through rescue, rehabilitation, education and sanctuary. The WFLF promotes community enrichment through animal friendly - nature based programming for active duty military, veterans and their families, as well as disadvantaged youth and others in need. We save the lives of homeless, equines and canines whose healing hearts enhance the lives of people.  Federal ID Number: 26-3052458

To learn more visit the website at