ABOUT THE SANCTUARY AND THE WILD HORSE ISSUES
Skydog Sanctuary has locations in Mariposa California as well as our 9000 acre ranch near Bend Oregon.
Sky Dog Ranch is a forever home for wild mustangs who have ended up in horrible and dangerous situations - at kill pens, at auctions, in unloving homes where they have often been starved and neglected. The horses here represent so many different aspects of the mustang issue, once rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management only to slip through the cracks and end up without the most basic care and affection.
All the wild horses here are treated with the utmost kindness and respect and we leave in peace the ones who want to be left alone and give others the love and compassion that they have not experienced from people before.
Skydog Ranch employs people in recovery who are actively working 12 step programs as well as military veterans as we believe that they and the horses form a unique bond, both having come from situations that tested them emotionally and physically.
WHY WE NEED SANCTUARIES LIKE SKYDOG
Many of our horses come direct from kill pens or Auctions where they were hours away from being shipped to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. The American people spoke loudly not to slaughter horses here but now the result is that they are shipped over the borders to be killed in the most horrible ways imaginable.
We do not eat horses - they are our friends and are classified as companion animals, not livestock, for that reason. However hundreds of thousands of them, including mustangs, are ending up on dinner plates in foreign countries and we want to bring awareness to that fact and ultimately change the law to stop horses being shipped to slaughter.
Our other focus and priority is to promote BLM adoptions of Wild Horses from holding pens and educate people who follow us as to the process and experience of having a piece of history in the form of an American wild horse. As well as this we aim to reunite families of mustangs that were rounded up and torn apart and to keep bonded horses and families together at our sanctuary. We believe that wildness matters, that family matters and that there is a better way to manage these mustangs on public lands to ultimately prevent more ending up at risk in bad places.
Our biggest, most important mission is to shine a spotlight on ALL these issues and make mustangs a talking point across the US. We want people to know the facts about what is happening to OUR wild horses. Using social media, local and national press and celebrity friends we can show how special, valuable, unique and beautiful wild horses are and stop them being rounded up, held in pens for their lives or - even worse - sent to slaughter for their meat.
This has to END.
WILD HORSES ON THE RANGE AND WHY THEY ARE BEING ROUNDED UP?
There used to be two million wild horses across America and now there are less than 50,000 in the wild, the same number that are currently in BLM holding pens.
Livestock on Public Lands outnumber wild horses by up to FIFTY to ONE yet they keep rounding up more horses to give the forage to cows and sheep being raised for their meat. The cattle ranchers are powerful and rich and lobby the government to keep taking wild horses off public lands so they can have all the grazing for their livestock.
In 1971 Congress passed the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act to protect mustangs that were being killed for their meat in enormous numbers. The act declared that wild horses and burros are "living symbols of the American West" and the Bureau of Land Management was charged with the protection, management and control of the mustangs. Since then they have rounded up over 250,000 horses and the ones that survive live sad and bleak lives in small, dusty pens with no shade from the sun in summer and no shelter from icy temperatures in freezing winters.
The roundups themselves are brutal for the horses. They are chased for miles by helicopters into small catch pens where horses often break their necks fighting to escape or desperately trying to get back to the families they are separated from. Horse advocates have had to fight every round up, for humane conditions at gathers and even to observe them at all. We also want the BLM to keep better, more detailed records of these families when they are captured so that people adopting one horse can also have the option of reuniting family members and bands.
We at Skydog are determined to continue to expose every flaw in this broken system and fight for the rights of these wild horses until they are treated better, they are given decent care in holding pens and the wild ones the right to live free as they were meant to.