Sheldon NWR

TRO Denied, but fight to protect Sheldon Horses Lives On (and other news)


Observation at 500 feet with a 300mm lens

(Reno) Federal court Judge Miranda Du ruled on an emergency motion for a Temporary Restraining Order to horses held in the Virgin Valley facility at Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. Judge Du relied on testimony given at an all day hearing earlier this month. The Judge ruled that testimony given demonstrated access to volunteers and those interested in adoption from 2001-2006. This is what the Judge used to create the denial of the TRO. The interpretation was that this was not “public access.” In the Order it states that historic public access was not proven.

The case is still active. Current roundup documentation does facilitate adoptions, regardless of where the horses are adopted from. The First Amendment, and the freedoms of the press guaranteed by that right, also include the basic premise held by our founding fathers that the press informs the public to the actions of it’s government. “Without a free press, Democracy fails,” is a sentiment that has been a foundation of  our Constitution and reiterated by great leaders throughout our history.

“This case and the one heading back to the Ninth Circuit are extremely important, “stated Laura Leigh the founder of Wild Horse Education and Plaintiff in both matters, “There was historic access to horses at Sheldon in the past. An interpretation of that access is what created this ruling. We have another opportunity to present more in depth testimony and we will. It is also important to remember simply because the government did something wrong repeatedly it should not stand that the government be allowed to continue to violate the rights of it’s citizen’s. This issue is far from over.”

Today Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge issued an observation day to document the remaining 100 horses at the Virgin Valley facility.


Notes: we will attend the “observation day” and post a report.

Check back for updates on this case and the three other active federal cases carried by Wild Horse Education.

If you are interested in protecting the last of the horses and burros that reside in the Sheldon Refuge check out our Sheldon Horses website. “Operation Sheldon” is entering phase two. Sign up to receive the newsletter.

Faith and Dawn, McDermitt Orphans find some peace

Faith and Dawn. In the care of Wild Horse Education

Faith and Dawn. In the care of Wild Horse Education

Wild Horse Education has taken in two young wild horses from the McDermitt roundup this summer. These horses were chased by helicopter, captured and lost home and family, were sent to kill auction, saved and then their moms died. We have taken them in and am giving them some well deserved peace and attention.

If you remember these horses were caught in a two federal agency/reservation nightmare this summer. After AWHPC attorneys got Forest Service to cancel the agreement (violations of NEPA requirements invalidated the agreement) with the tribe the roundup occurred anyway. The horses were shipped to auction. A TRO was issued and no unbranded horses could be sold. At hearing however the court ruled that the horses were the property of the Reservation and that the court had no jurisdiction. The remaining horses wee distributed among rescue groups after a direct purchase from the REservation. Many of those horses still need to find forever families.


The Sheldon horses, and those like the McDermitt horses, have a lot in common. These horses are not protected under the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. These horses routinely and historically find themselves direct in the slaughter pipeline that leads to horrific deaths.

We will not forget them. Please help us in this fight. Sign up for alerts, “like” us on Facebook and if you can, please donate. Without you our work can not continue ~ Thank you

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Categories: Sheldon NWR, Slaughter