September 4th, 2018


Thank you for following us and keeping up with the latest news regarding our beloved Virginia Range Mustangs!!


The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) has issued clear statements that it will only "manage" Virginia Range wild horses for direct public safety concerns. The NDA logs ALL contact with the public regarding our horses as “complaints”. While intentions are good and you want to help horses in danger or in need, the NDA has repeatedly made clear over the years that they would prefer our horses be removed. And one of the ways they accomplish that is to use contact from the public as an excuse to arrange for the horses to be picked up and removed from the range – losing their freedom forever.

This is the situation right now with horses that found their way through several weaknesses in the fencing around the Hidden Valley park area where fence integrity has been degraded. Because of the poor condition of the fence in several areas, one of the stallions received a severe laceration across his left shoulder and down to his chest. Many people have tried to reach out to the NDA to see if assistance could be rendered to his wound . PLEASE NOTE: this horse is healing well and being monitored. He is a wild horse and we want to ensure he remains that way!  However, the NDA is now threatening to pick up the horses in that area. We have reached out to the NDA to advise them that we are working directly with the Washoe County Park staff to ensure the fence is repaired/replaced. Our goal is to make sure the horses are once again fenced out of the park. For concerns regarding any Virginia Range wild horse:
PLEASE CONTACT THE 24/7 HOTLINE  at 775-352-3944
or use the link on the to fill out the non-emergency form

We cannot stress enough the danger the horses are in right now!!!!! Please read on!!!!

It has come to light that the NDA is now using a local non-profit organization to remove our horses from the range for them. This is VERY disturbing and upsetting to know that people we have worked with in good faith have revealed themselves to be willing to participate in removals of healthy horses, as advocates have in the past drawn a line against participating in such removals. In the absence of an active cooperative agreement, if the NDA feels there are removals that need to happen outside of injury or illness, they should have to do that themselves. Having a non-profit organization do that work for them simply provides them with free labor.
The Virginia Range Sanctuary organization has confirmed that they have removed our wild horses for the NDA on multiple occasions They have been using the excuse that the horses have presented a “public safety”issue – which they were not. In one case the horses’ mistake was to be standing in the direct proximity to the VRS’s Field Operations Director’s personal corral and were simply lured in, the gate shut, and the NDA notified to pick the horses up. But this group didn’t stop there! They then reached out to the public and solicited donations to help pay for the situation they had conceived, initiated, and deployed! Not only is that action questionably ethical for a non-profit organization to initiate, it could also be labeled as immoral and illicit. 
This group of people sound legitimate, and some of them did good work, which makes these revelations all the more disturbing – but their true motivations have been announced, their actions have been documented, and they continue to announce their intentions publicly. As recently as last week, this group posted on social media how it had transported 12 bachelor stallions to the prison for the NDA and even more disturbing, their ‘experts’ identified three of those horses as having “a heritable condition best not perpetuated’!!!! Such confessions from a group of individuals where none of their members have more than 3 years of active experience working with wild horses in the field is appalling.

This group was started with the intentions of creating a sanctuary up high in the Virginia Range for all wildlife. Somewhere along the way, their direction changed. They have been repeatedly asked for documentation or data to back up some of what they put out to the public as facts (mare/stallion ratios on the range, fertility control research, behavioral research and how those items pertaining to the VR compare to wild horse herds elsewhere in the West) and they continue to refuse to produce any studies, documents, or links to research or anything but their own novice opinions. 

Velma Bronn Johnston, also known as ‘Wild Horse Annie’ would be disgusted by this sort of behavior.


Be vigilant! – Use the 24/7 contact number 775-352-3944 if there is an emergency or the link to the non-emergency form at to report your concerns! 

AGAIN - Please do not contact the NDA!  After the situation has been evaluated, if the NDA needs to be called, volunteers will do so.

DO NOT contact Anna Orchard, the Field Operations Director for VRS! DO NOT contact anyone affiliated with the VRS “non-profit” organization!  They have openly and publicly stated with regard to the three horses they selected for removal from the range for the NDA due of an alleged hoof 'malformation’ that “ decisions about the fate of these severely debilitated horses lies with the NDA ” – and yet they still willingly and complicitly participated with the NDA to take these horses’ freedom! An agency that has openly professed its desire to see ALL WILD HORSES ANNIHILATED from the State of Nevada!!!

If someone shows up with a horse trailer and says they are going to “relocate” ANY horses – call foul, call 775-352-3944 and report it – get license plates, take photographs and/or videos, chase the horses away!

DO SHARE this information on social media! DO SHARE 775-352-3944 with your friends, family, neighbors!!!! Post the information to Nextdoor, chatboards, facebook – anywhere you know there are  good people – those who want to do the RIGHT THING for those who can’t speak for themselves!!!! It doesn’t matter where the at risk horses are. The information will get to the people who can help them, whether it’s in Stagecoach, Fernley, Moundhouse, USA Parkway or Washoe Valley! 

It is our mandate as well as that of the many other good wild horse advocacy groups we have worked with for MANY years - as honorable, trustworthy non-profit organizations - to do what we can and what we need to do to protect the animals that are the focus of our endeavors. We have been tasked with the public’s trust to work for the horses, to speak for them, to ensure their continued freedom, and find humane management methods with which they will thrive in achievable population numbers. We believe the horses should NOT PAY for the absent, irresponsible and neglectful management methods practiced by the NDA for too many years now, which we have also documented.

Point of Interest to the Public – None of the legitimate wild horse groups embrace "CULLING" or the indiscriminate, opportunistic removal of horses from the range as was included in a so-called "draft" proposal to the NDA by VRS for management of the horses on the Virginia Range.   link to VRS public documents to read them for yourself.

NOTE: In the VRS “draft” cooperative agreement at the link above, there are two separate line items –

Item 3.II.B – Removal – temporary/permanent
Item 3.II.C - Culling

It has been stated by this group that the word "CULLING" was only used in reference to removing horses with disabilities or genetic disorders and that they don't support killing these horses.  

Then ask yourself "Why 2 line items?"

An individual from the VRS attended our November 2017 monthly meeting and initiated a discussion about culling as a population control tool.  He specified that culled horses would be killed.   We disagreed with him.

Someone, somewhere, isn't being completely truthful.


The Nevada Board of Agriculture will be holding its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, September 5 th . The meeting starts at 9:00 am. While the Board is holding their meeting at the Elko office, we will be in attendance at the Sparks office, located at 405 S 21 st St (near Rock and Glendale). 

The Virginia Range wild horses have been added to the agenda. Here is a link to the agenda and attachments    

We will be speaking for the horses, for a humane management plan with local wild horse groups which embrace similar compassionate values that benefit the horses.

Keep up with what is happening with the Virginia Range wild ones!!!!!
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