Humane management of wild horses includes assessing and monitoring injuries and also includes rescue if necessary or humane euthanasia as a last resort. It is part of our job through our contract with the Arizona Department of Agriculture. (AZDA).
When you see a wild horse who is injured here’s how you can be of most help:
- Stay at a distance of 50 ft and watch the horse for a few minutes, so you can give us a good description.
- Try to take a picture of the horse, preferably of the face. We know each and every horse and once we’ve identified we can better look for him/her.
- Call our hotline asap, it is : (480) 868- 9301 (save it in your phone). Follow advice of the volunteer on the other line. He/she will dispatch our field team.
- if possible, stay with the horse until our field team has found you.
- if not possible send a GPS location. (Hold down and pin your location on Google maps)
- if not possible give us a good description of the location. Consider their habitat is 20,000 acres large and even injured horses can walk a long way in a short time.
- Once our field team has found the horse, we will assess and give you an update.
What NOT to do:
- Don’t approach the horse closer than 50 ft.
- Don’t send us a message, because we might not see it for hours and then it’s too late.
- Don’t post it on a Facebook page, because too many people will bother the horse, and people might feel like taking matters into their own hands.
- Don’t ever think about euthanizing a horse, because that’s very illegal. If a horse needs to be euthanized, that is a very careful decision by the AZDA Salt River Horse Herd .
- Don’t worry too much, because wild horses have amazing healing capacity and usually recover just fine.
The picture below was sent to us by a person the other day, who knew exactly what to do. We identified him as Heartstone, we monitored him for about an hour and the horse indicated that he just ran into a stick and that he was just fine, because he was still sparring with other bachelors. Heartstone has already recovered.
Sometimes injuries seem a much bigger deal than they turn out to be for wild horses. After all, they’ve evolved without human help into an incredibly tough species.
Thank you to our hotline operator and our field team, and AZDA officer Makenzie whom we’ve already been in touch with about a sighting of an injured horse today. Our fieldteam is on it.
BTW we don’t charge the government anything for our work. Please support us through a donation or by sponsoring a horse. Stay tuned for an update. Thank you. SRWHMG.