An opportunity to own a part of history is coming to Tonganoxie.
“The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will have a wild horse and burro adoption at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds in June 24-25,” according to Crystal Cowan at the BLM office in Oklahoma City.
“These are adult and yearling horses and burros that once roamed free on public lands in the West,” she said. “The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range in order to maintain healthy herds and to protect other rangeland resources.
“The adoption program is essential for achieving these important management goals,” Cowan emphasized.
“Wild horses and burros are iconic symbols of America’s western heritage, and are renowned for their strength, endurance, agility and intelligence, characteristics bred into them in the wild that make them ideal for work or recreation,” Cowan said.
“Since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 230,000 of these ‘living legends’ in approved homes across the country,” Cowan pointed out.
Attendance is free and open to the public, but application approval is required and can be done on site with adoptions scheduled from noon, to 6 p.m., on Friday, the 24th, and from 8 to 10 o’clock, Saturdaymorning.
To qualify to adopt, one must be at least 18, with no record of animal abuse. Adopters must have a minimum of 400 square feet of corral space per animal, with free access to food, water and shelter.
A six-foot corral fence is required for adult horses, five feet for yearlings, and four-and-a-half feet for burros.
“All animals must be loaded in covered stock-type trailers with swing gates and sturdy walls and floors,” Cowan said. “ BLM staff will be on hand to assist adopters through the short application process.”
All animals will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis for the minimum adoption fee of $125, which is set by law.
“However, BLM pays a one-time $500 care-and-feeding allowance to adopters of horses at least four years old,” Cowan said.
The allowance is paid in full after one year when adopters receive official ownership title for their horse(s). All standard adoption conditions and fees still apply.
“”A limited number of eligible horses will be available, while younger horses, burros and trained animals are not eligible for this incentive,” Cowan said.
“This incentive is designed to find homes for older horses that might otherwise be destined for long-term pastures, where they’d live out the remainder of their natural lives at taxpayer expense,” Cowan explained.
Information is available at 866-468-7826.