After a trip to the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area and experiencing the thrill of seeing horses in the wild, we realized there may be others who wish to observe unbound Mustangs. So armed with our cameras, binoculars, maps and 4WD we will venture into these wild and rugged places. Within these electronic pages we will share what is out there… Where The Wild Horses Are… living life naturally. Exploring also some of the places they come to be when removed from these management areas.

The posts contain many photos, click on them to enlarge for more clarity, but please do not copy or reproduce without permission. email us. Thank you for visiting and we hope you enjoy the trip!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Help Bring Them Home

Press Release from Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition

June 16, 2011 – Today, the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) announces it assistance in the investigation of Wendi Bierling of Allegan, Michigan, regarding the alleged neglect of 25 wild Mustangs on her property. The MHWC urges Allegan County officials to conduct a thorough investigation of this case and to act quickly to ensure the safety and welfare of the horses.

On May 22, 2011, two MHWC representatives, Jodi Louth and Jill Fritz, visited Bierling’s property after Bierling submitted an application for assistance from the MHWC Hay Bank for 25 wild Mustangs that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) shipped to Bierling in February of 2011. The horses were rounded up by the BLM last August in California. All of the Mustangs are over the age of eleven.

The MHWC contacted law enforcement after witnessing gross negligence of the Mustangs, and has provided much evidence for the prosecution.

Law enforcement officials last Thursday assured the MHWC that the horses on Bierling’s property would be placed in foster homes approved by Allegan County officials, and that there would not be any more shuffling of the horses until after the investigation so that officials could keep track of the horses and monitor their care.

“We’re concerned that these horses may end up in the wrong hands if their movements are not carefully monitored by Allegan County officials during their investigation,” says Jodi Louth, MHWC Hay Bank Coordinator. “These are older Mustangs that still have all of their wild instincts and can be very dangerous to handle. We’ve consulted with numerous wild Mustang experts, all of whom have said that these horses would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to train due to their age. We do not encourage adoption of these Mustangs by private individuals for these reasons.”

Barbara Clarke, wild horse expert and director of the 2,000-acre DreamCatcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary ( in northeastern California , contacted the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition after hearing about the plight of these Mustangs and has offered them a permanent home as soon as the horses are healthy enough again to travel.

“We are only twenty miles from the Twin Peaks Horse Management Area where these horses were thriving prior to the BLM rounding them up” says Clarke. “Now we all have an opportunity to bring the horses back home where they belong and in an environment they are familiar with. After all they have been through they deserve their freedom back.”

While the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department continues to work on their case against Bierling, the MHWC has helped to support the rescue of five adult Mustangs and three Mustang foals from Bierling’s property, all of whom are currently in foster homes. The MHWC has helped to pay expenses for these horses, including reimbursement for hay and feed. The MHWC has also paid all veterinary care expenses for the horses, totaling nearly $2,500 so far.

Two Mustangs—a pregnant mare with a body condition score of one (the lowest score a horse can have and still be alive) and a foal—had serious medical issues while in Bierling’s custody. The MHWC and its supporters prioritized these horses for rescue, and they have both been examined by veterinarians and are doing well. However, the emaciated mare gave birth on Sunday and her foal did not survive. Read the story here.

Jill Fritz, MHWC secretary, concludes: “We urge the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department to pursue animal cruelty charges in this case, and to make the welfare of these horses a priority. It’s crucial that horse owners understand that the neglect of any animal is explicitly prohibited under Michigan’s animal cruelty statute. Financial hardship or lack of knowledge about proper horse care is not an excuse to ignore the law.”

The MHWC denied Bierling’s Hay Bank application due to a breach in MHWC policy regarding breeding. Read the detailed statement here

The MHWC and its Hay Bank was founded in January 2010 and has since helped to feed over 101 horses throughout Michigan. Donations to the MHWC Hay Bank are tax-deductible and greatly needed.

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