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By WHITLEY LEDBETTER
Daily Press Staff Writer
The United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host a wild horse and burro adoption today through Saturday. This event will be held at the Artesia Horse Council Arena. This year’s horse adoption will feature more than 60 mustangs and 10 burros.
According to Paul McGuire, public affairs specialist for the BLM Oklahoma office, the BLM monitors horse and burro populations to ensure they do not exceed manageable numbers. The goal of the adoption program is to reduce the herds and give people the opportunity to be involved in the conservation and preservation efforts of the BLM.
Jerry Blakely, a petroleum engineering technician from Carlsbad states, “The horses are in good shape, and in good health. I’ve adopted two of them myself, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m amazed by how intelligent they are. It’s been fun and enjoyable.”
“There really is no finer breed of horse one could own than an American mustang,” said McGuire.
To qualify to adopt, one must be at least 18 years of age and have no record of animal abuse. Applications can be completed on the BLM website at www.blm.gov. The adoption fee is $125. If there are any questions, BLM workers will be present during the event for further assistance.
There will be a new adoption incentive program this year. If one adopts a horse 4 years or older, the BLM will pay $500 for the horses’s care and necessities. Younger or trained horses are not eligible for the incentive. After a full year, adopters will receive a certificate of ownership from the BLM.
The adoption will begin at approximately 2 p.m. today, on a “first-come-first served” basis, and will end at 6 p.m. On Friday, adoption will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. The last day of adoption will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 12.