SKYDOG RANCH helps to Rescue at risk mustangs and Burros across America and reunite families torn apart during brutal roundups.
SKYDOG SANCTUARY has locations in Malibu and Mariposa California as well as our 9,000 acre ranch near Bend, Oregon.
SKYDOG RANCH is a forever home for wild mustangs and burros who have ended up in horrible and dangerous situations - at kill pens, at auctions, in unloving homes where they have often been starved and neglected. We are also home to several wild horses families we have reunited after being separated during roundups. The horses here represent so many different aspects of the mustang issue, once rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management many of whom slip through the cracks and end up without the most basic care and affection.
All the wild horses and burros here are treated with the utmost kindness and respect and we leave in peace the ones who want to be left alone and give others the love and compassion that they have not experienced from people before.
SKYDOG RANCH OREGON FACTS
Our ranch in Oregon is home to over 100 wild horses and over 30 wild and rescued burros. The ranch is divided into the upper and lower ranch. The upper ranch is over 5000 acres of beautiful grazing land divided into seven sections for seven main herds. We have Buddy’s, Champ’s, Goliath’s, Sheldon’s, Bear’s and now two separate boys herds which act as bachelor bands for numerous mustangs rescued from all kinds of different situations.
In the spring and summer the lower ranch is used for grazing to rest other areas to prevent over grazing. It is the Upper Ranch where most of the work is done year round. We have several large Elk pens which range in size from 3-40 acres which house wild horses when they first arrive to acclimatize them to their new home. These pens are also home to a handful of special needs horses such as our blind mares, elderly and senior mustangs we have saved who have special needs and need medication and blanketing.
These pens have 8 foot fencing and are all linked to a central barn which houses our state of the art hydraulic chute for safe handling of wild unhandled horses. Using this chute system we can make sure all the horses in our care are wormed, inoculated and their feet can also be done if necessary with our squeeze and tilt chute. Most horses on the ranch have so much land to roam that they wear their feet down naturally on rock as they would in the wild. The majority of our wild horses are turned out to roam on thousands of acres of land.
We have three huge barns on the property. A stunning 10 horse barn with arena, wash rack, farrier station and tack room. This is often the first place new horses are turned out into so we can get to know them and decide which herd they are best suited to join ultimately. The second barn is called the Elk Barn and that houses our chute system but also has eight hubs with high wooden fencing to house any horses which need extra care and attention or are injured. We have a third quarantine barn on the lower ranch that we can use for any horses or donkeys who come in needing isolation from other horses for any of the terrible illnesses they can contract in Kill Pens and during auctions.
Our ranch is also home to five full time staff who live on the premises to be able to give round the clock care to the equines we love. Our staff are the life blood of Skydog Sanctuary and are the most important people to us. We value all of them and they are the heart of the Skydog family. They are incredibly knowledgeable about the wild horses and donkeys they care for and the ranch they help to maintain and we absolutely couldn’t do what we do or be who we are without this team.
WHY WE NEED SANCTUARIES LIKE SKYDOG
Many of our horses and donkeys come direct from kill pens or Auctions where they were hours away from being shipped to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. The American people spoke loudly not to slaughter horses here but now the result is that they are shipped over the borders to be killed in the most horrible ways imaginable.
We do not eat horses - they are our friends and are classified as companion animals, not livestock, for that reason. However hundreds of thousands of them, including mustangs, are ending up on dinner plates in foreign countries and we want to bring awareness to that fact and ultimately change the law to stop horses and donkeys being shipped to slaughter by lobbying our Government to pass the SAFE Act. This would prevent the shipping of equines across our borders to be killed for their meat.
Another focus and priority is to promote BLM adoptions of Wild Horses and burros from holding pens and educate people who follow us as to the process and experience of having a piece of history in the form of an American wild horse or donkey. As well as this we aim to reunite families of mustangs that were rounded up and torn apart and to keep bonded horses and families together at our sanctuary. We believe that wildness matters, that family matters and that there is a better way to manage these mustangs on public lands to ultimately prevent more ending up at risk in bad places.
Our biggest, most important mission is to shine a spotlight on ALL these issues and make mustangs and burros a talking point across the US. We want people to know the facts about what is happening to OUR wild horses. Using social media, local and national press and celebrity friends we can show how special, valuable, unique and beautiful wild horses are and stop them being rounded up, held in pens for their lives or - even worse - sent to slaughter for their meat.
This has to END.
WILD HORSES ON THE RANGE AND WHY THEY ARE BEING ROUNDED UP
There used to be two million wild horses across America and now there are less than 50,000 in the wild, the same number that are currently in BLM holding pens.
Livestock on Public Lands outnumber wild horses, in some herd management areas by up to FIFTY to ONE, yet they keep rounding up more horses to give the forage to cows and sheep being raised for their meat. The cattle ranchers are powerful and rich and lobby the government to keep taking wild horses off public lands so they can have all the grazing for their livestock. Add to that Mining interests who want our land for coal, gold, uranium, lithium…the list is endless but lucrative.
In 1971 Congress passed the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act to protect mustangs that were being killed for their meat in enormous numbers. The act declared that wild horses and burros are "living symbols of the American West" and the Bureau of Land Management was charged with the protection, management and control of mustangs. Since then they have rounded up over 250,000 horses and the ones that survive live sad and bleak lives in small, dusty pens with no shade from the sun in summer and no shelter from icy temperatures in freezing winters.
The roundups themselves are brutal for the horses. They are chased for miles by helicopters into small catch pens where horses often break their necks fighting to escape or desperately trying to get back to the families they are separated from. Horse advocates have had to fight every round up, for humane conditions at gathers and even to observe them at all. We also want the BLM to keep better, more detailed records of these families when they are captured so that people adopting one horse can also have the option of reuniting family members and bands.
We at SKYDOG are determined to continue to expose every flaw in this broken system and fight for the rights of these wild horses until they are treated better, they are given decent care in holding pens and the wild ones the right to live free as they were meant to.