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Terri Farley
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tumbleweed Heart: mustang filly's first violent month of life has happy ending

Dear Readers,
I'm sure you remember the photos of this mustang foal being abused by the private security staff of a Reno land developer. After being trapped and hauled around by her fragile neck, Diamond was picked up by the Nevada Department of Agriculture. She was loaded into a horse trailer and taken to to the Nevada State Prison with her herd. There, her father, brothers and cousins were castrated. At the prison, she waited, with no idea of what would happen next.
photos by Bo Rodriguez

On Wednesday, January 9, Diamond and her family were jammed into a 42 mustang shipment. They arrived in Fallon, Nevada for a slaughter auction
After live goats, cattle and pet horses were sold for meat, the Nevada mustangs were shoved, one-by-one, into a filthy, muddy arena the size of your living room. The noise of the auctioneer, the snapping of whips, the smell of humans and manure-smeared walls assaulted Diamond's nose.

The terror was even worse, because Diamond was alone. For some reason, auction staff separated the two. In the photos below, you'll see Diamond standing at the exit door. I took this photo as she whinnied to her mother, who neighed frantically on the other side.

 When Diamond couldn't get to her mother, she trotted back and appealed to the auction ring staff.

Auction photos by Terri Farley

There was no help there, but we were able to buy her, along with the rest of the Virginia Range herds. Hidden Valley Wild Horse fund bought-back 29 Nevada mustangs for $7,000.

Finally, the horses were brought back to pastures on the edge of the Nevada range they know. They'll never run free again, but little Diamond is with her family.

Home again. 

snow photos by Heather L. Heahn

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Posted by Terri Farley @ 2:30 AM

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