BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Some people who adopt a wild horse at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center Saturday (June 22) will also walk away with $1000, thanks to the federal government’s Adoption Incentive Program.
The Department of the Interior’s land management division is hosting the event Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. There is a $25 adoption fee, but some applicants will be compensated with two $500 checks after they take the horse off of the government’s hands.
“We have so many horses in holding right now that we’re trying to find good homes for,” land management bureau spokesperson Shayne Banks said. “It’s actually cheaper for us to pay someone $1000 to help us find a home for the horse than it is for us to keep the horse for the life of the animal.”
Banks estimates there are around 90,000 wild mustangs roaming the west, but only enough food and water to sustain 30,000. To save the horses, the federal government captures them and takes them to agricultural states for adoption.
Horses that are not adopted are released back to the wild to fend for themselves.
“These horses take patience,” trainer Cory Bourque said. “The more patience you have, the faster they learn and the more they’ll give you.”
“They’ll do absolutely anything you want them to do, you just have to be willing to put the time into it,” Banks said.
Around 60 horses and burros are available for adoption. Interested patrons can apply, though the government does require the adopter to have appropriate facilities to house a wild mustang.