BLM Wild Mustangs adopted in Park City by Wild Heart Sanctuary

PARK CITY, Utah — The Wild Heart Sanctuary in Park City is enacting its Wild Mustang advocacy by recently adopting four horses from the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro program roundup in Northern Utah, two mares named Grace and Giraffe and two fillies named Leilani and Miss Bliss.

Mare and filly adopted together.
Mare and filly adopted together. Photo: Wild Heart
Sonya Richins, the Executive Director of the Wild Heart Sanctuary told me, “It was super stressful, hoping we would win the bid on the four mares because we knew this is where they needed to be as their forever home, to thrive, never be broken, and just loved on. They were at risk of maybe not being adopted due to their age, one having a new baby, and one being an orphaned filly. But at the last second, we bid the highest and got the four horses we needed to rescue.”
At the 501 c 3 Wild Heart, they believe that these mustangs will experience a more humane existence than what’s transpiring in the care and custody of the BLM. There are currently nine horses in total at the Park City facility.
It attracts countless Park City residents who simply want to volunteer, like Jeanette Heckert who is there weekly, and told me, “BLM last year took 13,666 wild horses off the herd management areas in the 10 Western states and this year, they plan to take 19,000 horses off, and not all of them get adopted. Some of them are ending up in holding pens and are taken outside of the United States to slaughter so this is really something exceptional for one of our organizations in Park City to be helping with, it’s keeping horses out of the BLM pens where some horses end up for years off the range.”
The four recently acquired horses.
The four recently acquired horses. Photo: Wild Heart
“Sonya’s sole intent is to save them, never train them, just let them be wild like they were on the range, that’s all. She doesn’t do anything except help them be free. She just loves these horses and takes care of them and if she could, she would adopt as many as possible, but that’s all that she has land for. So, a lot of her neighbors who no longer have horses have allowed her to be using their five or six acres for $1 a year just so that she has plenty of grazing area.”
These were four horses out of 303 up for adoption in the Oniqui herd which is located between 50 and 70 miles outside of Tooele, “They’re just so beautiful out there,” Heckert said.

Heckert has joined two coalitions and supports them to have lobbyists in D.C. to represent the wild mustangs of the 10 Western states. She started last fall after the Utah herd was rounded up and then a different herd in her native Colorado was rounded up. She traveled with her son Scott just to visit that herd in Colorado and said to me how they could drive right up, within 10 feet of the horses, and they wouldn’t run away.  The Heckerts visited that herd in part because they wanted to see and support the BLM’s program for darting the horses with birth control.
Donations may be made here, directly for the ongoing care of the four newly-adopted horses.
Wild Heart is on private land and visitation is by appointment only. Grace is the mother of Miss Bliss, Giraffe was rounded up two times and was in rough shape, and Leilani is the orphan.

Four newly-adopted wild mustangs from the BLM land to Park City.
Four newly-adopted wild mustangs from the BLM land to Park City. Photo: Wild Heart

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