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Twice Abandoned Mare Safe at Last

After years of isolation, Paisley will finally roam free with other mustangs once again

  • Paisley stares hesitantly at the camera from a safe distance in her quarantine yard. Jennifer Kunz/The HSUS

  • Once she completes her quarantine period, Paisley will be turned out to join the other mustangs at Duchess. Jennifer Kunz/The HSUS

Wild horses—mustangs—inhabit the plains and mountains of ten western states. For years, ranchers have pressured the government to control their numbers by rounding them up and offering them to the public for adoption. Those who aren’t adopted are housed in long-term holding facilities at tax payer expense.

Maybe that makes Paisley, the newest resident of Duchess Sanctuary, lucky to have been adopted after being forcefully removed from her wild home on a range in southern Oregon 13 years ago. However, the life of isolation she’s lived in those 13 years leaves a lot to be desired.

Despite being housed at a boarding facility by her first owner, presumably to be well taken care of, Paisley was eventually left alone in a six-acre field when her owner stopped paying for her board and care. For the more than ten years she lived in that field, she lacked basic veterinary care and had little interaction with humans.

Learn more about the plight of wild horses»

In the spring of 2013, the property was sold, and while the property owners moved, they left Paisley on the property, deserted. She was truly a wild, unadoptable horse after all this time, and she wouldn’t let anyone near her. When the new property owners arrived to find her in the field, they contacted the local animal control office to remove her.

With limited options, the responding animal control officer contacted Duchess Sanctuary for assistance. Either the horse would be euthanized, or she would need a home, like Duchess, where she could have limited interaction with humans and be able to live her days in peace. And so, in mid-September, 2013, Paisley arrived at Duchess Sanctuary, which will be her final, forever home.

She has settled into her routine of regular feedings and care. And, after her medical needs are addressed, she will be turned out to pasture with the other mustangs at Duchess. She will never know abandonment or cruelty again.

Thank you to Douglas County Deputy Lee Bartholomew and Darla Clark from Strawberry Mountain Mustangs for their assistance in getting this mare to permanent safety.

For more information about Paisley and other horses at Duchess Sanctuary, please contact Ranch Manager Jennifer Kunz: jkunz@humanesociety.org. Duchess Sanctuary is operated by The Fund for Animals in partnership with The Humane Society of the United States.

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