|About Denise Brown - Author, Illustrator and Horse Admirer|
Denise was a finalist in the Trail of Painted Ponies
Art Contest. Here she is with her pony Abenaqui
entered as "Indian Pony Life Story"
I grew up next to several horse farms in New Hampshire, took riding lessons, and have sketched and painted horses all my life. I was never able to have my own horse, but I have always had a soft spot in my heart for them. Being an equine artist has allowed me to stay in touch with horses and horse people.
More of my artwork can be viewed at www.raccoonstudios.com
During my research about mustangs while writing this story, I discovered the troubling and haunting reality behind the capture and treatment of wild horses.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of wild mustangs and burros are being legally harvested, chased and harassed by mustangers and helicopter pilots; hot shot, branded, and placed in holding pens with no shelter (often for years); and only given a few chances of adoption. If not adopted, they are sold and transported via crammed trailers across the United States' borders to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. They are then killed and processed into horse meat which ends up in Europe and Japan for human consumption.
Some horses are poisoned by cattle ranchers, others are abused and neglected by owners who cannot take care of them due to a troubled economy. Rescue shelters and organizations across the country have joined the fight to help save them. However, stronger legislation and enforcement is needed to protect the wild mustangs and burros from terrible fates.
In a perfect world, the mustangs placed in the overcrowded holding pens would be vaccinated and immediately returned to the public lands to live free forever. However, the current laws do not offer this option. The multi-faceted slaughterhouse debate will continue unless it is banned forever.
That is why I have joined the public outcry to rescue these horses from inhumane treatment and slaughter. I hope to educate people about the plight of the mustang and their potential elimination forever from public lands.
You can help, too. Share this story with your friends and family. Write a
letter to your Congressman to vote to protect the horses from a
slaughterhouse. Volunteer at or donate to an animal rescue center, or adopt a wild horse or burro if you have a farm or ranch.