Want to adopt a wild horse? The U.S. government will pay you $1,000


Want to adopt a wild horse? The U.S. government will pay you $1,000

24 March 2019
It is like an online matchmaking service. Horse lovers who want to adopt a wild mustang from the western United States can browse dozens of headshots.

From drop-down menus, you can choose gender, color and age: a 4-year-old chestnut mare, for example, or a 9-year-old gray gelding. Some horses have no training, while others might be “gentled,” with experience being handled.

This is Wild Horses Online, part of the federal Bureau of Land Management’s online adoption service. Starting this month, the bureau is trying to make wild mustang adoptions more attractive by paying $1,000 to those who take in the animals, which are gathered up from public land in the western United States as part of efforts to manage the population.

The adoption program, which began on March 12, is intended to encourage potential owners to take the leap into adopting wild horses, whose access to pasture and water is challenged by factors including a rising population and droughts, said Deborah Collins, the bureau’s outreach officer.

Ms. Collins said the government hoped people would “take a fresh look” at owning a wild horse and say to themselves: “I got a little help now. I can go find me a trainer.”