Big Stars Lend Support to Save Wild Horses
Some big-name entertainers have entered the campaign to save one of the largest remaining herds of wild horses. Singers Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg are among those who are urging horse lovers to express their support for preserving the Virginia City herd.
Country singer Lacy J. Dalton is the person who recruited her show biz pals to the fight.
Country singer Lacy J. Dalton was in Las Vegas to perform at the campaign kickoff for Judge Don Mosley, and while music is never far from her mind, Dalton finds more and more of her time devoted to wild horse issues.
Dalton established the Let Em Run Foundation, devoted to preserving and protecting the large herd that lives in the mountains around Virginia City, which is where she lives. The herd was formed when stray horses from Comstock mining camps mixed with wild horse bands more than a century ago. Earlier this year, the state of Nevada announced it plans to round up the animals — supposedly for their own good.
“The Dept of Agriculture’s new director, Tony Lesperance, announced they would round up all the horses immediately because the horses are starving, they’re sickly, there was no grass and the department can no longer afford to feed them. Those wereÂ four huge lies,” she said.
Dalton says the Virginia City herd is not starving or sickly, that the range has more grass than ever, and that the state has never spent a dime to feed the animals. In February, the department sought nearly $60,000 to pay for the roundup and removal of 200 horses.
“Whether they will spend it for a roundup that doesn’t need to happen, I don’t know,” said Dalton.
To help put pressure on state officials, Dalton enlisted the help of some musical heavyweights. Country superstar Willie Nelson has been broadcasting his appeal on satellite radio and the Internet and has been joined by someone from the other end of the musical spectrum.
Rap star Snoop Dogg is asking his fans to call Carson City and ask the governor to drop the plans for a roundup. Dalton hopes to one day create a northern sanctuary for wild horses where the animals could live free and serve as a tourist attraction, to be viewed from afar by visitors who’ve never seen a wild horse on the range. Once the horses are rounded up, many of them end up in foreign slaughterhouses where they are butchered for meat. She and her friends don’t want to see that happen to the Virginia City herd.
“I’m relying on all of you to call Governor Gibbons, as if he needs more pressure. The divorce isn’t enough,” she said.
State officials say the planned roundup is on hold — for now.
If you want more information on the Let Em Run Foundation or want to hear the audio clips from Willie Nelson and snoop Dogg:Â www.letemrun.org