Willie Nelson rescues more horses at his Austin, Texas ranch

Willie Nelson serves on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Horses, and has also rescued many horses, that now live on his Texas ranch.  Habitat for Horses is the largest all-breed equine protection organization in the United States.   A nonprofit registered in Texas, Habitat for Horses assist law enforcement with education and investigation of equine abuse and neglect, and offers rehabilitation and adoption to over 300 horses each year through its network of foster homes. For more information, contact Habitat for Horses at (866) 434-5737 or visit www.habitatforhorses.org

OnFebruary 23, 2010, Jason Meduna was sentenced on 145 counts of felony animal cruelty charges and placed behind bars.  One week later, six of the survivors from the 3-Strikes killing fields were finally placed in their forever homes at the ranch of country music icon Willie Nelson.

For the past 11 months, volunteers and staff of Habitat for Horses have been daily tending to the needs of six wild horses wrenched from the clutches of convicted animal abuser Jason Meduna. 

“Equine rehabilitation is a difficult and delicate operation, especially with horses that were as far gone as these guys were.” stated Jerry Finch founder and President of Habitat for Horses during a recent interview.  “These horses responded well and continue to flourish with each passing day.”

 Jerry was the lead investigator into the 3-Strikes disaster last April.  It was Mr. Finch who hired a plane and along with the local Sheriff flew over Meduna’s parched and overgrazed land to witness a sight that will be difficult for both of them to shake.


Rebecca Williams, of Habitat for Horses and Voodoo before his trip to Willie Nelson’s Texas ranch

One of the rehabilitated mustangs that made the trip to Willie’s ranch from Habitat for Horses was a black and white spotted mustang named Voodoo.  Jerry refers to him as the “last horse standing”.

“As we flew over the sand hills I looked down to see a singular horse, standing on a bluff that over looked a pile of bodies and that horse was looking straight up at us.  Horses don’t usually look up but this one not only looked at us but he looked right through me.  It was unnerving but he motivated me to act.  He almost didn’t make it into the trailer to safety he was so bad off.”  Jerry remembers, “We had a connection and that’s why it was so very special to let him out of the trailer at Willie’s knowing that he will be able to live out his life as he was meant to, wild and free”

Willie Nelson sits on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Horses and has, to date, adopted 71 horses that run free and enjoy just being horses on his spacious ranch outside of Austin, Texas. 

Willie’s herd is well cared for by a knowledgeable staff of professionals who have also rehabilitated abused and neglected horses that have come directly from a Habitat for Horses rescue operation.  Willie and his daughter Amy are outspoken advocates for the cessation of horse slaughter in the U.S. and the end to the Bureau of Land Management’s managed extinction of America’s wild horses on public lands.

Amy Nelson, with a rescued horse.

15 Responses to “Willie Nelson rescues more horses at his Austin, Texas ranch”

  1. Vicki Freiberger says:

    Oh I love this!!!! Jason Meduna is our X neighbor. It is so cool to see all the wonderful people and how the horses have survived. Thank you for all you do, and your dad. How awesome! I look forward to keeping up with their new homes. God Bless You.

  2. Dave Huss says:

    To VooDoo,

    Thank You my friend. We’ll see you again someday.

  3. Thank you Willie, Amy and Habitat for Horses. Voodoo looks stunning. What a miracle his recovery has been. God bless you all.

  4. Bless you for what you do for the horses. Thank you! Thank you! Thank You! You are awesome!

  5. David Huff says:

    6705 Edgefield
    Austin, TX 78731

    Would you please provide me with a current listing of horses that you have for adoption

    Thank you

  6. LindaLee says:

    David, visit one of the horse rescue websites, and they can put you in touch with horses that need rescued. Thanks for your good works.

  7. duane benavides says:

    Willie nelson have you herd about the horses in arizona, Being herded into pens and standing there forever with out water or food. i wish i could have a ranch in Idiho or where ever to make our haritage live on…spell check. love you willey!!!!

  8. sharon says:

    I hear people call Willie by a lot of names but I tell you one thing he is not, he is not selfish. He is a warm and caring man. The love he has for the horses is un conditional. I am so happy and proud to have people like Willie Nelson. I am not a wealthy person, we are everyday folks livng month to month on a small retirement but we are making it. I know one day I will be ina better situation and when that happens I plan on adding onto out small place here in Kempner, TX a safe haven for left behind pets not animals for they were pets before they were turned away. He tells me that I cannot save the world and I know this but if I can save a poor animals life well then so be it. God Bless you Mr. Willie Nelson

  9. Pam Vise says:

    I have been a volunteer at HFH for almost four years-most rewarding thing I have ever done. I helped care for VooDoo, his buddy Itchy, Tanner and others that Willie has given a home to. I’ll never for get the first time Voodoo came up to me and took apple from my hand-this is quite a feat with wild horses. God bless you and your family Willie.

    The habitatforhorses website has photos and info on the horses that need froever/foster homes. We have everything from donkies, ponies to 2200 pound Belgiun Annie and everything in between.

    Thank You

    Pam Vise

  10. Vicki Freiberger says:

    It is so exciting to read the comments about the Nebraska horses that Willey has. Pam, I envy (and thank you) you; you were able to take care of the horses from 3 Strikes Ranch in NE. It would be such an honor to meet Willie Nelson. I was just at the NE State Fair (Grand Island) to see Willie in concert. My FIRST concert I’ve ever gone to, and I’m 53! (was 52 then – got the tickets for my birthday – from myself!!) I sat WAY towards the back, but it was all so worth it. I wanted to run down to the front and shout “Voodoo”!!! in hopes I’d get Willie’s attention, HA. (I was the neighbor that turned that low-life in – and will forever be grateful to Jerry, you, Willie, and everyone that has had anything to do with making those horses’ lives worth living.) God Bless You All!

  11. Lora Alston says:

    As Gandi had said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” When we had a place in the country we rescued horses/ponies and brought them back to health. My horse passed away 2 yrs. ago and I still cry like a baby for him even at my age. I loved him so very much…oh how I miss my friend. We are now in the city because of circumstances, but if I and my family are ever able to go back to the country, we will begin our rescue once again. Willie, his family and many very special people fight for the rights of animals on a daily basis. St. Assisi is proud and he guides us to these animals in need so that we can give it our all to make a stand for them and improve their lives.

  12. sally says:

    Willy Nelson is my hero. Thanks to all of you for your work with horses.

  13. gloria taylor says:

    i am a big fan of willie what he is doing comes from the heart of a great man

  14. John Roberts says:

    Willie, the world would have been a poorer place without you.
    I ‘d love to come see the horses, but unfortunately you’re a bit too far from the UK.
    God bless

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