NDA receives complaints almost daily about horses in neighborhoods in and around the Virginia Range. Given available resources, NDA prefers to let the horses remain in the wild and only gathers Virginia Range horses when the horses present a public safety risk and a risk to themselves. Return to Freedom, a non-profit, in a standing cooperative agreement
with NDA, has first right to adopt and place gathered horses at cost.
Gathering often involves working directly with property owners, as this is safest approach for personnel, citizens and the horses. NDA does not lure horses into neighborhoods. Gathers that occur in urban areas are because the horses are already in these locations. NDA has been actively working with horse advocates to keep horses out of neighborhoods — however, this time of year is particularly challenging, as horses are continually coming into neighborhoods seeking forage and water.
Because the Virginia Range horses fall under jurisdiction of the state as feral/estray livestock, NDA has had to increase gather operations in order to proactively prevent incidences such as horse-vehicle collisions
, horses kicking and injuring children
and horses getting stuck in fencing and in cattle guards.
This has been NDA’s standard, well-publicized approach for more than two years.