PURPOSE & OBJECTIVES -Pegasus Equine Guardian Association (PEGA)
Fort Polk Horses of Kisatchie is a Facebook community that has featured issues about the equines at Fort Polk Army Base, Peason Ridge (northwest of Fort Polk base) and Kisatchie National Park(northeast of Fort Polk base); as well as the area’s rich historical place in the expansion of early Louisiana.
Pegasus Equine Guardian Association, (PEGA) a registered Louisiana Non Profit organization formed to help protect these animals. With an awareness that wild equines are MUCH BETTER left in the wild in their natural areas such the Kisatchie Region, PEGA continues to seek APPROPRIATE solutions, both with their welfare and their preservation as part of Louisiana’s HERITAGE in mind.
~There has been an increase of caring people inquiring and commenting about adopting the horses. It is a huge responsibility and life-long commitment to socialize a wild horse to living in civilization, local boarding stables may not have the proper facilities for them. For example, a stall with a turnout and containment of plastic fence or barbed wire is NOT safe, nor natural for their metabolism as migratory grazers. They can get injured, or escape. 5-6 acres realistically require continued financial resources for round bales, water, mineral to supplement the hay, manure management and insect control.
~It’s important to consider that un-handled or wild horses can be unpredictable, not easily worked with, and may increase liability and historically are not adoptable to the general public for long-term success. There is a difference between a horse lover and a successful wild horse adopter. Many a mustang taken from a wild state and adopted to well-meaning compassionate people has been foundered, injured or ended up in bad hands, at auction or a kill lot. Liability is high and it takes expertise, safety knowledge and continued resources for their appropriate care.
~Patience and time to interact with these horses daily by those who understand NATURAL HORSE BEHAVIOR as opposed to “horse training” will be most successful in acclimating wild or range bred equines to their new lifestyle. While some horses may be tamer and in need of assistance, secure, safe fencing, along with skills & experience to safely handle, feed, care for, socialize, adopt and conduct long term follow up on these these animals at *appropriate homes* should also be seriously considered.
~A 501c3 is a *tax status* and DOES NOT guarantee appropriate care or long term safety! There are dedicated non-profits that do good work as well. Therefore, seek and follow the advice and experience of *reputable rescues and sanctuaries that have been helping large animals (wild and domestic) to a better life over time. These dedicated individuals and professionals will likely explain the realities and challenges of working with rescued horses. Rescuing is a labor of love~ it requires time and resource sacrifices and is an important life decision not only for the animals, but for adopters as well as their families.
~For these reasons and because of the reduced numbers of the Fort Polk, Peason Ridge and Kisatchie area equines, PEGA and others hope many can stay in their wild setting and restricted from some of Fort Polk’s land or possibly be relocated to a safer area. A LARGER adequate sized land parcel or sanctuary, with adequate fencing, forage nutrition, water, and shelter-according to climate, would allow the kind of life they are more accustomed to.
~Lastly, while Pegasus Equine Guardian Association may *independently coordinate assistance for some animals as needed, PEGA is not affiliated with nor does it sanction any individuals or rescue groups inquiring with the army about adoption, independently raising funds, coordinating transportation, or proceeding with adoption efforts.
PEGA’s efforts can be followed at: https://pegasusequine.wordpress.com
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES:
“To preserve and protect the horses and other equine animals that exist on the lands of Fort Polk (including the Peason Ridge area) and lands of the Kisatchie National Forest; to promote and establish rescue mechanisms and sanctuaries for wild or other equine animals; to facilitate programs related to the rescue of said equines in the event that their removal from Fort Polk, Peason Ridge and the Kisatchie National Forest becomes necessary. The donations can be used for any of the following purposes: Future rescue, fostering and adoption efforts, feed, hay, water, veterinary care or other equine care, resources, supplies or equipment, purchasing/leasing of facilities, shelter, land or equine transportation; as well as advocating for enforcement of Animal Cruelty Laws through legal assistance; to advocate for proper welfare and stewardship of wild or abandoned equine animals (e.g., horses, mules, donkeys, and related animals) wherever they may be found, initially and specifically including those equine animals that exist within Ft. Polk (Louisiana), its training areas, including the main post and the Peason Ridge training area, and all such U.S.. Military controlled lands in the area, and the lands of the Kisatchie National Forest, especially that part adjacent to Ft. Polk lands, and where wild or abandoned equine animals may roam. PEGA regards that the animals of concern to it are primarily free-roaming or abandoned equines, whether branded or not, that range upon any lands, but especially those under the purview of the U.S. Military, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but not excluding such animals that range upon other lands. PEGA shall further pursue objectives including: to endeavor to prove the eligibility for special protection as wild-free roaming wild horses and burros under the Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, or to prove that wild horses descended from historical American stock, such as Colonial Spanish Horses or Indian “mustangs”, or horses native to geographical areas which are regarded as a special part of our American heritage and history; to prevent animal cruelty and abuse in any handling or transportation of equine animals, and to assure that none go to slaughter; to advocate for, and sue on behalf of, members of PEGA who have a special interest in and connection to equine animals indicated above, any individuals who are of, or descended from, the “Heritage Families”, whose land was acquired from them by the U.S. Government for the purpose of establishing Ft. Polk, American Indians, and others; and to facilitate communication with, and make recommendations to the “Heritage Families”, other individuals with an interest in the equines, and all government departments, including the U.S. Military, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Agriculture, that have jurisdiction of the lands on which the equines roam. Additionally, PEGA regards that the animals of concern to it are primarily free-roaming or abandoned equines, whether branded or not, that range upon any lands, but especially those under the purview of the U.S. Military, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but not excluding such animals that range upon other lands on which the equines roam.”
Follow and support PEGA at https://pegasusequine.wordpress.com/
By Kimberly Sheppard. This Note will be updated as needed.