LUMBERTON — Mustangs will be galloping into the area this weekend looking for a home — and the price is right.
The federal Bureau of Land Management is making as many as 70 0f the wild horses available for adoption at Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Event Center today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost to take one home is $125, but applicants will be vetted.
“There are no other fees associated with the adoption,” said Shayne Banks, a bureau spokesperson.
Bureau representatives will be on site to help with the application process, and to ensure the animals are going to a good home.
Banks cautions that the mustangs are wild. Adopters need to be patient and understand it will take time to train the animals.
“They are very sturdy,” Banks said. “They are great for trail riding and for showing.”
A few burros may be mixed in.
Potential adopters need to show they have a corral or penned area a minimum of 20-by-20 feet in size for one animal. A maximum of four mustangs can be adopted by one person.
All horses have been examined by a veterinarian and a blood test administered to detect equine infectious anemia.
There is a grace period during which the mustang can be returned to the government, she said. The government can take possession of the animal if it is determined the mustang has not gone to a good home. During the first year, the mustang can be returned to the government if the adopter determines he or she is incapable of properly caring for the mustang or if the adopter’s circumstances change and the adopter can no longer care for the mustang.
This will be the first mustang adoption event held by the bureau in Lumberton, Banks said. Such events are held to help manage the mustang herds that live on public land in 10 Western states.
“The problem isn’t land,” she said. “The problem is the availability of food and water.”
The land effectively can support 27,000 mustangs, Banks said. The bureau estimates there are 65,000 to 70,000 mustangs on the land.
“The only method we have to manage the herds is to find homes for them,” Banks said.
For information, call 866-468-7826.