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The government will pay you $1,000 to adopt a wild horse or burro

Posted at 12:12 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 13:12:08-05

MERCEDES, TX — Do you need a horse or a burro? The U.S. Government will pay you up to $1,000 to adopt an untrained animal.

The Bureau of Land Management will hold a wild horse and burro event in Mercedes, Texas, Jan. 10-11 at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Showgrounds.

The two-day event, featuring 70 wild horses and burros, will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 10. Adoptions will be held from 12-6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10, and from 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Jan. 11. Animals are eligible for adoption.

As part of efforts to find every horse and burro a good home, the BLM now offers up to $1,000 to adopt an untrained animal. This adoption incentive will be offered for every animal in Mercedes.

The animals offered at the event are adult and yearling horses and burros that once roamed free on public lands in the West.

The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range in order to maintain healthy herds and to protect other rangeland resources. The adoption and sale program is essential for achieving these important management goals. Since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 235,000 of these animals in approved homes across the country.

BLM staff will approve applications onsite. To qualify to adopt, one must be at least 18 years old, with no record of animal abuse.

Qualified homes must have a minimum of 400 square feet of corral space per animal, with access to food, water and shelter. A six-foot corral fence is required for adult horses; five feet for yearlings; and four-and-a-half feet for burros. All animals must be loaded in covered, stock-type trailers with swing gates and sturdy walls and floors. BLM staff will be on hand to assist with the short application process.

The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Showgrounds is located at 1000 North Texas Ave. (on U.S. HWY 83 in Mercedes, take the Texas Ave. exit, and go north approximately 2 blocks to facility). For more information, call 866-468-7826 or visit