Press Release

Center for a Humane Economy, Animal Wellness Action, The Cloud Foundation, and TMR Rescue Partner to Save 14 Burros from Kill Pen

The animals were all placed for adoption by the Bureau of Land Management’s adoption programs, which put federally protected equines at risk of slaughter

Plantersville, Texas — The Center for a Humane Economy, and Animal Wellness Action, today announced their collaboration with TMR Rescue, Inc., a donkey rescue and sanctuary in Plantersville, Texas, to save 14 formerly wild burros, all titled by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), from going to slaughter in foreign meat plants. The animals were originally adopted by private individuals through the BLM’s adoption programs — through a program that requires holding the animals for at least a year before title is transferred to them – they were ultimately dumped in a kill pen. There, they were offered for sale to the highest bidder, putting them at grave risk of ending up being killed for their skins or butchered for meat.

The BLM’s title documents issued for each animal serve as clear evidence that the agency’s adoption programs, especially the notorious Adoption Incentive Program (AIP), are being exploited by unscrupulous profiteers who exploit these federally-protected animals. Under the AIP, the BLM pays adopters one thousand dollars per animal, and adopters are allowed to adopt up to four animals apiece. Families or groups of adopters are known to pool together to buy large groups of animals, with a family of five able to be paid $20,000 in taxpayer dollars. After holding the animals for the required one-year waiting period, the BLM issues the title documents and payment in full to the adopters, who then promptly sell the animals to kill buyers, kill pens, and slaughter auctions – thus receiving payment twice for the same animals.

“The Center for a Humane Economy has long maintained that the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program puts wild horses and burros in the slaughter pipeline,” said Scott Beckstead, director of campaigns for Animal Wellness Action, and the Center for a Humane Economy. “The BLM promised reforms, but the agency hasn’t done anything substantive to address the problem. The result is mustangs and burros with the tell-tale neck freeze brands showing up in kill pens across the country.

“Our effort today brings security for these burros, but they really are just ambassadors for what’s wrong with the BLM and its reckless mismanagement of the wild horse and burro program,” added Beckstead.

“It breaks my heart that these iconic representatives of our pioneering past have lost their freedom,” said Marjorie Farrabee, equine manager at TMR Rescue, Inc. “To add insult to injury, they were apparently betrayed by their adopters who pocketed the $1,000 adoption incentive and then placed them in harm’s way.”

The Cloud Foundation also assisted in this rescue by providing funds to assist with initial care and materials needed to ensure the animals are safe and healthy long term. “We are very grateful to support the Center for a Humane Economy and Texas Miracle Ranch in the rescuing these victims of the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program (AIP). Every American citizen ought to be outraged by the AIP,” stated Dana Zarrello, Director of the Cloud Foundation. “The program uses our tax dollars to pay people who adopt wild horses and burros, keep the animal(s) for a year, then dump them at auction where they are sold, often to kill buyers, who truck them to a horrific death in a foreign slaughterhouse. It must be stopped.”

The 14 burros will join about 400 other burros, donkeys, and horses on TMR Rescue’s 207-acre sanctuary in Plantersville, Texas, about an hour outside Houston. To support the sanctuary in providing high quality care and a permanent home to the burros, please visit

Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News

Animal Wellness Foundation is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.