In states like Montana and Wyoming, wild horses are regularly rounded up by government officials and shipped to holding facilities to make way for commercial developments. Normally, these horses are allowed to roam “free” on thousands of acres of land, called “horse management ranges” where they can lead lives in a fashion comparable to their wild ancestors.

However, at a moment’s notice, these horses can be collected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and auctioned off for “adoption.” More often than not, wild horses are adopted by slaughterhouses that supply large overseas markets for horse meat.

This is precisely what happened to a group of wild horses that were brought to auction following a round up in Wyoming. The Bureau of Land Management had authorized the round up after receiving complaints that the horses were destroying private property, thus deeming them fit for slaughter.

Thankfully, members of the Cloud Foundation, a wild horse advocacy group, took notice of an “Intent to Impound” notice from the BLM — code for a wild horse auction — and sent buyers to adopt the horses that would otherwise be sold for their meat. The foundation successfully saved 18 horses from slaughter and is working to bring more transparency to government run round ups with the help of the Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

To find out more about these awesome wild horse protection initiatives, click here.

Image Source: The Cloud Foundation