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Wild Horse Connection protecting horses, drivers in Northern Nevada

Published: Nov. 1, 2020 at 3:35 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “Whether you love them or hate them, we all want to see them safe on the range and not on our roadways," said Tracy Wilson, a volunteer with Wild Horse Connection said of the thousands of wild horses that live in Northern Nevada.

Wild horses can be seen all over the Silver State. They are a part of the area’s natural beauty. But sometimes these horses make their way into town. In South Reno, flashing signs are posted all over to warn drivers that wild horses could be in the area.

“Our goal is to keep the horses up in the hills," said Katie Keller, another volunteer with Wild Horse Connection. "We have water guzzlers, and people who come out and volunteer with Wild Horse Connection who come out and feed.”

From Fernley to Reno, U.S., Highway 50 to I-80, Katie Keller and Tracy Wilson’s jobs are to make sure the horses stay in their natural habitat.

“When you feed apples, when you feed grass clippings, when you feed all that stuff in the neighborhoods, you bring the horses into the neighborhoods. That goes against everything we’re trying to do," Keller said of the organization’s efforts.

The best thing Northern Nevada residents can do is leave the efforts to the experts. Feeding the horses is illegal according to Nevada state law.

Wild Horse Connection manages diversionary feeding grounds and makes sure the horses have weed-free hay in areas away from neighborhoods. The nonprofit has approval from the Nevada Department of Agriculture for these grounds.

Encouraging horses to come into neighborhoods in search of food makes it dangerous for drivers.

“When you see (the horses) out in the streets and it’s very dark, it’s very hard to see a horse in the dark and on the street until you’re right on top of it," said Wilson.

Accidents with wild horses can happen. Drivers should use their brights when possible and be aware of the surroundings. By respecting the wild horses' territory, and allowing volunteers to do their jobs, there should be less run-ins in town.

If you see a horse walking through town, or in your neighborhood, call Wild Horse Connection’s emergency response number, (775) 352-3944.

To connect with Wild Horse Connection, volunteer with the organization, or make donations, visit their website here.

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