New group of Ft. Polk horses rounded up, now what?

A pair of curious wild Fort Polk horses in foster care check out KALB's camera.<br />(KALB)
A pair of curious wild Fort Polk horses in foster care check out KALB's camera.<br />(KALB)(KALB)
Published: Jan. 11, 2018 at 8:45 PM CST
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A wild horse advocacy group is awaiting a response from the U.S. Army following a formal injunction filed in federal court Monday. Pegasus Equine Guardian Association or PEGA requested the temporary halt of removing Fort Polk horses until a more humane process is adopted. A hearing is set for January 30th in Lake Charles. PEGA's attorney with Tulane Environmental Law Clinic said it'll be open to the public.

In the meantime, the clock has started for Freedom Reins Ranch and Rescue in Leesville to place 21 of those horses.

Time, space, money and helpings hands--that's what Lisa Alexander says it takes to get what are known as Fort Polk trespass horses into foster care and eventually adopted. Her non-profit is taking in 21 horses this week and estimates it'll cost a total of $7,000.

"The Coggins test, for the vet, for the chips, for the freeze brand, for the geldings on the horses for the studs because as a rescue we cannot adopt those out as a stud. So if you break it down per female, it's 130 dollars for a male it's 355 dollars.

Alexander said although many of the wild horses at Fort Polk have at least been around humans, it's still important to keep them comfortable as they adjust. Then, it's time to find a good home.

"They can start in a round pen as they get used to you and you can touch them and you can halter them and they'll come up to you then you can move them to a bigger area. I would say no less than an acre an animal. So you've got your fencing, you've got your ability to take care of the animal, you've got your ability to know how to take care of the animal but we do offer training to anybody who doesn't know what to do with a wild horse."

Once the January group has been sorted, Alexander hopes to hold a public viewing at the Leesville Rodeo Arena for adopters and anyone who wants to help the cause.

"They're loved and there are people that want to save them we just need more hands and adopters."

Alexander said currently, Freedom Reins expects to pick up Fort Polk horses between training rotations. They placed 18 back in December. This is their second group. She adds that their non-profit has a 'no horse left behind' approach, but if for whatever reason some can't be picked up, Alexander said it becomes much harder to save the horse.