One such wild horse family that wandered into harm's way was Black Jack, a magnificent black stallion, and his lovely mares and foals. Early in 2014, they were trapped by the NDA near Lockwood, Nevada and removed to the Carson City Prison for processing. By law, the State of Nevada considers these mustangs "estray livestock." If unclaimed, the state will put them up for sale at a livestock auction frequented by kill buyers who purchase horses and sell them for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.
Virginia Range mustangs, like Black Jack and his family, are beloved by the community. Some residents have even moved to specific neighborhoods just to live amongst wild horses! So when neighbors see horses, who they have watched grow up, have babies and live peacefully for years, get captured, they want to save them. Until last year, rescuers were forced to outbid the kill buyers at these auctions to save the horses. But under an agreement negotiated by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) under its founding organization Return to Freedom, rescue groups can now purchase horses directly from the state, thereby preventing them from going to a livestock auction.