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Wild Horses Available for Adoption in Lakeside

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Aired 7/17/09

A federal agency has brought its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to San Diego County. A preview of the mustangs started Friday afternoon in Lakeside.

A federal agency has brought its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to San Diego County. A preview of the mustangs started Friday afternoon in Lakeside.

About 36 wild mustangs are at the Pillsbury Ranch in Lakeside available for adoption this weekend.

Art DiGrazia is the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Program manager.

He says after providing a year of good care, adopters can take ownership.

"And we then send them their certificate of title and the animal is their property," DiGrazia says. "Now all the animals are vaccinated, blood tested and dewormed."

He says adopting a wild mustang gives people a chance to own a part of the Old West.

DiGrazia says wild mustangs are strong, loyal, intelligent and trainable.

He says people who previously adopted wild horses will be on hand this weekend to talk about their experiences.

DiGrazia says adopted horses have been used in competition, pleasure and trail riding and ranch work.

The House of Representatives passed legislation Friday seeking to protect more of the wild animals.

The Interior Department said last year it may have to kill thousands of healthy wild horses and burros to deal with the growing population on the range and in holding facilities.

Wild horses and burros are protected by a federal law that requires the BLM to manage the wild herds.

More than 220,000 animals have been adopted since the BLM's Adopt-a-Horse-or-Burro Program started in the early 1970s.

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