Mustang Ranch Operator Surrenders Animals

The owner of a Nebraska training ranch and sanctuary for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mustangs and burros has surrendered more than 200 animals to two equine rescue agencies.

On Tuesday, Jason Meduna, operator of 3-Strikes Ranch in Alliance, Neb., relinquished custody of 200 mustangs and 10 wild burros to Habitat for Horses, a Texas-based rescue, and the Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue in California, according to Habitat for Horses President Jerry Finch.

Meduna is charged with one felony count of animal cruelty in connection with the alleged maltreatment of the animals.

The animals, of which investigators say most had body conditions of between 1 and 2 on the Henneke scale, were discovered residing on the overgrazed ranch last week, Finch said.

"The range was stripped to the bone--to nothing but sand," Finch said.

An undisclosed number of horse and burro carcasses were also discovered on the property.

The surviving horses and burros are receiving veterinary and other care at the ranch until they can be relocated to local equine rescues and foster homes. Once there, the animals' care will be strictly monitored.

"Afterward, when they are well enough to travel, they will be placed with wild horse rescues and sanctuaries around the country," Finch said.

Morrill County authorities arrested Meduna on April 18 after investigating complaints about conditions at the ranch. If convicted on the single animal cruelty count, Meduna faces penalties of up to 5 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Further charges might be forthcoming, said Morrill County Sheriff John Edens.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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