Tribes try to help dozens of neglected horses

CANTON, Okla. - Leaders of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes are trying to help abandoned horses grazing on tribal land.

"Many times, they look thin or not well maintained," said Reggie Wassana.

The governor of the Cheyenee and Arapho tribes is talking about the horses abandoned on the tribal land. For years, tribal members have been leaving their animals on tribal lands to graze in pins in Concho and near Canton lake but, now, that has become a problem.

"They hadn't had the resources to feed them, take care of them, give them shots; they were sitting on the tribal land without anybody taking care of them," Wassana said.

The governor is worried about the horses' health.

Although things are green and lush now with all the spring rain, the horses don’t always have enough food.

"The main issue is having vegetation for them to eat. A lot of horses through the fall and the winter hadn’t had a lot of vegetation to eat, and some weren’t being taken care of," Wassana said.

In a notice posted by the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, leaders are asking tribal members to remove their horses by May 15 or possibly face legal action.

"Hopefully, they will be removing their horses and they will be taken better care of," Wassana said.

The governor said, as far as animals go, they already have their hands full with over 450 head of buffalo and numerous prairie dog towns on tribal lands. But, what will happen to the horses if they are not claimed?

"Auction them off or somehow get them to someone who will take better care of them than being left out here for whatever they can find to eat," Wassana said.

For more information on the horses, you can contact the tribes at 405-422-7734.

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