Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 | 2:14 p.m.
CARSON CITY — More than $20,000 has been raised to protect 41 wild horses being put on the auction block by the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
Wild horse advocates say the mustangs are purchased, sent to Canada and Mexico for slaughter and the meat shipped around the world.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign said Wednesday it received the donations to buy the mustangs and care for them until they are adopted.
Deniz Bolbol, communications director for the preservation campaign based in San Francisco, said there were thousands of donations from the U.S., South Africa, Europe and Canada.
The horses were rounded up from state lands in the Reno-Carson City area, where they sometimes wandered onto highways, causing accidents, officials said.
Bolbol said a check was forwarded to the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund in Reno to bid on the animals.
The Hidden Valley group staged a protest last week asking Gov. Brian Sandoval to stop the auction in Fallon. They presented 1,800 letters urging the sale to be cancelled.
The governor declined to take any action.
Since then, Bolbol said, more than 12,000 faxes and letters have been sent to the governor protesting the sale.
“This is an opportunity for the governor to implement humane solutions,” said Bolbol, who wants the horses returned to their natural range.