‘Kill buyers’ leave estate auction empty-handed
November 13, 2011
Eagle County — A group of horse lovers attended an auction near Steamboat Springs to save horses Nov. 5. They left happy.
Eagle County-based Mountain Valley Horse Rescue was joined by supporters and like-minded bidders at an estate auction that had more than two dozen animals crossing the sale block at Sunset Ranch on Elk River Road.
In the end, all the horses found temporary or permanent homes, and none went into the trucks of a pair of "kill buyers," people who buy horses at auction and send the animals to Mexico for slaughter.
The group's goal was to get enough buyers at the auction to run up the prices for the animals to the point that made it unprofitable for the kill buyers to continue bidding.
The nonprofit bought seven of the animals. Four were adopted by people who were priced out of the bidding. The remaining three animals were taken to the rescue group's facility in Eagle County and still are in need of homes.
The animals were examined by a veterinarian and found to be in reasonably good health.
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More hard work will come during the next several months because two of the three horses aren't saddle-broken.
"We're really happy to have them here," rescue group President Shana Devins said. "But their journey has just begun."