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50 Horses Rescued From U.S. Army Base Arrive In North Texas

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - There are an estimated 400 wild horses roaming lands on and around the Fort Polk Army Base in Louisiana. Army officials say the animals represent a safety hazard and last year proposed they be removed.

After some debate with advocates who argued the animals should be left alone, the Army decided on a plan that will remove all of the horses over a 2-year period. The plan has between 30 and 50 horses at a time being caught and corralled. The horses are first being offered to animal welfare groups, then to the general public and as a last resort sent to a livestock auction for sale.

Working to save the horses, the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) signed up to help save the animals and is the first to receive horses from Louisiana. HSNT went to Fort Polk last week and brought the first load of 50 horses back to North Texas.

HSNT executive director Sandy Shelby said not all of the animals are wild and that many were simply dumped by their owners and haven't had a lot of human handling. Shelby said anyone wanting one of the animals has to, "Make the commitment to adopt them and give them as much as they can in terms of training and support."

HSNT says their goal is to take all 400 of the animals, but the effort will cost more than $50,000. In order to accomplish the goal, over a 2-year period, the organization is asking the 'horse and animal loving community' to consider making an adoption or donation.

The horses do need good homes but Shelby stresses that, " The horses should be adopted by experienced horse people who want to have the patience, and the kindness, and the time to work with them. It's gonna take some time."

HSNT made the trip to Louisiana and brought the horses back to North Texas on November 4. The animals will be put up for adoption after they have been dewormed, receive other medical attention and had some time to acclimate to their new environment -- HSNT says the process will take about a month.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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