‘We tried our best’

Editor:

My name is Wendy Williams. My husband and I had recently been featured in your article “Mustangs seized.” I would like to voice my side of the story now.

I am truly sorry for the mustangs that were featured in the article. All three of them were very important to me and my husband, and we truly tried our best to care for them. We adopted Sable, Ember and Whisper with the best of intentions.

In May, my husband found himself unable to work due to an injury. Despite my job, we were definitely having trouble making ends meet. However, we did reach out several times to friends for assistance, who were able to help the best they could in providing feed for them. I am the first to admit that these horses were in need of more feed than I was capable of providing.

I understood my contract with the BLM to say that I was responsible for the horses for a year and was unable to re-home them until that year was over. I was unaware that I could surrender them to the BLM, which is what I ultimately did and would have done sooner had I realized that was an option. The mustangs would have been turned out on pasture but my contract with the BLM had strict requirement about fence height and construction that the pastures did not meet.

I felt hopeless and was willing to relinquish the horses to the BLM official when he called about a complaint he had received. I would like to clarify that they were not confiscated or seized, but were willingly relinquished with the horses’ well being in mind. I am truly horrified that I was not able to keep these horses fed in the manner in which they deserved, but I truly did try my best to provide for them.

I would further like to clarify that I was not contacted by law enforcement until a week after the horses were surrendered. Other than a phone call from the BLM official, I am unaware of any investigation. The newspaper article also stated that they were unable to reach either my husband or me for comment on their condition. We have never been contacted in any manner and neither one of us is hard to get a hold of.

As horrified that I am for these horses being thin, I am also saddened by all who were so quick to judge and react by making sure that I was fired from my job and personally humiliated for my shortcomings. I personally know many of the women associated with the BLM mustangs’ care and the Colorado Chapter of The National Mustangs Association. They never once reached out to me about the care of these horses. One of them called my place of employment ten minutes before I was let go, leaving my employer no choice but to release me from my position to avoid further publicity for them.

I was never once contacted in concern over these horses before a complaint was made. I am truly saddened that these members of my community didn’t have the respect and decency to talk to me first before lodging complaint to the BLM, my employer and the newspapers. I am not denying that these horses needed more than they were provided, but I provided what I could. I think it is truly disgusting that a community like Cortez or Durango would rather kick someone when they are down than lend a helping hand. I ask you, what good does it do for a person who is struggling and is passionate about animals to lose their job, therefore making it more difficult to care for their animals properly.

Wendy and Ray Williams were the adoptive owners of three mustangs that were subjects of a recent Journal story.

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