Wild Horse Annie: Velma Johnston and Her Fight to Save the Mustang

In 1950, Velma Johnston, a shy Nevada ranch wife, came upon a horse trailer leaking blood. When she discovered the destination of the trailer and its occupants--a trio of terrified and badly injured wild horses--she launched a crusade that eventually reached the halls of Congress and changed the way westerners regard and treat the bands of mustangs and burros that roam their region. Wild horses continue to be the subject of bitter controversy in the West. To some, they are symbols of the West's wild, free heritage; to others, they are rapacious grazers that destroy habitat and compete with domestic livestock and indigenous wildlife for scanty food and water. Alan J. Kania worked closely with Johnston for several years during her decades-long fight against the mistreatment of these horses. Her campaign led her from her rural Nevada county to state offices and finally to Washington, DC, where she successfully lobbied for legislation to protect them. Kania shares his firsthand knowledge of Velma Johnston's story, making it compelling and inspiring reading.