RETURN TO FREEDOM INC

Wild Horse Conservation

aka American Wild Horse Sanctuary   |   Lompoc, CA   |  www.returntofreedom.org

Mission

Return to Freedom is national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the freedom, diversity, and habitat of America's wild horse and burros through sanctuary, education, advocacy, and conservation while enriching the human spirit through direct experience with the natural world.

Ruling year info

1997

President & Founder

Neda DeMayo

Main address

PO Box 926

Lompoc, CA 93438 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

06-1484961

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Wildlife Sanctuary/Refuge (D34)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 1997, Return to Freedom (RTF) was founded with the goal of preserving the genetic diversity, and insuring the survival of America’s free ranging wild horses. Long considered an American icon, wild horses are rapidly disappearing from the western landscape. In fact, an ongoing and aggressive removal policy has resulted in more wild horses living in captivity to date than that which remain in the wild. America's wild horses on our public lands are part of an aggressive and costly ongoing capture and removal policy, separating them from their families and social bands and put in government corrals at risk of mass euthanasia, instead of using minimally invasive population management tools like we do at Return to Freedom's American Wild Horse Sanctuary. Herds with genetic, cultural, or biological significance are in jeopardy of being lost.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sanctuary

RTF’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary was designed to model for experiential learning and a solutions focused approach exploring minimally intrusive management philosophies that can be applied on and off the range as an alternative to the costly and traumatic capture and warehousing of fractured wild horse and burro herds. The sanctuary currently provides a safe haven to over 500 wild horses and burros, filling a dire need to provide a place where wild horses can still roam free without threat of removal, harassment, or slaughter. Utilizing non-hormonal, reversible contraception as a population management tool allows the mares and stallions to coexist as they do naturally.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Through Living History Tours, Herd Observation, Wild Horse Photo Safaris and a variety of hands on clinics, RTF offers the public an opportunity to learn directly from the horses in “nature’s classroom” to inspire and empower their own voice for change. RTF’s educational message is rooted in the knowledge that horses live in herds and the horse is native to North America

Population(s) Served
Adults

RTF actively advocates nationally for the protection of wild horses and burros on their rightful ranges and to stop the slaughter, sale and transport of American horses for slaughter. RTF advocates for the redirection of funds from the costly and traumatic capture, removal and warehousing of wild horses and burros to the most minimally intrusive, humane management necessary to manage wild horse and burro populations on the range.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Committed to conserving the rare and diverse bloodlines that define the American wild horse of today, RTF maintains a rare strains preservation program of herds with historical, genetic or biological significance, which exemplify the adaptation of the horse in their respective habitats.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Horse of the Year 2016

ASPCA

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Return to Freedom is dedicated to preserving the freedom, diversity and habitat of America's wild horses and burros through sanctuary, education, advocacy and conservation, while enriching the human spirit through direct experience with the natural world.

We aim to:

-Provide for the lifelong care of our wild horse and burro sanctuary residents.

- Transition BLM away from inhumane, expensive system of roundups and holding facilities in favor of humane, sustainable on the range management.

- Find ways to empower and incentive private landowners who wish to give sanctuary to wild horses and burros.

- Grow the support for wild horses by educating the public about wild horses and the challenges that they face.

- Help the public understand how wild horses fit into the management of our natural resources on our public lands and the influence climate change will have.

Sanctuary
Return to Freedom's mission to change the future for America's wild horses and burros comes through our multi-pronged approach. Witnessing the minimally invasive management model at RTF's sanctuary is the key to build the foundation for wild horse sustainability. The sanctuary fills an immediate need to care for animals that would otherwise endure inhumane conditions. It is the platform to engage the public to become informed, inspired, and effective advocates to make transformative change.

Education
Through Living History Tours, Herd Observation, Wild Horse Photo Safaris and a variety of hands on clinics, RTF offers the public an opportunity to learn directly from the horses in “nature’s classroom” to inspire and empower their own voice for change. RTF’s educational message is rooted in the knowledge that horses live in herds and the horse is native to North America.

Advocacy
RTF actively advocates nationally for the protection of wild horses and burros on their rightful ranges and to stop the slaughter, sale and transport of American horses for slaughter. RTF advocates for the redirection of funds from the costly and traumatic capture, removal and warehousing of wild horses and burros to the most minimally intrusive, humane management necessary to manage wild horse and burro populations on the range.

Conservation
Committed to conserving the rare and diverse bloodlines that define the American wild horse of today, RTF maintains a rare strains preservation program of herds with historical, genetic or biological significance, which exemplify the adaptation of the horse in their respective habitats.

Return to Freedom has operated the American Wild Horse Sanctuary since November 1998. We have now expanded to four locations spanning 5,000 acres in California and are responsible for the care of over 500 horses and burros.

Neda's leadership

Staffing

Supporters

Comprehensive website

Asking people to make phone calls and do targeted letters. Number of supporters and the capacity we have to provide them with a direct link to agency officials and lawmakers on issues related to wild horses.

What's next:

Sanctuary
Expanding the Conservator program


Education
Work with educators for more online educational opportunities, webinars, collaboration with Lompoc Unified School District to operate a volunteer program.

The addition of our Equine Program Coordinator increases ability to get select horses trained and adopted, and provide mentorship and increases our ability to educate people about horse behavior.

Advocacy
Targeted letters and petitions
Proof of the calls is the legislation
8,500 letters Devils Garden
24,000 letters Sale Authority Changes
3,500 letters Sterilization
565 letters Double-decker trailer bill

December 31st is the deadline for the Senate conference committee to finalize the Appropriations bill

Humane Science based solutions for wild horses and burros


Conservation
On-the-range program our fertility control project on the range to sustain a couple of California's few remaining herds and hopefully prevent the need for roundups in those Herd Management Areas. Expand our knowledge of wild horse behaviors, understanding of habitat, and give us a chance to work with other researchers, college students, and a positive working partnership with the Bureau of Land Management.

Financials

RETURN TO FREEDOM INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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RETURN TO FREEDOM INC

Board of directors
as of 4/9/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Irene Vejar

Neda DeMayo

RTF

Kevin Beckman

Jack Carone

Liz Hines

Irene Vejar

Sarah Shaw

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/9/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

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Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data