Horses have become nuisance

A herd of about 20 wild horses is making itself at home in northeast Carson City and state officials say its time for them to move on.

Paul Iverson, director of Nevada's Department of Agriculture, heads up efforts to keep wild horses wild and residential areas free of them.

He said wild horses are encroaching in increasing numbers because people are providing the horses with food, which makes them dependent on handouts.

The state brand inspector, an arm of the department of agriculture, keeps track of the movements of wild horses and reports how far they have infiltrated into residential areas.

Even local law enforcement has had their share of horse headaches.

Sometimes Carson City sheriff's deputies are able to round horses up and chase them out of an area, but most of the work is done by the brand inspector.

According to Chief Deputy Bernie Curtis, maintaining an enclosure to keep wild horses out is mandated by law. This means when horses get into a residential area, a home owner can be cited.

"You run into different sorts of problems in Nevada," he said.

Much of the problem stems from residents' underappreciation of the type of damage wild animals can cause.

"They step all over people's lawns and shrubbery and break people's sprinklers," Iverson said. "These horses don't belong in the city."

Perhaps the horses pose the greatest threat to their own welfare.

"You get some kids up on the hills over here and they come speeding down the hill and a horse can step out in front of them," Iverson said. "The one thing you don't want to hit with your car is a horse."

When a driver hits a horse, he said, the legs buckle, sending the weight of the horse crashing into the windshield.

This group of horses has become such a nuisance to neighbors along Arrowhead Drive that Iverson doesn't believe simple relocation will control the problem. The only real solution is to capture and hold the horses until they can be adopted.

"I will be meeting with county officials pretty soon," he said. "This is something we have to address."


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