Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs

Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs

The Life of Velma Johnston

In 1950, Velma Johnston was a thirty-eight-year-old secretary enroute to work near Reno, Nevada, when she came upon a truck of battered wild horses that had been rounded up and were to be slaughtered for pet food. Shocked and angered by this gruesome discovery, she vowed to find a way to stop the cruel round-ups, a resolution that led to a life-long battle that would pit her against ranchers and powerful politicians—but eventually win her support and admiration around the world. This is the first biography to tell her courageous true story..

Like Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, or Temple Grandin, Velma Johnston dedicated her life to public awareness and protection of animals. Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs follows Velma from her childhood, in which she was disfigured by polio, to her dangerous vigilante-style missions to free captured horses and document round-ups, through the innovative and exhaustive grassroots campaign which earned her the nickname “Wild Horse Annie” and led to Congress passing the “Wild Horse Annie Bill,” to her friendship with renowned children’s author and horse-lover Marguerite Henry..

A powerful combination of adventure, history, and biography, Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs beautifully captures the romance and magic of wild horses and the character of the strong-willed woman who made their survival her legacy. .
Choose a format:
  • Scribner | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439168462 | 
  • March 2010
List Price $22.99


Wild Horse Annie Book Trailer

Alison Griffiths talks about Velma Johnston’s crusade to protect the wild horses of North America.

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Read an Excerpt

The Road to Reno

EXCEPT FOR TWO weeks of holidays in the summer and a week at Christmas, Velma rose before the sun every Monday, the day she left for her other life in Reno. Getting up was always a chore; she uncoiled herself one limb at a time, waiting a minute or two to allow the ache to subside. She took care not to exert too much pressure on any single joint. Once she was up, she felt some relief.

It was a matter of pride to Velma that no one, not even Charlie, realized the full extent of her discomfort. If anyone noticed a wince or gasp she couldn’t stifle, she’d retort dismissively,... see more


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About the Authors

David Cruise
Photograph by Jeff Perry



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