ALTO, N.M. — Hundreds of people burst into applause and cheers at a meeting in Alto on Monday after learning that the community’s feral horse herd will be coming home next week.

About a dozen horses, penned by a private property owner Friday and picked up by the New Mexico Livestock Board, were scheduled to be auctioned. The horses have been microchipped and must be kept confined for the time being, but they won’t face the auction block.

Herd advocates placed hundred of calls to state officials and raised more than $21,000 on the GoFundMe website. They had expected to go over details of their plan to bid on the horses during a meeting Monday, but that wasn’t necessary.

The advocates said officials with the New Mexico Livestock Board had agreed to return the horses to the community on the condition that they be contained until a legal process runs its course to turn them back into the wild.

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