Operation Gelding clinics continue in 16 states with wide-spread success
WASHINGTON, DC The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program continues, with participation spread across the U.S.. The program, which was launched in late August 2010 with the help of seed money from the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation and the UHC, is designed to offer funding assistance to organizations, associations and events that wish to conduct a public gelding clinic under the name and guidelines of Operation Gelding. An organization that has completed an Operation Gelding clinic will receive funding of $50 per horse, $1,000 maximum, to aid in the costs associated with the clinic.
Organizations continue to express interest in hosting and conducting Operation Gelding clinics. As of Nov. 17, over 120 stallions have been gelded and approximately $6,000 in funds have been distributed. The UHC estimates that 25 clinics will be completed and funded before the end of 2010. Currently, Operation Gelding clinics are scheduled in 16 different states, ranging coast to coast from California to South Carolina.
Dr. Carolyn Arnold of Texas A&M University reported that their Nov. 6 clinic helped castrate 17 stallions with the assistance of the Texas A&M veterinary students. Arnold reported that she received hundreds of calls from horse owners wanting to participate and wanting more information about the Operation Gelding clinic, “I was amazed at the level of interest in the clinic as a result of advertising. I probably fielded several hundred calls from people wanting to participate. Because of this positive response, the school is looking into doing low cost castration days on a more routine basis.”
Back in the Saddle Project (BITS) has been conducting gelding clinics through their organization for over a year. Deb Steward of BITS, located in Magalia, CA, said, “BITS has now gelded 33 horses through our clinics, which means 33 horses will not be breeding and adding to the excess horse problem.” On Nov. 6, BITS and Deb Steward helped castrate 10 horses through the Operation Gelding program and they have another low cost gelding clinic planned for January.
Dr. Charlene Cook of Central Equine Services in Ft. Valley, GA hosted an Operation Gelding clinic in which six veterinary students from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine were able to gain hands-on experience in castrating nine stallions. Cook said, “We let students take turns performing the pre-surgical exam and anesthesia, as well as acting as the surgical assistant and operating surgeon. It was truly a rewarding day on all fronts.”
Four Corners Equine Rescue in Aztec, NM was able to geld seven horses through their Operation Gelding clinic. Plans are currently being made for future gelding clinics to help horses and horse owners in need. “I want to thank the UHC for making our gelding clinic possible. Life for horses and their owners will be better off because of it,” said Debbie Coburn of Four Corners Equine Rescue.
Dr. Yalonda Burton informed the UHC that her Patterson Animal Hospital Operation Gelding clinic went smoothly and successfully. Her Nov. 11 clinic in Stillwell, OK, which was put together in a matter of two weeks, castrated eight horses. Burton said, “The entire crew really enjoyed the Operation Gelding clinic we put together. We had a real sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.”
Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said, “We are thrilled with the success of the Operation Gelding program thus far. It is very encouraging to see the amount of interest and participation in the program. Participating organizations have helped over a hundred horses and horse owners in need and have done a wonderful job working together to help with the issue of unwanted horses.”
For more information on Operation Gelding, how to conduct a clinic, or the schedule and location of Operation Gelding clinics, please contact Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-296-4031.
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