CLINIC HELPS COMBAT UNWANTED HORSE PROBLEM
A group of veterinarians, veterinary students, and volunteers gathered at a farm in Montgomery, Alabama to host one of the first "Operation Gelding" clinics in the state May 14, 2011. The project was a cooperative effort of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, the Alabama Horse Council, Auburn University and the local equine community interested in solving the unwanted horse problem that is facing the country.
The motivation behind the program is that the castration of a stallion will help prevent overbreeding and create a gentler horse that can be used in a wider range of activities.
The Operation Gelding program was created by the Unwanted Horse Coalition as a means to combat the increasing number of unwanted horses. The program, funded in part by seed money from the American Association of Equine Practitioners, helps to provide funds and materials needed by event organizers to host clinics. Horse owners bring their stallions to these clinics to be castrated.
Gary Koepp, DVM, Alabama Horse Council welfare chairman and one of the organizers of Alabama's Operation Gelding Clinics, called the Montgomery clinic a huge success. Seventeen stallions were castrated.
Local veterinarians teamed with veterinarians from Auburn University to perform castrations and supervise teams of veterinary students who also performed the procedures. Eight veterinary students from Auburn University and one from Tuskegee University participated in the event. There were also several volunteers from the local equine community who came out to show their support for the initiative.
"It was a great opportunity to help the unwanted horse population in the state and allow the veterinary students to gain experience. The support from the local community has been overwhelming," said Dr. Koepp.
In April, the Alabama Horse Council partnered with Tuskegee University to offer a low-cost gelding clinic to Alabama residents.
The success of these events has prompted the organizers to begin plans for more gelding clinics this fall. For more information about upcoming clinics or to register your stallion for a fall clinic, go to Alabama Horse Council or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (205) 678-2882.