The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) held its annual meeting on Monday, June 23, during the American Horse Council’s National Convention and Issues Forum.
At the meeting attendees heard presentations by member organizations including The Jockey Club, The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, The Equine Network, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the United States Trotting Association, and the Master of Foxhounds Association.
In addition, Janine Jacques, founder of the Equine Rescue Network, explained how her program uses a combination of microchips and social media to track down and locate abandoned, neglected, lost, stolen, or otherwise "unwanted" horses.
Following the presentations, the group discussed ideas for new UHC initiatives, including continuing its Operation Gelding program with the funds available; creating an educational campaign and providing materials promoting the benefits of castration/spaying nonbreeding quality horses, similar to the programs dealing with dogs and cats; updating and reprinting UHC educational materials; and creating a webinars sub-committee.
Operation Gelding Update
The UHC's Operation Gelding program continues to help castrate stallions across the country. Now in its fourth year, the program has assisted in castrating 939 stallions at 79 clinics in 32 states.
In the past year, Operation Gelding has been responsible for castrating 181 horses in 16 clinics across the country. These included clinics at veterinary schools and clinics such as, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia; the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in College Station, Texas; and the Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Newberry, Florida. Multiple clinics were also held at equine rescues around the country, including Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue in Wichita, Kansas, and Dreamchaser PMU Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc. in Waddell, Arizona.
Operation Gelding is able to continue thanks to the support and seed money provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Zoetis, and the UHC. Proceeds from the sale of Dr. Jennifer Williams' book "How to Start and Run a Rescue" and Ellen Harvey’s book "Standardbred Old Friends" will benefit Operation Gelding. Books can be purchased on the UHC website
Operation Gelding offers funding assistance to organizations and associations that wish to conduct a public gelding clinic under its name and guidelines. 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.
Operation Gelding currently has limited funding available for organizations that would like to host their own Operation Gelding clinic. For more information on how to host a clinic, contact Dagmar Caramello, UHC Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/296-4031. Information and applications can be found here on the UHC website