UHC's Operation Gelding Clinics Continue

The Unwanted Horse Coalition's (UHC) Operation Gelding program continues to enjoy success as participation has spread across the United States. The program 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.

As of Nov. 17,more than 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 the year. Currently, Operation Gelding clinics are scheduled in 16 different states, ranging coast to coast from California to South Carolina.

Carolyn Arnold, DVM, of Texas A&M University reported that veterinarians castrated 17 stallions in the school's Nov. 6 Operation Gelding clinic, with the assistance of the Texas A&M veterinary students.

"I was amazed at the level of interest in the clinic as a result of advertising," she said. "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."

The Back in the Saddle Project (BITS) has been conducting gelding clinics for more than a year. Deb Steward of BITS, which is located in Magalia, Calif., 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."

Charlene Cook, DVM, 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 castrating nine stallions.

"We let students take turns performing the pre-surgical exam and anesthesia, as well as acting as the surgical assistant and operating surgeon," Cook said. "It was truly a rewarding day on all fronts."

Yalonda Burton, DVM, informed the UHC that her Patterson Animal Hospital Operation Gelding clinic went smoothly and successfully. During her Nov. 11 clinic in Stillwell, Okla., which was put together in just two weeks, she and her staff 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."

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 ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202/296-4031.

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