UHC Operation Gelding Continues into 2012

The Unwanted Horse Coalition's (UHC) Operation Gelding program continues into the new year with three additional clinics completed in November and December 2011 and three more on the schedule for March 2012. The UHC's Operation Gelding program has aided in gelding 359 colts or stallions to date.

The program, which was first launched in late August 2010, is able to continue aiding in the castration of stallions thanks to the support and seed money provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation (AAEP). Operation Gelding 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.

The Operation Gelding program is in its second year, with seven clinics already completed since September 2011. Clinics have been held in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, and Washington.

The UHC was pleased to be involved with Georgia Equine Rescue League's (GERL) first ever Stallion to Gelding Castration Day on Nov. 12, 2011. The GERL had an incredible 96 horses signed up for the event; twelve equine veterinarians signed up across the state of Georgia to carry out castrations.

Patty Livingston, president of the GERL, added, "Additionally, senior students from the University of Georgia (UGA) School Of Veterinary Medicine as well as veterinary technician students were invited to take advantage of this learning opportunity. A large number of students participated and actually performed or assisted with the surgeries at Countryside Hospital for Animals near Jersey, Ga. These students were under the supervision of UGA Vet School Instructors and the veterinarians at Countryside."

Ande Miller of with Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue, located in Valley Center, Kan., castrated 13 horses at their second Operation Gelding clinic. Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic also conducted their second Operation Gelding clinic on Dec. 3, 2011 in Newberry, Fla., castrating 13 horses.

The Denton County 4-H Veterinary Science Club conducted their first Operation Gelding clinic in Pilot Point, Texas. Youth member Lacey Garrison, 14, organized this clinic for her 4-H club along with the help of her veterinarian, Paul Dean, DVM, Dipl. ACVS. With the help of the rest of the youth 4-H members, they were able to geld 17 horses at their clinic on Nov. 19, 2011.

Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said "We are excited to be able to continue this important nationwide program, thanks to the generosity of the AAEP. The UHC continues to seek public support, via tax deductible donations, to extend the program year round. Each generous donation of $50 goes entirely toward funding the gelding of a stallion. We hope to gain assistance from the equine industry in order to offer more grant money for Operation Gelding clinics, to help tackle the problem of indiscriminate breeding."

Currently there are six more Operation Gelding clinics on the calendar. Upcoming clinics will be held in Florida, Kansas, Iowa, and Texas.

For more information on Operation Gelding, how to conduct a clinic, the schedule and location of Operation Gelding clinics, or how you can help continue this program, please contact Caslin at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202/296-4031.

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