Christmas Giving

Two months, three hurricanes, five states, hundreds dead, thousands homeless, billions of dollars in damage. How can we understand? More importantly, how can we help? In last month's issue, we devoted many pages to covering what happened in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We've discussed specific and general needs of horse owners and veterinarians in those areas devastated by these storms. A long interview with mixed animal practitioner Jacque Broome, DVM, of Gulfport, Miss., was heart-wrenching, and uplifting. She described herself as a "tough broad" in her 40s who isn't going anywhere, despite the loss of her clinic, some of the animals kept there, clients and their animals at home, some of her staff (who moved to find jobs), and most of the buildings on her farm. She was asked if she needed anything, and her insurance claim list provided a good description of how much she had lost. Unfortunately, the insurance company decided that the wall of water that came through Gulfport was flooding, not storm damage, and it will only pay for the roof and four windows.

At our request, she sent 3 1/2 hand-written pages of supplies and equipment needed to get back in business--everything from a metal building to house her clinic to a stethoscope; from X ray and ultrasound equipment to syringes and scissors.

Other small animal veterinarians in the area have let her use their facilities for pet services, and she has been working on clients' horses as they catch her by spotty cell phone service or by leaving messages with other clinics or notes on the front door of her destroyed facility.

It was touching when Broome sent her requested list, putting an addendum at the bottom saying "Other local vets need help. I can get lists [from them] if interest is indicated."

I think there is interest in helping a 40-something, tough broad who lost nearly everything, but is still sure that her passion lies in her hometown, and with her service to animals. There is interest in helping veterinarians and horse owners struggle through these next months just to start the process of living again with no homes, no income, no insurance...nothing much but hope, and friends far and near who want to help.

Any individual or company interested in donating funds, supplies, or new/used equipment (in good shape) to Broome or other veterinarians in Mississippi should contact the Mississippi Animal Relief Fund, 209 South Lafayette, Starkville, MS 39759; or call 888/722-3106.

Not to leave out the other states affected by these storms, Louisiana horse owners and veterinarians can be helped through the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association Equine Committee, c/o Dr. Sonny Corley, LVMA Equine Committee, 121 E. Gloria Switch, Lafayette, LA 70507.

Or donate to the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation's Disaster Relief Fund, 4075 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511; 800/443-0177.

Other places to contribute can be found in "Ways to Help Horses and Owners" at

Congratulations, Dr. McIlwraith!

Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, is professor of surgery and director of the Orthopaedic Research Center at Colorado State University (CSU). He holds the CSU Barbara Cox Anthony University Chair in Orthopaedics, and he is a past president of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). McIlwraith was recently inducted into the Gluck Equine Research Center's Equine Research Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Kentucky.

McIlwraith also has been a member of the AAEP Editorial Advisory Board to The Horse magazine since its inception. Personal dealings with McIlwraith have proven him to be an extremely intelligent and valuable advisor with a far-reaching vision that has meant this publication has remained focused on factual information of benefit to horse owners. Our staff gives Dr. McIlwraith a big "Congratulations" for his recent honor, and a big "Thanks!" for all his help.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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