February Good Works Vet Aids Therapy Horses, Wildfire Victims

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has selected Kevin May, DVM, CVA, of El Cajon Valley Veterinary Hospital in El Cajon, Calif., as February's Good Works Campaign honoree.

May has organized two programs to lighten the financial burden of veterinary care for therapeutic riding centers in San Diego County, Calif. Horses serving three small therapy riding centers receive free alternative therapy through May's Chiropractic Acupuncture Relieving Equine Soreness program. May visits each therapy center one day each month to perform free chiropractic and acupuncture services. Another program May carries out, Therapeutic Equine Dentistry, provides a year of free dental services to five horses at each of the local therapeutic riding centers. These programs alleviate pain and preserve health in the older therapy horse, thereby prolonging its ability to be ridden by a disabled child or individual.

A noted leader in his community, May was active in veterinary relief efforts during the 2003 and 2007 San Diego County wildfire emergencies. In 2003 May spent five days living out of his ambulatory truck at Lakeside Rodeo Arena and Fair Grounds in Lakeside, Calif., which served as a rescue shelter for people and animals displaced by the wildfires. While treating horses suffering from severe burn wounds, colic, lacerations, and eye injuries, he was a reassuring voice for owners in a state of crisis. He donated supplies and extended free services to horse owners in the community who lost their homes in the fires.

A member of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and charter member of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture, May regularly mentors students and interns interested in alternative therapy. Interns from across the United States, Canada, and England have learned acupuncture techniques from May. He also volunteers at local Arabian horse shows and hosts educational events for horse owners.

"I guess I grew up feeling like that was a part of what it meant to be a vet--as a vet you are kind of a leader in your community," May said of his role as a community volunteer. "You are in charge of the health care of the animals in the area."

The AAEP's Good Works Campaign honors AAEP-member practitioners who perform volunteer service to benefit horses and the equine community. Horse owners and veterinary professionals are encouraged to nominate veterinarians to be considered for the next monthly recognition by March 31.

Throughout 2011, the AAEP's Good Works Campaign will spotlight AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are improving the health and welfare of horses. Monthly honorees will be considered for the 2011 Good Works Award, to be presented during the 2011 Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Nomination forms are currently available at www.aaep.org/goodworks.htm

About the Author

American Association of Equine Practitioners

AAEP Mission: To improve the health and welfare of the horse, to further the professional development of its members, and to provide resources and leadership for the benefit of the equine industry. More information: www.aaep.org.

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