UHC's Operation Gelding Program Continues Nationwide

The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program continues to help castrate stallions nationwide. Since the beginning of the year the program has helped to castrate more than 85 horses in six states across the country.

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 program, which was first launched in late August 2010, is able to continue aiding in castrations thanks to the support and seed money provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Pfizer, and the UHC. Proceeds from the sale of the book "How to Start and Run a Rescue" by Jennifer Williams, PhD, from of the UHC’s website also go to the Operation Gelding program.

Dani Horton and Lisa Rice, of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries-verified nonprofit Hope Equine Rescue, held a free gelding clinic in Auburndale, Fla., in February. Rice said, “We would like to thank the Unwanted Horse Coalition for their support through their Operation Gelding program. The clinic was a huge success and due to their funding assistance, we were able to geld 42 horses. We look forward to working with UHC in the future and appreciate the many resources that they provide.”

The New Mexico Horse Council held an Operation Gelding clinic in January with the help of Kristin Kreger and Dave Fly, DVM. Through research Kreger and Fly learned that the need for castration in New Mexico exists primarily in poor rural areas and frequently the owners of horses in these areas don't use a veterinarian or have a horse trailer. “Thank you, UHC, for providing this 'stepping stone' for equine population management in the state of New Mexico," Kreger said. "This program is a great long term and short term solution for equine management.”

Delores Hanser from Paws Ranch Equine Rescue in North Carolina held her first Operation Gelding clinic along with the help of veterinarian Callie Fogle, DVM, Dipl. ACVS. On March 1 they castrated a herd of 15 semi-feral stallions. Hanser said, “Our clinic was a great success thanks to all that participated. We appreciate all the UHC has done to help our organization and unwanted horses.”

Fogle, an assistant professor of equine surgery at the North Carolina State University (NC State) College of Veterinary Medicine said, “The clinic enabled participating veterinarians from NC State's College of Veterinary Medicine, Carolina Equine Clinic, East Carolina Veterinary Service, and Rutherford Large Animal Services to teach NC State veterinary students the technique of castration. The students also learned darting techniques to restrain the horses from Sue Stuska, a wildlife biologist with the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The castrations were conducted to help the owner with the cost of reducing additional births in the semi-feral herd."

In March All Vegas Horses and Karin Cartwood held their first Operation Gelding clinic in Las Vegas, Nev. Cartwood said the clinic really made an impact on the local equine community: “The community was very impressed with this clinic; many attendees said they could not have afforded it otherwise.”

In February, Nikki Walden and Anne Thornton held their first Operation Gelding clinic in Greenville, Texas, at which they castrated 11 stallions. Thornton said, “Working with the UHC was fantastic. The owners that participated were very appreciative of the assistance provided to have their horses gelded. My veterinarian thought it was a fantastic idea and would like to see more offered if possible.”

Faith Equine Rescue in Mulberry, Fla., held a clinic in in March under the guidance of Dawn Bazemore. “Thanks to the Unwanted Horse Coalition's Operation Gelding we now have 14 less stallions, Bazemore said. "This is a huge relief for us as a rescue, knowing that we have been able to prevent foals from being born and potentially becoming unwanted or abused.”

Upcoming clinics are scheduled in Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Washington, Iowa, and New Mexico.

Operation Gelding currently has funding available for organizations that would like to host their own Operation Gelding clinic. For more information on hosting a clinic, contact Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202/296-4031.

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