Unwanted Horse Coalition’s Operation Gelding Continues into New Year

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 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 November 12. The GERL had an incredible 96 horses signed up for the event, with twelve equine veterinarians signed up across the state of Georgia. Patty Livingston, president of the GERL said, “Additionally, senior students from the University of Georgia 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, with Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue located in Valley Center, Kansas, castrated 13 horses at their second Operation Gelding clinic. Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic also conducted their second Operation Gelding clinic on December 3rd in Newberry, Florida, 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, only 14 years old, organized this clinic for her 4-H club along with the help of her veterinarian, Dr. Paul Dean. With the help of the rest of the youth 4-H members, they were able to geld 17 horses at their clinic on November 19.

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 Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031.

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The Unwanted Horse Coalition

The mission of the Unwanted Horse Coalition is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and improve their welfare through education and the efforts of organizations committed to the health, safety and responsible care and disposition of these horses. The UHC grew out of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2005. The summit was held to bring key stakeholders together to start a dialogue on the unwanted horse in America. Its purpose was to develop consensus on the most effective way to work together to address the issue. In June 2006, the UHC was folded into the AHC and now operates under its auspices.