Utilizing local vets, venues, and volunteers, National Equine Resource Network [NERN] improved the lives of hundreds of horses by providing low cost castration services to horse owners in need. NERN hosted low cost gelding clinics in horse dense communities all over CA, assisting in the castration of nearly 300 horses in 2012. This reflects a 200% increase over 2011 clinic numbers. They also hosted their first out of state clinics in NV and WA states.
Citing their partnership with R-VETS [www.r-vets.org ], NERN’s Executive Director, Shirley Puga said ”working with Dr. Davis this year allowed us to expand our clinic offerings, with more clinics, additional procedures, and greater flexibility, beyond what we could have otherwise provided.”
According to Dr. Davis ”NERN's innovative and proactive program addresses an animal welfare and economic problem that, outside the equine community, tends to get insufficient attention. A combination of the economic downturn, increased feed costs, and indiscriminant breeding has led to a serious problem that impacts not only the lives of the horses, but animal control facilities, local governments, and public safety. The veterinary profession is willing to help, and people who care for and rescue abandoned animals need the services. Shirley Puga's tireless efforts to bring these groups together through NERN has been a model of how to attack a problem efficiently and successfully. This is because she uses a combination of donor funding, veterinary and other volunteers, and low cost fees to the horse guardians. The result is hundreds of successfully sterilized male horses, who now have a far better chance of adoption and a permanent home.”
NERN’s gelding program helps horses, horse owners, horse rescues & the equine community at large. For horses, castration provides a brighter more secure future, as many stallions face a lonely, frustrating existence, filled with uncertainty, excessive breeding, harsh handling, and ultimately auction/slaughter. Low cost clinics assist responsible, but financially challenged horse owners to castrate their colts & stallions at a significantly reduced rate. Fewer surplus/homeless horses means fewer added to the growing population in overburdened rescues, and fewer neglected, abandoned and/or sold to slaughter. The equine community is benefitted by a reduction in the backyard breeding of unregistered and/or unproven horses that serve only to dilute breed genetics and decrease overall market value.
NERN’s 2013 goals are to further expand the number of clinics/castrations offered, to continue expansion into additional western states (including CO, AZ, TX, etc.), and to provide funding to other nonprofits and/or individuals needing low cost castration options outside NERN’s service area.
“The veterinarians, venue owners, and volunteers are integral to the success of this program, and we thank them for their participation. Without them, this program would not have been able to provide this low cost option to so many horse owners. We hope these folks, and others, continue to join us in offering proactive solutions to the issues that face the equine community” Ms. Puga said.
To learn more about NERN, or to donate to their proactive equine welfare programs, please visit www.nationalequine.org