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Low-cost gelding program in California hopes to go nationwide

NERN teamLaunched earlier this year, National Equine Resource Network’s (NERN) low-cost gelding clinic program in California has already held seven clinics.

In partnership with local veterinarians and other equine welfare organizations, the clinics offer horse owners in Salinas, Cottonwood, and Oakdale, among others, a chance to reduce the pool of potential unwanted or abandoned foals.

Shirley Puga, NERN Founder, said her organization initiated the gelding program as an effective and proactive tool to reduce the neglect, abandonment, and sale for slaughter of horses across the country.

By the end of 2011, NERN will have held several more clinics and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

"We are creating a template that can be used by local equine veterinarians, equine rescuers and other advocates," Puga said.  

An equine sanctuary in Washinton State has already committed to holding a similar clinic next year, and Puga hopes that many more will follow suit.

"Although the so-called 'backyard breeders' contribute only a small part to our country’s excess horses, it is hoped by showing a major reduction in this area, commercial breeders will also take more responsibility for the over population by practicing more responsible breeding and not depending upon equine slaughter to deal with their living by-product," Puga said.

Photo of veternarians and vet students at recent clinic courtesy of NERN

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