On Saturday, May 15, the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition will be holding a free stallion castration clinic at the Isanti County Fairgrounds in Cambridge from 9 a.m. to noon.
The coalition addresses the problem of too many horses needing homes plus the investigation of animal neglect and cruelty. MHWC is made up of equine rescues, veterinarians, and animal agents.
“Too many horses are unwanted in the state of Minnesota and are living in deplorable conditions,” said Cherie McKenzie, President of Sundown Horse Farm and Shelter, located in Hugo. “I want to do everything I can for these horses.”
McKenzie’s modest but thriving farm of horses, dogs, cats, and rabbits can handle 15 horses. She has found 100 foster families that have adopted horses. “If people want to help,” said McKenzie, “they can sponsor a horse by donating money—as little as $10 per month can be helpful—or, if they have acreage, adopt a horse.”
Minnesota has the nation’s third-highest horse ownership per capita. Horses are used for racing, showing, and pleasure riding on state trails. “It is a $5 billion industry,” said McKenzie.
For those interested in the free stallion castration clinic, stallions must be halter broke with two descended testicles and be at least four months of age. There is no upper age limit. Castrations must be scheduled in advance.
If people are unable to get a free castration at this clinic they can purchase a voucher for $5.00, plus attend eight education classes on topics that include general horse care, equine dentistry, horse reproduction, vaccinations, nutrition, manure management, and horse behavior. Vouchers are transferable: anyone can get educated and then give the voucher as a gift to someone who needs it for castration.
Contact Krishona Martinson, equine extension specialist at the University of Minnesota, at 612-625-6776 or email@example.com to make an appointment to get your horse snipped.
“People talk about slaughter as a [good] choice for getting rid of an unwanted horse, but it is not,” said McKenzie. “Horses can bring in money and jobs to Minnesota.”