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Benefit for Abused Horses is a Terrific Success

Dr. Jefferson demonstrates technique

by Clare Devine of Catherine McAuley High School

On Saturday, March 21st, Drs. David Jefferson, Rachel Flaherty, and Janelle Tirrelle of Maine Equine Associates donated their time and expertise for the benefit of both the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals and the nearly sixty people in attendance. Groups of no more than ten attendees gathered around one vet and one of the Society’s formerly abused and neglected horses to engage in hands-on learning regarding horse health and proper first aid. Topics covered included everything from the basics – anatomical terms and how to take a horse’s pulse, temperature, and respiratory rate – to how to respond in an emergency situation, such as assessing for colic or when to suture a cut. Attendees also learned when to call for a veterinarian, and what to say when they make that call.

Assessing Your Horse’s Health and First Aid For Your Horse was not only a tremendous success, but was a session that will undoubtedly benefit many horses down the road. Horse owners left the farm in South Windham with new knowledge and the ability to assess any emergency that may arise with their animals. The session also benefited the horses here at the Society, as the proceeds from registration and merchandise sales went to the MSSPA. Maine Equine Associates also offered well-stocked First Aid Kits for sale, with a portion of sales going to the Society.

Dr. Flaherty with an equine volunteerIn addition to her regular veterinary work with our animals (for which we are most grateful), we would like to thank Rachel and her colleagues Dr. Jefferson and Dr. Tirelle of New Gloucester’s Maine Equine Associates for donating their time and extensive knowledge.  Thanks to the horses at the Society who volunteered their time and patience as attendees bandaged their legs, took pulses, examined gums, and took temperatures!  The sessions were interesting and informative for all.

Because the Society receives no federal, state or local funding, and is entirely funded by membership dues, donations, bequests, grants, and fund-raising activities, the registration fees generated by Assessing Your Horse’s Health and First Aid For Your Horse were graciously  accepted by Society President, Marilyn L. Goodreau.  During Marilyn’s tenure as Farm Director for more than 35 years, with the help of staff and professionals like Dr. Flaherty, she has rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of abused and neglected horses.   Visitors are welcomed at the Society daily, without charge, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; barns close at 3:00 p.m. to permit night feeding.