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Haddam Neck Horse rescue team seeks donations for stallion’s operation

Kai, a two year old stallion at Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue in Haddam, desperately needs his gelding surgery, which because of an undescended testicule, will cost $3,500. Kaitlyn Schroyer - The Middletown Press  

 

HADDAM NECK >> At 2, Kai has already had a tough life and to add to it, he now needs a $3,500 surgery to make sure he cannot reproduce.

 

 

This Clydesdale Spotted Saddlebred mix was born with cataracts, had to be bottle fed and barely made it to today. The happy-go-lucky, in-your-pocket, curious colt has battled it all.

 

 

On top of it, one of Kai’s testicles has not descended, making the gelding procedure costly — and urgent.

 

 

“He needs to be gelded to have a normal life with more options for the future,” Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue founder and veterinarian Stacey Golub said. “He’s not breeding quality. Gelding will make him easier to train and a better partner for humans.”

 

 

Kai’s mother, Annie, was brought to the all-volunteer nonprofit equine rescue based in Haddam Neck after being on craigslist up in Maine. She was then not only transferred to a dealer, but an auction before CDHR got her and brought her to safety. She had been thrown into the same field with a Spotted Saddlebred stallion when she shouldn’t have even been bred, Golub said, because she had past cataract surgery.

 

 

“He’s a miracle baby,” Golub said. “However only one testicle descended and it’s not likely the other will on its own, so we must geld internally.”

 

 

The surgery Kai needs is called cryptorchid castration, which removes the internal testicle.

 

 

In a world where growing cat, dog and horse populations are out of control, spaying, neutering and gelding is more crucial than ever.

 

 

“Over 150,000 horses shipped to slaughter last year,” Golub said. “The thing is we need to cut off the supply end by preventing breeding.”

 

 

Golub said some of the main problems are overbreeding, backyard breeding and accidental breeding, all situations that pertain to cats, dogs and horses.

 

 

“I have seen too many unplanned litters of kittens and puppies that have been born with owners that cannot handle the cost or responsibility,” Middletown Animal Control Officer Gail Petras said. “We also have a real cat overpopulation problem mostly because some people let their cats roam outdoors without being spayed or neutered.”

 

 

For horse owners, choosing not to geld sets off a multitude of issues.

 

 

“Finding homes for stallions is hard,” Golub said. “They are more difficult to manage and some boarding facilities won’t take them.”

 

 

Like cats or dogs, stallions can also get out and get into the wrong fields with mares, breeding accidentally.

 

 

“Breed the best to the best, but geld the rest,” Golub said.

 

 

For horse owners, Connecticut Draft in Haddam has an annual gelding clinic where they geld for little to no cost.

 

 

“Since 2011, CDHR has gelded 35 stallions,” Golub said. “The average cost to geld usually is $500 or more.”

 

 

Along with providing the service to rescues, financial hardships and those most at risk for producing unwanted offspring, the clinic serves as a teaching method to veterinary students at Tufts University.

 

 

“It’s a learning experience vets students rarely get so early in their education,” Golub said.

 

 

The clinic, called the Testicle Festival or Operation Gelding, is scheduled for June 7 and is open to all equines including donkeys.

 

 

However sponsors are needed for the clinic to be successful. Interested donors can go to CDHR’s website where they can purchase a souvenir testicle keychain for a $25 or $50 donation.

 

 

The keychain, Golub said, may seem odd, however the idea is that it begins conversations about the importance of gelding, spaying or neutering.

 

 

“Right here in Middletown, businesses, residential areas, animal control and cat rescues continue to struggle with an abundance of abandoned, stay, and feral cats,” Becky Czlapinski of the Connecticut Association To Assure Love and End Suffering said. “A female cat can get pregnant as early as 5 months old. A female cat will continuously go through heat cycles throughout the years making her susceptible to countless unwanted pregnancies.”

 

 

Czlapinski said spaying and neutering is not only a help for the unwanted cat population, but helps reduce diseases.

 

 

“Spaying or neutering cats also decreases disease transmission such as of rabies, feline leukemia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and flea infestations and associated diseases such as cat scratch fever while also decreasing unwanted behaviors like crying, urine marking, aggression, and the urge to roam.”

 

 

According to Czlapinski, spaying or neutering increases the lifespan of a cat by two to three years.

 

 

For cat or dog owners, Petras said the mobile van, TEAM, goes around to spay or neuter cats while the HOPE clinic in Southington also offers low cost services to cats or dogs.

 

 

“The Department of Agriculture has a program for low-income people where they can apply for state vouchers for up to two animals per person,” Petras said. “Both TEAM and HOPE accept the vouchers and the services are free with the voucher.”

 

 

Petras said she also has applications on her at all times to hand out to people who inquire.

 

 

“We also offer assistance with spaying or neutering feral cats,” Petras said. “We use donation funds to offset the cost and we do ask for a donation if the person is able to help.”

 

 

Petras can be contacted at (860) 638-4030.

 

 

“We need to open people’s eyes that there aren’t enough homes for every unwanted horse or animal,” Golub said.

 

 

To donate to Kai’s surgery fund, CDHR has a website set up for donations. So far, the group has raised $1,900 of the needed $3,500.

 

Adopting A Friend

Application Fee & Instructions

Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, Inc., is a non-profit equine rescue dedicated to improving the lives of draft horses by saving them from situations which threaten their health and well-being, including neglect or abuse situations, slaughter broker lots or auctions where they may be sold to slaughter, and those whose owners can no longer provide for their needs.  Horses coming through our rescue are quarantined, medically evaluated and treated, receive farrier care, vaccinations, deworming and dental care, and are then evaluated for riding or driving ability to determine the appropriate match for their “forever” home when they are placed for adoption.  Fundraising and adoption fees only recoup a portion of our expenses, but without them we could not continue to save more horses.  Adoption fees are non-negotiable and non-refundable.Our goal is to find every horse a home where they will be loved and treated well for the rest of their lives, and to ensure that they are never again in dangerous, neglectful or abusive situations.  For this reason, we follow-up on these horses for the rest of their lives. We adopt them under a “lifetime free-lease” condition, which allows you to have the horse as your own, forever…but provides a “safety net” for the horse.  Since we retain ownership of the horse, if the horse is ever neglected, starved, abused, abandoned, or ends up at an auction, we have the legal power to take that horse back to safety.  Be assured we have no desire to take horses back from you into the rescue once they have wonderful loving homes…our goal is to find homes for horses so we can rescue others…this is strictly for extenuating circumstances where the horse is in danger or winds up in the wrong hands.We require annual follow-up which includes documentation of basic veterinary care (vaccinations to include EWT, West Nile and Rabies), dental exam and/or floating of teeth, farrier care, and parasite control as recommended by your vet. We will need current photographs of the horse on an annual basis, and have the right to visit your farm to see your adopted horse (though we hope you will keep in touch more often, as we become quite fond of our rescues in the short time they spend with us).  We will need to be notified if the physical location of where the horse lives ever changes.  If you decide you don’t want or can’t keep the horse anymore, we have the right to take the horse back or to approve a new owner you may find yourself, and a new contract must be signed before the horse is transferred.  A vet must be called for any illness or serious injury, and if the necessary treatment cannot be provided for financial reasons, the horse must be returned to the rescue. We prohibit our rescue horses from ever being used for breeding purposes. You may always return your adopted horse to the rescue at any time, for any reason, no questions asked.
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, and reside no more than a 4-hour drive away from East Hampton, CT 06424 (except by special exception, contact us for preapproval). We require both veterinary and personal references. We perform farm inspections to ensure that you provide a safe, hazard-free environment, with adequate shelter and free access to water (potable water other than a pond or stream).  We will not approve premises with inadequate or unsafe fencing, including smooth electric wire (unless it is secondary as a toprail protector) or barbed wire.  A non-refundable application fee of $15 is required to cover our time and effort; this fee will be applied towards an adoption fee on your chosen horse. If we do not have a horse that meets your needs at this time, we encourage pre-approval with a description of the horse you are seeking, as we often know of other horses in need that we can match you with or we can seek out an appropriate horse once you are approved. 

Who We Are

Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit draft horse rescue led by Dr. Stacey Golub, an equine veterinarian based in CT. Our team of rescuers also includes veterinary assistants, experienced horse people, trainers and farriers. We bail drafts out of slaughter broker lots, help place owner surrenders, and make trips to the auction to bid against slaughter buyers. Being run by a veterinarian allows us to provide medical and surgical care for special needs horses with less concern for expenses, and they receive the best of care under direct vet supervision. Once horses are vetted, quarantined, rehabbed, and evaluated for training, they are rehomed to local experienced horse people with a strict contract for their lifelong protection. We have been rescuing drafts with funds from our own pockets since 2010, and recently incorporated to be able to fundraise and recruit others. 

Donations are always gratefully accepted. The costs of rehabilitating and rehoming horses only begin with the auction or broker price; the feed, medical, farrier bills and more create an ongoing need. Donations are tax-deductible due to our IRS 501(c)3 status, but please be assured we have excellent references and a track record of providing top-notch care for the good of our horses.  Paypal donations may be sent to ctdraftrescue@aol.com.  Please contact us if you would like to donate goods or services.

IRS Employer ID #35-2401003
CT Public Charity Registration #CHR.0055300

Contact Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue





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