logo The Safe Horse Project

Spring - 2017

Operation Gelding

Operation Gelding is a collaboration of veterinarians and rescue organizations with the assistance of a grant from the Unwanted Horse Coalition to ensure that equine owners without sufficient resources can still have access to castration surgeries. Several gelding clinics will be scheduled across the state during the spring and fall of 2017. Through this program, owners who qualify may bring their stallions for gelding to the closest vet clinic listed below, on a first come, first served basis. Operation Gelding requires that individuals provide the requested information regarding income, family size and horse information so that we can provide financial assistance in a fair and consistent manner. All information will be kept confidential. Your application can be completed online, dropped off at the vet clinic or mailed.

Please allow two weeks to process your application. Those who are eligible will pay $20 to the participating veterinarian who normally earns a fee in excess of $120 for this procedure. Assistance will be determined based on a thorough review of the application. You will be notified by telephone within two weeks if your application has been approved or if you need to submit additional information. Assistance will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, subject to available resources.


To process your application, we need one of the following:

If you don't have any of the documents required, please write a letter explaining your personal financial situation. Confidentiality Financial documents submitted to Operation Gelding will be used to determine eligibility for this program and will be reviewed by the designated rescue organization's staff. Financial documents will be held confidential and will not be shared with any non- participating organizations or disclosed to any other person except in response to valid subpoena issued by a court or agency of competent jurisdiction.

Thanks to ASPCA we held the first Open Door Shelter for horses, back in September, in partnership with the Mississippi Animal Rescue League. Twenty-two horses were surrendered by owners who could no longer provide care for their horses and wanted to make sure they didn't end up in a bad place. While this is the greatest need for horses across the state, conventional shelters have trouble meeting it because of the high cost of rehabilitative care, training, and euthanasia. Most of the horses that were surrendered were young and untrained; some had been saved from kill pens and needed homes, and some just had not been ridden in years and needed fine tuning. Regardless of where they came from, their owners wanted to make sure they didn't end up in the wrong hands.

Sometimes the best we can offer a horse is a peaceful end. Major was only 6 years old but had immune deficiencies that caused him to have many different problems, including hoof abscesses, cellulitis, and painful swelling of limbs. Once one problem went away, he would have something else. His owner couldn't afford to treat him nor could they pay to have him euthanized. While we gave him two months with our vet and farrier, we soon realized he was one that we just couldn't fix.
Gigi was one of four off the track Thoroughbreds surrendered during the One Day Open Door Shelter that we were able to place into loving homes where they would learn a second career. These horses are amazing athletes but are at great risk of being purchased for slaughter due to their large size and need for retraining.
These two young horses were saved from the Bastrop kill pen. The owner thought they would be easy to place but a year later, the now two year olds didn't have any potential buyers. Unable to keep them through the winter, they were surrendered to the Open Door Shelter. One of the trainers participating in the event saw them and adopted them to train and later adopt through Mississippi Horse Rescue.

These are just a few of the success stories that happened that day. We hope to have another Open Door Shelter in the future. No horse owner should feel their only option is to sell their horse at auction where it is at risk of being purchased for slaughter. We appreciate the ASPCA and the Mississippi Animal Rescue League for joining forces to help these horses in need.