A Vital Relationship: Rescues and Veterinarians

During the 8 years Heart of Phoenix has operated, initially privately funded, next as a 501(c)3, we have endeavored to have good, close relationships with area veterinarians.

We are happy to report a plethora of vets have worked very well with HOP. Currently, we work with nearly a dozen different vets in three states. All offer us a discount, as well.

Our horses see a vet quickly, and they receive what care they need. Sadly, this is more than I can say for some rescue.

What I noticed in many, for lack of a better word, shady so-called rescues or even those just poorly funded with good intentions, is a total lack of vet presence. This applies to private “rescuers.” No one has any reason to “rescue” horses they cannot provide full vet and farrier care for in a timely manner, but it happens. Often.

Equine care, as you all know, is extremely expensive. Intake vetting is usually near $500 with farm call for a horse that needs a fecal, dental float, vaccines, exam and microchip. Frequently, horses arrive in need of prescription antibiotics, need lameness exams, X-rays, ultrasounds and more. It is common for a horse to require $1,000 of vet care in the first 8 weeks or so, and that is a discounted rate for us.

What about if you have an emergency? Well, we all know about the price of after hours calls. Beyond just the cost, a vet isn’t going to drag out to see a rescue horse if that organization isn’t using him for routine care.

Understanding vet care and the costs is vital when you support a rescue or think of opening a rescue or accepting another horse.

If the average rescue needs $500 to $1,000 of just vet care, what does that mean if you see a place with 20 horses in “rescue?” It means they are going to need a LOT of funding just to cover basic vet needs, to say nothing of transport costs, grain, worming, hay or farrier care, right? Use this knowledge before you throw support behind pop up type groups, and try your best to be sure everything points to a relationship existing with a vet and care being given as needed.

A special thanks to our vets we see most often:

Dr. Steve Walker, Dr. Clara Mason, Dr. Kelly Pinkston, Dr. Hughes and Dr. Hopper!



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