Good Works for Horses, sponsored by AAEP Educational Partner Zoetis, honors AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are having a positive impact on the equine community. Kin was among several AAEP-member veterinarians nominated for the award in August by horse owners and equine organizations. Also recognized for their industry altruism were runners-up Kevin Claunch, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, with Weems and Stephens Equine Hospital, in Aubrey, Texas, and Bruce Connally, DVM, MS, of Wyoming Equine, in Berthoud, Colorado.
Kin founded Exclusively Equine Veterinary Services PC in Edmond, Oklahoma, a two-doctor ambulatory practice, in 2006. Given Kin’s extensive experience assisting local law enforcement and animal welfare authorities with equine neglect and abuse cases, the ASPCA approached her in 2019 to help launch a pilot program in the Oklahoma City area to expand safety net services and rehoming options for horse owners. The goal of the program, which has evolved into the statewide ASPCA Equine Transition and Adoption Center (ETAC), is to identify and proactively address horse ownership circumstances at risk of ending up in neglectful situations.
As the ETAC’s primary intake veterinarian, Kin, with an assist from her associate Chelsey Rostykus, DVM, assesses and provides discounted or free veterinary care in support of owners able to retain their horse with the help of temporary safety net assistance. Similar services are provided to facilitate adoption of horses relinquished without judgment by their owners for rehoming through the ETAC. Euthanasia and disposal services are provided for extreme cases. In all, nearly 400 horses have received care, with dental diseases, metabolic diseases, and chronic lameness the most common maladies.
Kin devotes more than 10 hours per week in support of the ETAC. Besides providing discounted or free veterinary care, she participates in weekly Zoom meetings with the ASPCA to review cases and goals as well as in quarterly review meetings with program stakeholders, hosts vaccination clinics, and corresponds regularly with animal welfare workers to aid their field efforts to find at-risk horses and stave off future cases of cruelty or neglect.
“To be able to provide these services and to see the turnaround in these horses—both that we see in the field and those that come into the equine transition center—is really the biggest reward and thanks I can get,” said Kin. “It’s very satisfying to contribute toward giving these horses a fresh start and second chance.”
From June through August, the AAEP’s Good Works for Horses campaign spotlighted AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are improving the health and welfare of horses. Each monthly winner remains eligible to win the contest’s grand prize, which will be announced Nov. 19 at the AAEP’s 68th Annual Convention.