The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) congratulates Dr. Steve Naile, the March honoree of the Good Works for Horses Campaign, for protecting the welfare of horses by voluntarily training, educating and assisting law enforcement in the identification and pursuit of cases of equine cruelty and neglect.
Good Works for Horses honors AAEP-member practitioners who perform volunteer service to benefit horses and the equine community. Horse owners and veterinary professionals are encouraged to nominate AAEP members for this monthly recognition.
Dr. Naile, who recently sold his ownership stake in the Equine Clinic at Oakencroft and now primarily serves as practice manager of the 10-doctor practice in Ravena, N.Y., partners with Lynn Cross at Little Brook Farm horse rescue and sanctuary to offer a free, one-day Investigating Equine Cruelty and Neglect workshop at which police officers, animal control officers and other law enforcement officials from around the state are trained in the essentials of equine abuse cases.
Dr. Naile instructs attendees on proper paperwork, including the Coggins test; determination and use of body condition score; and the components of a thorough site inspection, including common owner excuses and the buzzwords that, when heard, should trigger additional scrutiny.
When Cross pitched the workshop idea to Dr. Naile, he called it a “homerun” because law enforcement can be reluctant to get involved because of an already heavy workload and an unfamiliarity with the applicable laws and with horses.
Now in its sixth year and with more than 70 attendees in 2018, including a couple of prosecutors, the workshop has been a grand slam. “I’ve seen such an improvement in the competence of law enforcement and animal control people,” said Dr. Naile.
The workshops have also established an ongoing connection between attendees and organizers. Dr. Naile volunteers his availability, including nights and weekends, to officers investigating cruelty complaints or seeking assistance. The payout for him is the growing network of motivated officers equipped to address and resolve situations before they become welfare emergencies.
“For every high-profile case of equine cruelty and neglect, there are many more out there that don’t get publicity because they don’t involve large numbers or a particular breed,” said Dr. Naile. “The eyes and ears are not only the neighbors but the animal control officers and police on routine patrols on the backroads and byways who can spot these animals before they reach a critical condition.”
Throughout 2019, the AAEP’s Good Works for Horses Campaign will spotlight AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are improving the health and welfare of horses. To discover the Good Works of AAEP veterinarians or nominate a Good Works candidate, visit the AAEP website. For more information on nominating a veterinarian for this program, contact Michelle Behm, AAEP communications coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.
Contact: Sally J. Baker
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