The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) commends Dr. Brett Weseli, the May honoree of the Good Works for Horses Campaign, whose volunteer efforts exposing children to horses and other animals are expanding knowledge and appreciation while helping to heal the human spirit.
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.
Owner of Veterinary Services, Inc., a predominately equine ambulatory practice in Columbus, Miss., Dr. Weseli has volunteered for the past four years at Camp Rising Sun, a week-long camp specifically for children from Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee who have been diagnosed with or who are in remission from cancer. Dr. Weseli rolls into camp accompanied by mini horses, goats and mini pigs from his home. The children get to feed, pet and dote on the animals.
“I love seeing the kids light up and get excited about interacting with the animals, especially considering they don't get that opportunity very often,” said Dr. Weseli.
In addition to Camp Rising Sun, Dr. Weseli has been involved with a Fellowship of Christian Athletes horsemanship camp, leading demonstrations and educational programs for children ages nine to 13. Campers have learned the basics of horse care and when to call the veterinarian; watched Dr. Weseli perform routine horse dentistry; and participated in interactive horse anatomy lessons.
“I like to volunteer with programs involving children because so many kids don't grow up in a rural environment or on a farm anymore,” he said.
Dr. Weseli is currently offering advice on the restructuring of the Mississippi State University Equine Assisted Therapy Program, which is being reconstituted to combine therapeutic riding programs for children with disabilities and for veterans. He expects to help with program fundraising in an expanded volunteer role.
In addition to his involvement with camps and therapeutic riding programs, Dr. Weseli in the past has donated time discussing pets and pet care in local schools; organizing low-cost vaccination clinics with the Mississippi Board of Animal Health; coordinating the applications of a couple of non-profit horse rescues for free core vaccines through the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign; and assisting Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation volunteers with care and stabilization of injured deer, hawks, owls and other animals.
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 Sue Stivers at [email protected]
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