The Pre-Veterinary Club at WTAMU is volunteering time and hard work to help animals in need. They are now spending their days at the Panhandle Safe Hayven Equine Rescue.
The rescue is a safe place for abused or neglected horses, or horses whose owners can no longer care for them for different reasons. They are fed back to health, if possible, and are placed in good homes. The horses are well taken care of and loved until they are adopted.
Club students are able to go out to the rescue center during their spare time to groom the horses, clean the pens, and even bond with them. It is very important not only that the horses get the love and attention they need, but also that the students get the chance to help with the animals and gain knowledge and experience they may not receive in the classroom.
“It is an opportunity for us to get to see how a business is run that isn’t a vet clinic,” said Brittany Lasak, a senior Pre-Veterinary major.
For Lasak, this is a time when she is able to learn more about horses and spend more time around them. She has not been around horses much and is using this experience to benefit her practice down the road.
“I’ve never had much experience and want to gain knowledge from [Head of the Panhandle Safe Hayven Equine Rescue] Terri Gammage” said Lasak.
Unlike Lasak, there are few students who have spent their whole lives around horses and have a strong passion for the animals. For these few, it isn’t about what they take away from it.
“I would rather the horses take away more than I do. They’re the ones that need it, not me,” said Ryan McGilvray, a freshman Pre-Veterinary major.
Stephanie Troutman, a freshman Animal Science major, has been riding horses since she was about four years old. This opportunity gives her a sense of accomplishment. She loves to help out any way she can. Volunteering for the rescue is fueling her dream of someday working with the mentally disabled through riding therapy.
“I feel like every horse has a story to tell,” said Kevin Ruiz, a freshman pre-veterinary major.
Ruiz feels that every time a person is out with horses people learn from them. They not only learn about the individual horse, but also a lot about themselves. It is also a way for him to learn all the different ways of working with the horses and the different fields that he can explore in the equine industry.