The American Association of Equine Practitioners has selected Dr. Kevin May of El Cajon Valley Veterinary Hospital in El Cajon, Calif., as the Good Works Campaign honoree for the month of February. The AAEP's Good Works Campaign honors AAEP-member practitioners who perform volunteer service to benefit horses and the equine community. Horse owners and veterinary professionals are encouraged to nominate veterinarians to be considered for the next monthly recognition by March 31.
Dr. May has organized two programs to lighten the financial burden of veterinary care for therapeutic riding centers in San Diego County. Horses serving three small therapy riding centers receive free alternative therapy through Dr. May's Chiropractic Acupuncture Relieving Equine Soreness (CARES) program. Dr. May visits each therapy center one day each month to perform free chiropractic and acupuncture services. Another program carried out by Dr. May, Therapeutic Equine Dentistry (TED), provides a year of free dental services to five horses at each of the local therapeutic riding centers. These programs alleviate pain and preserve health in the older therapy horse, thereby prolonging its ability to be ridden by a disabled child or individual.
A noted leader in his community, Dr. May was active in veterinary relief efforts during the 2003 and 2007 San Diego County wildfire emergencies. In 2003, Dr. May spent five days living out of his ambulatory truck at Lakeside Rodeo Arena and Fair Grounds, which served as a rescue shelter for people and animals displaced by the wildfires. While treating horses suffering from severe burn wounds, colic, lacerations and eye injuries, he was reassuring voice for owners who were in a state of crisis. He donated supplies and extended free services to horse owners in the community who lost their homes in the fires.
A member of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and charter member of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture, Dr. May regularly mentors students and interns interested in alternative therapy. Interns from across the United States, Canada and England have learned acupuncture techniques from Dr. May. He also volunteers at local Arabian horse shows and hosts educational events for horse owners.
"I guess I grew up feeling like that was a part of what it meant to be a vet - as a vet you are kind of a leader in your community," Dr. May says of his role as a community volunteer. "You are in charge of the health care of the animals in the area."
Throughout 2011, the AAEP's Good Works Campaign will spotlight AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are improving the health and welfare of horses. Monthly honorees will be considered for the 2011 Good Works Award, to be presented during the 57th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Nomination forms are currently available at < http://www.aaep.org/goodworks.htm >
The Good Works Campaign is sponsored in part by AAEP Educational Partner, < http://www.pfizer.com/products/animal_health/animal_health.jsp > Pfizer Animal Health. Pfizer Animal Health strives to improve horse health by helping to build strong relationships between veterinarians and horse owners and providing a range of products backed by the highest standards of scientific research.
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, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.
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