To the editor:
The Navajo Nation Veterinary Program recently completed a free, six-week horse castration and mare birth control vaccine program. Some 399 horses were treated. This program helped dozens of horse owners all across the Navajo Nation like me.
It's reassuring to know that among the thousands of hard-working Navajo Nation employees are those who work for the Nation's veterinary program, helping people and animals every day with their knowledge, care and effort.
Dr. Kelly Upshaw-Bia and Veterinary Technician Patrina Begay came to Tuba City on Sept. 4. These women treated horse after horse in the hot sun all day long.
But they weren't alone. Navajo Nation Veterinary Program vets and techs have done the same at 34 locations across the Navajo Nation, including Chinle, Pinon, Crownpoint, Nageezi, Beclabeto, Naschitti, Dilcon, Leupp, Tse Bonito, Alamo, Tuba City, Torreon, Ramah, Oak Springs, Kaibeto, Kayenta, Chilchinbeto, Manuelito, Shiprock and Montezuma Creek.
With medical skill, athletic ability and physical risk to themselves, they tranquillized young stallions, carefully laid them down and went to work to make geldings.
This is a wonderful and needed service. In addition to birth control, all horses were given annual vaccinations, de-wormed and micro-chipped for identification. If owners had two or more horses, this amounted to a significant financial savings.
The Navajo Nation Veterinary Program and Navajo Nation Council, which provided the funding, deserve recognition for having foresight, implementing this program and encouraging responsible horse management. You've made it easy for Navajo Nation horse owners to do the right thing.
George Hardeen and Lena Fowler