A veterinarian drove from Utah to Standing Rock, North Dakota to help protestors take care of their horses.
Charmian Wright is an equine vet with over 30 years of experience from Park City, Utah. As she watched reports of the protests against the pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota, she realized she had to do something for the horses that were inadvertently part of the fight.
"I am passionate about the issues that are being addressed at Standing Rock. But when I saw videos of horses being injured, I knew I had to go there."
Wright works primarily with horses at her equine practice in Utah and decided that her expertise could be of use to the protestors at Standing Rock. The protestors, also called water protectors, are standing up against construction of an oil pipeline that they say will contaminate water sources as well as intrude onto Native American sacred ground.
Wright drove the 900 miles from Park City to Standing Rock to help care for the horses that were accompanying the water protectors. She also has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for equine medication and supplies.
Once Wright arrived in Standing Rock she got straight to work helping the horses that had been injured in the protests. The horses are there for moral support and as symbols for the Native Americans protecting the rights to their sacred land and are well taken care of. But Wright wanted to be there to instruct people how to medically care for the horses by teaching them how to suture and bandage wounds.
"I taught them how to do an in-depth physical exam, including the use of a stethoscope, how to assess for lameness, how to body-score for weight, and how to examine teeth," she said. "We discussed how to assess different types of injuries and how they are treated. I showed them the uses of different medications, such as antibiotics for infection and anti-inflammatories for pain and colic."
She has since returned to her equine practice in Park City but is available for telephone consultation for the water protectors and is raising money for supplies at the camps. She doesn't call herself a hero but is trying to help in every way possible.
"I just think everybody needs to help and this was the best way that I could."
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