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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

National Equine Resource Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: National Equine Resource Network was created to unite & strengthen the equine welfare community, by providing education, resources, funding, & opportunities for collaboration.

Results: Our low cost castration clinics have helped horse rescues and horse owners geld 200 horses a year for the past 3 years. For rescues, it improves the horse's chances for adoption. For owners, it creates a safer, more stable environment, allows them to pasture horses together, and prevents unintended breeding and/or unwanted offspring.

Target demographics: horse owners & horse rescues

Direct beneficiaries per year: 200 horse owners

Geographic areas served: the U.S.

Programs: Low cost equine castration clinics

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Monica C

Client Served

Rating: 5

Chili is a 3 year old registered miniature stallion that my husband and I had purchased for intentions of equine therapy for veterans. He started getting very nippy but had a lot of training under his belt.
National Equine Resource Network donated money to help get Chili gelded since I had recently lost my job.
Chili is now gelded and is now as sweet as can be with no more biting. He is soon ready to go on the road.
Thank you so much!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shirley Puga has been helping horses for many years. She is so organized the military would do well to adopt her methods! Her gelding clinics are extremely well run! We have hosted two and hope to do many more! Her organizational skills are superb. She makes hosting a gelding clinic so easy with her great pre-coordination with all parties, including the veterinarians, clients and horses themselves. The horses she saves from the slaughter pipeline are fortunate to have her in their corner! There would be so many more dead if it were not for Shirley. We will always support her efforts and help in any way we can. Pictured here are two of the girls Shirley saved as seen when they first arrived here.

valleyviewranch

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is such an incredible organization. Ran with heart and the ultimate in integrity. Have worked with nern on many projects and will continue to do so.

Terry89

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working with NERN through Shirley Puga was an outstanding experience. She is very well organized and both times we enjoyed the easy flowing of work and their very helpful crew. I am looking for working again with NERN.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Well organized gelding clinics with dedicated staff of volunteers. I will not hesitate to work with NERN again in the future.

Tania B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with NERN for many years and they are a wonderful organization. Their gelding clinics are so needed and so reasonable and the vet and staff are just amazing. We recently took in a rescued donkey, he has been very special needs since he arrived at our rescue almost a year ago (at barely 4 mo old). Their 1st priority was to make sure he was well taken care of and ready to travel before we headed the 3 hour trailer ride back home. Shirley is an angel to both the horses and their owners! NERN ROCKS!!!!!!!! Keep doing what you guys do. your awesome :) Hope to work with you again soon!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Merical is a 12 year old, bay mustang who we had been working with for a few years. Unfortunately, he was unable to be gentled and I begun the search in finding him freedom. I emailed nearly 60 different organizations in hopes they would have the perfect fit. We needed a place for him to live out the rest of his life as a part of a herd on land, free to roam and be left alone. Shirley with National Equine Resource Network was one of 4 organizations that responded. She was prompt, pleasant and instrumental in finding Merical's home. She made it a priority to match his needs with his prospective new life. Merical now lives on over 3000 acres with 300 other rescued and wild horses solely due to Shirley and her efforts. It is exactly what he has earned in this life and Merical and I are eternally grateful Shirley stepped into our lives at the perfect time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a Client a very happy one. My colt was given to me free to a good home. I was told he was a Gelding but found out after we picked him up he was not Gelded. The owner had contacted the National Equine Resource Network to have him Gelded but found he was Chryptorchid and they were not equipped at the time to deal with this situation. After we got him home I contacted the NERN also to find out when they could accommodate my colt. I was sorry to say it took over a year for them to actually have a Chryptorchid Clinic. I immediately signed up. I had my horse at a trainer and was lucky that they would let him take him in my stead. I didn't feel comfortable or qualified to deal with him in public. Dr. Eric called me prior to the Clinic asking me questions about his breed, age, health etc. and assured me they would take excellent care of him. My trainer Ty said the Clinic was very professional and they gave exact care for the horse after surgery. Sonny is healthy happy and still at the trainer for a few more months. However without the Clinic I could never have afforded the cost of castration. I thank Shirley, Dr Eric and the hole Network for what they are doing for us horse owners. I think it is important that we keep the breeding of horses to those horse with the linage and castrate others to keep down on the thousands of horses that are slaughtered every year because no one wants them. Castrating my horse made him a horse I can enjoy for many years to come. Without the Clinic I would have had to sell him or give him away. Claudia Soman

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have donated the use of our facility for multiple gelding clinics in East San Diego County and are incredibly grateful for the service that NERN provides to our community. Each clinic is professionally handled and the care given to all of the horses by the vets, assistants and volunteers is exemplary. The crew provides all services, set up and clean up and we hardly know they've been here. We enthusiastically support NERN's efforts to control the overpopulation of horses. The affordable castration of horses not only helps this mission, but also allows rescues to geld their colts and stallions which increases the chances they find forever homes.
Shirley works tirelessly to provide much needed care for horses in need, assist rescues and connect so many to a wealth of resources. Thank you Shirley and NERN for all you do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of being a volunteer, when this group came to my area. I have also been a recipient of a very important program they offer. Their gelding clinics, which are beneficial in many ways. As horse owners are struggling with the high cost of feed, etc., so many young colts are not being gelded, due to cost. But, it is not just young colts. Some, are now breeding age stallions. The mannerisms between a gelding and a stallion can be great. The future of an unwanted stallion, can be bleak. These horses can also become a danger to anyone that does not have the experience to handle them. The horse "industry" is struggling with over population and unwanted horses. This program NERN offers, helps in preventing accidental pregnancy and gives the male horse, a better chance for a good life. It may also save the life of a human. This is a unique program they offer and I hope they can continue to expand this program to more counties and states.

MMBeagle

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shirley Puga has been someone I have respected for many years. I have been involved in many aspects of horse rescue since 1993. As soon as I heard about NERN, I started supporting the great work they provide. The best and most impressive is the Gelding clinic. Preventing further unplanned breeding of countless horses. In turn, fewer horses are sent to slaughter. Something horse advocates appreciate far and wide. They do deserve recognition and I support NERN's work.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5


National Equine Rescue Network has saved thousands of horses from going to slaughter or unknown ends with the effort put forth in the gelding clinics. Job well done!!

Thank you
Shirley and NERN team

Read more

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am on the board of directors for the Coachella Valley Horse Rescue organization. We have volunteered with NERN and Shirley Puga at a local gelding clinic. The efforts and team work were extremely impressive. We are looking forward to volunteering at the next gelding clinic. This is a blessing to many who can't afford to pay the astronomic cost to geld their stallions. I hope NERN continues to get funded and supported. The horses that were gelded were handled very well and the outcome was wonderful.
Thank you for bringing this opportunity to our valley and we support you 100%.

Safe Haven Horse Rescue

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As President and Founder of Safe Haven Horse Rescue in Cottonwood, Ca, I/we have worked with NERN and Shirley Puga for years! We have had the honor of hosting many of NERN's Gelding Clinics here in Northern California. The clinics are always full and staffed with wonderful volunteers and terrific veterinarians! We have several of Safe Haven's volunteers help with each event and have had nothing but great feedback from them! The horses are always well cared for and handled properly as well, which is what Safe Haven is all about! It's been wonderful being able to work with NERN and Shirley and with helping in slowing the overbreeding of horses. Thanks for all you do!

Linda Richards
President and Founder
Safe Haven Horse Rescue and Sanctuary

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is the only one of its kind as far as I am concerned. They help and save so many horses. The gelding clinics have help so many horses and their owners. Shirley is a hero and an equine Angel for sure. I have worked with Shirley for years and so look forward to many more years.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first met Shirley over the phone when she began NERN and I was program director of Stallion to Gelding Support, the first national organization dedicated to reducing the number of unwanted horses by providing gelding services to stallion owners. Shirley picked up the idea and before I knew it had held several clinics in California. Within less than a year, her organization was responsible for gelding more stallions than my program accomplished in three years. And NERN continues to be a strong and effective program. NERN is single-handedly making a huge positive difference in the lives of horses and their owners.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NERN is very proactive in helping in the lives of horses, by Gelding stallions we are helping to reduce the unwanted and slaughter bound horses in the USA.The benefit of the gelding program to equine welfare is proactive in the stopping of slaugher bound horses, The organization is professionally run with great community service the clinics are well organized.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have hosted multiple gelding clinics at our farm and are incredibly grateful for the service that NERN provides to our community. Each clinic is professionally orchestrated and the care given to all of the horses by the vets, assistants and volunteers is absolutely top notch. Shirley is an amazing force of nature who works tirelessly to provide much needed care for horses in need, assist rescues and connect so many to a wealth of resources. We have adopted many animals that have come from deplorable situations of overbreeding and wholeheartedly support NERN's efforts to control the overpopulation of horses. The affordable castration of horses not only helps this mission, but also allows rescues to geld their colts and stallions which make the far more likely to find a permanent home.

Margaux B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a veterinarian and I work with several equine rescues as well as people who cannot afford to castrate their intact horses. The NERN program has filled a huge void and provided a needed service to my community. It is great to know this organization exists and provides sterilization to the needy.

Client Served

Rating: 5

NERN has been so beneficial to my horse rescue. They are a valuable resource from all aspects of understanding the situation that horses face, the people that are involved and how to best serve this passion for horse rescue. Shirley has been instrumental in assisting with the saving of so many horses that I have taken in as well as coordinating and donating her time and effort to conducting a low cost gelding clinic for my yearlings at my sanctuary. She is my go to source for all questions and advice for everything I have done to date and I know will always be there for me in the future. Wonderful work she and the NERN organization do for horses and horse owners! They truly make this world a better place for the equines and are instrumental in saving so many of them. Thank you from those of us who rely on your organization and from the thousands of Horses that are alive today because of your efforts!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for NERN's gelding clinics for years and I thought I would take a moment to tell those that read these reviews what really is happening. If you're reading this, you're probably a horse person and have no doubt heard of all the issues with round ups of wild horses by the BLM as well as private owners turning their horses into the auction yards that will then end up in slaughter houses for human consumption in other countries. The whole idea behind NERN's gelding clinics is to make sure that it never gets to that point. Similar to spay/neuter clinics, NERN's gelding clinics offer low cost gelding to those who, though maybe not their fault, don't have the funds to get their horses gelded. It's not cheap. But NERN's network of Vet's and venues offers thousands of horse owners the opportunity that they probably otherwise would not have; a relatively cheap way of getting their horse gelded. And with that, keeping the unwanted horse population down. NERN has been forward thinking for years with this program. And in addition to the benefits to the horse population, it also allows the vets to give so many young up and coming veterinarian students hands on training in a procedure we all hope they will do many, many, many times over in their careers. So if you can, find out more about NERN and the gelding clinic program. Currently they operate throughout the southwest but imagine if it could go national. What a benefit to the horse community and the horse population all together. I will continue to volunteer with NERN for as long as they need me to. There is nothing better than knowing you helped make a difference in the world and NERN, at least in the horse world, has made a monumental impact. So do what you can to help. Donate, volunteer, fund raise, spread the word via social media. Do ANYTHING, but make sure you do SOMETHING !

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Starting in April of 2006, Shirley Puga would spend countless hours setting up a network of people to assist in rescuing unwanted horses or rounded up mustangs from the feedlots in the southwest before they got sent off to slaughter in either Canada or Mexico (and until recently, here in the United States). Her rescues number well over a thousand. That’s a lot of horses that are now out of harms way because of her and her undying love for them. But this exposure to the mass overpopulation of horses, by well meaning breeders and families having to turn in their backyard pets due to our declining economy, has led her to form the National Equine Resource Network (NERN). Her initial and most effective program thus far is her Low Cost Gelding Clinics that she has put on throughout the southwest region of the U.S. This program has enabled horse owners to geld their stallions for a cost that may have otherwise been prohibitive to them. And it has significantly reduced the population of unwanted horses. In these clinics she secures a venue, a veterinarian (who may volunteer their services) as well as using local veterinarian students who get invaluable hands on experience.
NERN wants to also roll out additional programs in the future that include a Hay Fund (have you priced a bale lately?) and a humane euthanasia fund for when it is necessary for the quality of life of the horse. A Disaster Fund and Emergency Medical fund as well as resources for a myriad of other horse needs.
These resources are severely missing in the equine community today but NERN, and the passion of its Executive Director Shirley Puga, will undoubtedly have them available as her organization grows.

Kristy15

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a horse rescuer myself NERN has helped us out many many times. By Shirley organizing and funding the gelding clinics it has given us better resources to have the males castrated. With the amount saved at her clinics we have been able help more animals. I recommend the NERN clinics to all I come in contact with and have also been able to transport and help other horse owners in my area with a much needed service. If it wasnt for her and the Love of the animals I would not be able to do what I do..
Thank You for What You Do...

Ashley50

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have donated time, money, and social media efforts to help this organization succeed. I love its founder and their mission and support them whole-heartedly. I wish them the best in the future missions and hopefully they can reduce unwanted horse numbers by their mission to castrate males.

Debi K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Top Ridge Farms hosted a gelding clinic today for National Equine Resource Network. Happy to report 6 stallions are now geldings! We would like to thank Shirley Puga, Dr. Eric Davis and all the interns and volunteers for such a well run operation. I have never seen such a team work together for the help of horses. We hope to host clinics in the future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our non-profit group, P.E.T.S. assisted National Equine Resource Network when they provided a low-cost gelding clinic here in Red Bluff, California. I am the President of P.E.T.S. and helped organize some of our volunteers to assist. I was very impressed with the good work NERN does. There is a strong need for gelding clinics in rural areas and without NERN, it wouldn't happen. They were efficient, pleasant, well-organized and with their help over 20 horses were gelded on the day we assisted. I and the other volunteers were delighted to help and look forward to the day they return.

Client Served

Rating: 5

i own a boarding facility in the desert area of palm springs, ca. one of my clients abandoned a young stud colt at my barn leaving a huge bill. this little guy came into the barn under two years old and unbroke. after alot of thought i decided that his only hope for a future would be to geld him. the expense was too much for my budget, however, and i was stuck trying to figure something out when my ranch hand told me she had discovered the National Equine Resourse Network online and that i should check it out.
i went on their website and discovered they were offering a low cost gelding clinic in temecula and i signed up! i took him there and the procedure was performed professionally and expertly and this horse is now in training and will make someone a wonderful mount....
i was so impressed that i volunteered my barn for a clinic here in the coachella valley and shirley puga (the founder) after inspecting my place, agreed that it was a perfect location and there was a great need for the service in this area. she organized everything and the clinic went off without a hitch and we got eighteen horses gelded that day. she is the only person i know that is actively trying to help horse owners neuter their animals at an affordable cost. she is a real hero and so is the doctor she works with.
i will volunteer again if she needs the help.
thank you for your dedication and tireless efforts!
toni maira
laughing stock farm
sky valley, ca.

Aletha M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with the actions and broad reach of this organization - I would love to see their work have an even broader impact as its vision intends!

kbenish

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is top notch. The founder is dedicated to reducing the number of horses that may go to slaughter or become neglected by offering low cost gelding clinics. I have worked with NERN for 4 of these clinics and they are extremely well run, horses are treated like royalty with each having an assigned handler throughout the process.. and the horse owners are very pleased with the results. I would recommend this organization for donors, volunteers, and anuone needing the services of low cost gelding!

Shirley Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an animal control officer and horse rescue member, I'm always looking for ways to improve the lives of horses in our community. I recently had the experience of volunteering at a local low cost gelding clinic with NERN. 24 stallions were gelded including 9 with retained testicles which would normally be prohibitively expensive. It was a 12 hour day for me and much longer for the NERN volunteers. From the first moment I arrived soon after sunrise, until the end of a very long day I was nothing but impressed. Everyone from the vet and vet students to the rest of the team was hard working, pleasant, patient and kind. In spite of the long hours and hard work, I never heard a raised word to horse or human. The horses were handled gently, safely and professionally and the students gained valuable skills. Best of all 24 horses are now able to live much more social lives without adding to the overpopulation of unwanted horses. I could not have been more impressed.

Advisor

Rating: 5

"The dedication and passion for equine welfare shown by NERN's Executive Director is unparalleled. Her goal is to create proactive programs to help horses, horse owners and horse rescues/sanctuaries. With her determination, talent and professionalism, I have no doubt she will make it a better, safer world for equines across the country."

TMMES

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Shirley Puga for over 5 years in the field of horse rescue. She and her organization are professional, ethical and caring. I would highly recommend NERN to anyone.

horseandman

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Professional, well organized and thorough. Excellent follow-through.

Cindy61

Volunteer

Rating: 5

R-VETS has worked with NERN for two years now. One of the many things that National Equine Resource Network’s program aims to do is provide low cost gelding clinics to the public. Un-castrated horses are much more likely to become unwanted at some point in their life. To this end Shirley Puga works tirelessly organizing venues and finding clients in need. In comparison to other equine non-profits with whom we have worked her organizational ability and efficiency make this our favorite program.

Angela44

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of working with Shirley Puga And NERN earlier this year in a gelding clinic in Northern California. We here at Napa Valley Horse Rescue took in 3 wild stallions from a big quarter horse dispersal that were all headed to slaughter. These horses were untouchable and the local vets wanted 6-900 dollars a horse for the gelding process. there was no way our rescue could afford this. I had been working with these stallions for a few months by the time NERN held the Gelding clinic, but they were still pretty wild and untrusting as well as barely halterbroke. Shirley, Dr. Davis, his anesthesiologist and vet students made this gelding process such a breeze for us and the horses. They sedated the most skitish one in the trailer and we led them all out with ease. They also had their feet trimmed and teeth checked while they were down!! As soon as the process was done we let the horses recover and loaded them right back up and headed home. Dr Davis made a personal ranch call which was way over and above to check on one of the geldings that had extra swelling and he fixed the problem is seconds. This non-profit has made a huge contribution to our state and fellow horseman by offering this wonderful service to those who cannot afford the high prices of services to geld stallions to stop the unwanted backyard breeding and overpopulation we are having in the horse community. Thankyou Shirley and NERN for all you do for all of us.... Your hard work and selfless generosity is making a huge difference in all of our comunities that have the pleasure of working with your group. Again, from our hearts.... Thank you...

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been working with National Equine resource Network (NERN) for about two years. They are an outstanding nonprofit that has truly helped many. They do fantastic work to prevent unnecessary breeding by holding low cost gelding clinics in cities all over. Oakdale Equine Rescue has benefited enormously from these clinics, as the cost for gelding even one horse can be extremely expensive. Without NERN it would be very difficult for our rescue to continue to commit to rescuing young colts or mature stallions, that would that need to be gelded, we just would not be able to afford it.

We are grateful for everything NERN has done to help us, as well as other rescues like us, and so many others.

Jeannine Etheridge
President of Oakdale Equine Rescue

Allen W.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the operator of a nonprofit equine rescue sanctuary, I am very aware of the need for an organization such as the National Equine Research Network created specifically to support our work. Therefore I am pleased to provide our endorsement for this grant.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shirley Puga is by far the most knowledgable and professional individual in our industry. NERN fills a much needed role in supporting the rescues that serve unwanted and slaughter bound horses. The non profit is well run, fiscally responsible and responsive to the needs of the community that it serves. Shirley is of impeccable moral character and always approaches situations from a place of candor, honesty and integrity. The organization is mission focused and proactive in resolving problems and issues. In the 4 years that I have beed associated with the work of NERN, my respect and admiration for tho organization and its leadership continues to grow. Special accolades certainly need to be paid to the innovative programs such as the low cost gelding clinics, which exemplifies the proactive mindset of this organizations leadership. Susan Peirce, President Red Bucket Equine Rescue