As the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline continues, it has drawn nationwide attention. It also drew the attention of Charmian Wright, DVM, owner and operator of Mountain Horse Medical in Park City, Utah. When she heard about horses getting injured at Standing Rock, she was motivated to reach out to the Sioux on Facebook to see if they needed help.
According to the Huffington Post, after receiving a phone call from a horse caretaker at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, Dr. Wright started raising funds for medical supplies via a GoFundMe named "Helping the Horse Nation." Then she packed up her supplies and headed the 900 miles to Standing Rock.
As the Huffington Post reports, horses are an integral part of Sioux culture. While no horses have died during the protests, they did have some minor injuries, and Wright treated a few of them. Her main goal was to teach the Sioux how to treat their horses during an emergency and how to look for illnesses.
“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 told the Huffington Post. “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.”
According to the Huffington Post, she also, "discussed nutrition and bandaging techniques, taught some people how to suture wounds, and put together emergency medical kits for horse owners."
Wright, a graduate of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has since returned home, but she is still raising funds for the Sioux. As of press time, she has currently raised $11,886 of $15,000 goal. She has also made herself available for further consultations and may even return to Standing Rock in the future.
Check out some pictures from Wright’s trip below: