Animal owners first aid education event

Misty Meadows Equine Learning Center in West Tisbury. —MV Times

The Island’s shortage of large and small animal vets is critical and well-covered ( Coupled with the steady increases in year-round residents, the number of new pets exceeds the number existing local practices can manage. There are currently six active veterinary practices on-Island, with limited after-hour capabilities and no 24/7 veterinary centers.

To help address this need, four Island organizations are hosting their second annual Animal First Aid event. M.V. Horse Council, M.V. Animal Control, Misty Meadows Equine Learning Center, and M.V. Agricultural Society invite animal owners on-Island to join them to learn how to be better prepared for animal health emergencies. The event will center on providing attendees hands-on first aid practice and homecare advice.

The event will take place on Wednesday, June 5, from 5 to 7 pm, at Misty Meadows in West Tisbury, and will feature Dr. Linda Cimetti from South Shore Equine at 5 pm, followed by Dr. Michelle Jasny, who will focus on small-animal emergencies.

Laura Plunkett, the co-chair of the Martha’s Vineyard Horse Council and board member at the Misty Meadows Equine Learning Center, said that the event aims to “help connect animal owners with the education that they need to deal with the lack of 24/7 emergency coverage and the current vet shortage. This is very valuable information, and will provide people with the resources they need to be prepared.”

Plunkett added a special thanks to Misty Meadows for hosting this event, saying that “we could not do this without them.”

Vicky Thurber, who co-chairs the M.V. Horse Council with Plunkett, said the event will teach people who are experiencing an animal emergency “what you need to do at home, what you need to tell a vet, what you do when you can’t reach a vet,” which she stated is “one of the most important things, because you typically can’t reach a vet.”

Thurber said the equine portion will include information about how to “respond to a horse with a cut, how to bandage, take their blood pressure, take their vitals, trailer your horse to an off-Island clinic,” and other general issues, like colic and choke.

Thurber included, “The council’s long-term goal is to get an animal hospital training center here,” and they are currently reaching out to find people interested in helping make that come to fruition.

Tickets are $25, and are available online at One hundred percent of the profits will go toward the Large Animal Emergency Response Committee, which is working toward creating an emergency veterinary care solution for the Island community.