SHERIDAN — Local veterinarian Dr. Sarah Schreiber of Moxey Schreiber Veterinary Hospital, has been awarded the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Region 10 Veterinarian of the Year award for her work with CHAPS Equine Assisted Therapy.
“I was shocked and thrilled and excited,” Schreiber said about receiving the award. “I had no idea they even had an award like that; it was pretty cool.”
CHAPS Executive Director Kristen Marcus nominated Schreiber for the award. While PATH is an international organization, Marcus said there are 11 regions in the U.S. that can nominate people and horses for different categories of awards. Region 10 consists of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Schreiber said her work with CHAPS usually consists of brief exams in the spring, checking things like teeth and heart murmurs. She said the rest of the year she does emergency work.
Marcus said for the nomination, she told two stories of emergency work that exhibited Schreiber’s skill as a veterinarian and character as a person.
Marcus said Schreiber worked on a horse named Frank, who was donated to CHAPS after he had spent a year with Schreiber’s clinic recovering from a freak accident.
Frank had a severe episode of colic, a common disorder of the digestive system. Marcus said Schreiber scoped him and saw he had an enlargement in the esophagus.
“She didn’t charge us for any of the extra procedures on there because she had to know what was going on with him, but knew we were on a strict budget,” Marcus said. “So she went way above and beyond with Frank.”
Frank had ulcers and was put on medication.
“The dramatic change in his attitude has been amazing,” Marcus said. “I mean he’s a happy horse now. Before he was lethargic and cranky; he would do his job but he wasn’t real happy about it. Now he’s picking fights in the pasture with the other horses and playing, so she really did bring Frank back to life for us.”
The second horse Marcus said Schreiber helped with was Sabre, who also had a case of colic, but whose condition was much worse.
“All of us were thinking we’re going to have to find equipment to dig a hole at 20 below in January,” Marcus said. “…But she never gave up.” Marcus said Schreiber went the extra mile by giving CHAPS her personal cellphone number, even though she wasn’t the veterinarian on call. She also allowed the horse to stay at CHAPS overnight while running fluids and taught CHAPS personnel what they needed to do so the nonprofit could save money on tech fees.
“She trusted us to stay there and take care of him,” Marcus said.
Marcus said Schreiber had a “hail Mary” of an idea to take Sabre on a bumpy trailer ride to try to get his system moving again.
“By the grace of God he had gut sounds, and we knew he was going to be OK. It would still be a long road, but he was going to be OK,” Marcus said.
Schreiber said her work with CHAPS is important because of the number of horses the nonprofit has that are usually geriatric. She said geriatric horses usually require more health care and observation, which equates to more time.
“I think it’s a great group,” Schreiber said. “I think what they do for the community is really neat especially for both the children and the veterans.”
Marcus said she appreciates the way Schreiber works, also. She said she’s “brilliant” and an upfront veterinarian who doesn’t sugar-coat the facts. Marcus said she wanted Schreiber to be recognized for her heroic efforts.
“There’s still, I think, a total of 28 centers in our region,” Marcus said. “So for her to come out on top of all of those other obviously well-deserved veterinarians is just a really cool deal.”