About 12 years ago during a terrible tick outbreak in Virginia, I found a great tool for removing ticks. It was called a "tick picker", or something like that, and basically it was kind of like kitchen tongs except the ends were shaped like half a spoon. They worked like scissors, so that when closed, the halves of the spoon scooped under the tick and you could pull it out without the threat of the tick spitting anything into the person/horse/dog's bloodstream. They were cheap, and I bought them at a horse tack store. I haven't seen a pair since, but if anyone finds them for sale, they are definitely worth the money.