It is no secret that many Manitoba communities located in remote areas of our province lack access to veterinary services and technical support in terms of animal population control strategies. The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS). through partnerships with many animal rescues and community leaders. has witnessed first-hand the dire situation in these remote areas and decided to drastically increase the amount of resources we dedicate to these initiatives.
We are excited to be one step closer to providing a more humane solution to the current over population of roaming, breeding and “problem” dogs, living in these remote areas. In late September, seven team members from the WHS travelled to Split Lake, Manitoba to spay and neuter owned dogs living in this First Nation community. We were able to fix, vaccinate and deworm 80 owned dogs in just two days with two veterinarians, Dr. Melanie Youngs and Dr. Rebecca Zettler. 35 sick, injured and homeless dogs were retrieved from the community and these dogs will be re-homed by a network of reputable rescues including the WHS, Winnipeg Animal Services and Spirit of Hope Rescue. In addition, over 500 pounds of dog food and over 60 collars were handed out to dog caregivers.
Thanks to the generosity of our amazing WHS donors, grant funding and partnerships with the communities, we are able to provide low cost veterinary care to isolated communities, currently struggling with an over population of breeding, injured/sick and aggressive dogs roaming their areas. This puts a serious strain on the community, causing dog bites and mauling’s (including the recent death of the 2-year-old in God’s Lake), unnecessary suffering, emotional strain and tension to leaders, families and friends. The situation is complex, and communities without access to resources or assistance are left with the sad choice of resorting to culls, usually using hunting rifles or guns. We know that the leadership of these communities are open and ready to find alternative ways to deal with animal over-population, as long as the resources and support their need is available to them and we respectfully work with them in the spirit of cooperation and understanding, without judgment.
When remote communities have access to affordable veterinary care and rescue resources, they feel as if they are valued and recognized as pet caregivers in Manitoba. Fixing and vaccinating owned dogs drastically lowers aggression in them and make sure they are protected against fatal viruses like parvovirus and distemper, which currently kill thousands of dogs in Manitoba each year. Rescues in Manitoba are also currently overwhelmed with unwanted dogs, which is a direct result of no access to affordable clinics in these areas. If we work collaboratively and make a sustained effort to conduct as many spay and neuter clinics as possible, we hope that in time there will be less unwanted pets, less puppies without homes, and the safety of children and the elderly will also improve.
What to get involved? Here’s how you can help:
-Spread the word by sharing this post
-Gather supplies and donate them to the WHS at 45 Hurst Way (we need Bleach, Zipties, Kennels and First Aid supplies)