We Canadians love our dogs. Most of us are fortunate to have easy access to wonderful veterinarians in our communities where we can get our dogs vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and treated if they are injured or sick.
But what if you live in a community where those services are not available? That is the case for hundreds of remote communities in Canada’s North and the consequences can be serious. Unvaccinated dogs are at risk of contracting rabies from wildlife. In some areas this disease is common in Arctic foxes. That puts community dogs at risk, but it also puts the children and adults who spend time with those dogs in danger of contracting this deadly disease.
When spay and neuter services are not available it is difficult to control dog populations. When dogs form packs they can become dangerous.; just last spring a young woman was killed by a dog pack in a northern Manitoba community.
For more than a decade, VWB/VSF has supported Canadian veterinary schools as they offer subsidized veterinary services in remote communities. It is a win-win situation - communities benefit from excellent veterinary care, and vet students, with the support of their professors, gain valuable experience.
We need your financial support to continue and expand this important work.
And it works. The University of Calgary has been returning to the same communities in the Sahtu Settlement Area of NWT for more than 10 years. In that time they have seen a dramatic reduction in unwanted puppies. They have managed to establish herd immunity among dog populations, virtually eliminating the risk of rabies transmission, and they have seen the average lifespan of dogs double. VWB has also supported veterinary schools at the University of Saskatchewan, Université de Montréal, and the University of Prince Edward Island in their efforts to provide veterinary services to remote communities.
This past summer VWB/VSF convened a workshop involving these four vet schools plus representatives of other organizations involved in this work, government public health and veterinary officials, as well as leaders from some of the communities partnering in these programs. It was a first step in bringing stakeholders together to discuss best practices in promoting dog and community health in under-served communities. We are anxious to take more steps along this path, but we need help to do it.
Please make a donation today to help VWB/VSF continue its efforts to improve the welfare of dogs and people in remote communities. Every gift is sincerely appreciated, and donations of more than $20 are eligible for a tax receipt. VWB/VSF does wonderful work in the far reaches of the world but we also take on challenges here at home. This one is very dear to our hearts.
Please donate on-line HERE or send a cheque to the address below.