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Northern Canada

Northern Animal Health Initiative | Veterinarians Without Borders

The Northern Animal Health Initiative is focused on improving animal health in the Canadian North by providing services for underserved communities in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. 

Northern Animal Health Initiative | Veterinarians Without Borders

The Northern Animal Health Initiative 

Those of us who live in larger urban and rural communities are fortunate to have access to trusted veterinarians in our communities, who provide us the opportunity to have our dogs vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and treated should they be injured or sick.

But for those of us who do not live in a community where those services are not available

In 2017, a study conducted on behalf of VWB/VSF found 54 remote communities of 100 or more people in Canada’s three northern territories had little or no access to veterinary services.

Animals in the northern regions of Canada tend to live shorter lives, dying from diseases and causes that are either treatable or preventable. There is also a very real health threat to people. In some communities, the inability to control dog populations puts humans, particularly children, at risk from dog bites, for example. As well, unvaccinated dogs can transfer diseases - including rabies - to humans.

Your Support Means Everything

Veterinarians without borders couldn't do the work we do without your support. Whether it's a financial donation or a donation of your time, by improving the health of animals you will be working to improve the health and quality of life for people throughout the world.

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How we support northern communities

Veterinarians without Borders develops partnerships with remote communities in the Canadian territories upon their invitation.

We work with them to identify needs and build a plan with community representatives to build local capacity to address animal care needs year-round. This includes offering temporary veterinary clinics with a team of volunteers.

Our aim is to build a sustainable framework that will create the conditions for lasting, community-driven animal health.

One Health & The Northern Animal Health Initiative 

As with all of our work, VWB/VSF approaches the Northern Animal Health Initiative (NAHI) from a One Health perspective. In practical terms, our involvement in the Northern Animal Health Initiative is rooted in three key pillars:

Community-driven Partnerships

We work with communities to understand their needs and then build collaborations among community members, VWB/VSF, veterinarians, and other stakeholders to address those needs.

Sustainable Veterinary Care

Sustainable veterinary care means more than flying in veterinarians once a year. Community members trained in certain procedures, access to telemedicine, and other solutions tailored for specific communities are essential components of sustainability.

Education & Research

Education, knowledge sharing, and addressing community-identified research needs will promote safe and positive human-animal interactions. For example, teaching youth how to engage with unknown dogs or supporting the local government with bylaw development.

Our Program Partners


VWB/VSF’s northern work is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Angel Gabriel Foundation and the below partners.


  • Vetoquinol Logo
  • NWT SPCA Logo
  • Aurora Ford Logo
  • Elenco Canada Logo
  • Zoetis Canada Logo
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Logo

Stories From Around The World

Leaving No Woman Behind

Leaving No Woman Behind

To ensure ‘No woman is left behind’, the VWB VETS project has given specific focus to equipping women with skills and knowledge on improved dairy farm management.

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Youth Empowerment in Dairy Farming

Youth Empowerment in Dairy Farming

Meaningful youth engagement in agriculture is key to the improvement of the social wellbeing of communities as it plays a critical role in enhancing food security.

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Volunteer report: Northern Canada adventure renews passion for these veterinarians

Volunteer report: Northern Canada adventure renews passion for these veterinarians

Over 16 days, a small group of volunteer veterinarians and registered veterinary technologists travelled to three communities in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut region of Canada.

Read more

  • My voluntary assignments in Ghana for the past three years have dramatically improved animal production in terms of reducing mortality and increasing the size of the herd/flock.
    - Joseph Ansong-Danquah

Become A Part Of The Big Picture

By supporting Veterinarians Without Borders through donations or volunteering, you become part of the Big Picture solution. 

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