AR-News: (CA) Fire Hall Infirmaries Muzzle Dog Overpopulation

WSPACOMM wspa at
Thu Dec 4 09:25:53 EST 2003

DECEMBER 4, 2003 - 09:00 ET
IFAW and WSPA: Fire Hall Infirmaries Muzzle Dog
NEMASKA, NUNAVIK--A vet team sponsored by the World Society for 
the Protection of Animals and the International Fund for Animal 
Welfare turned a fire hall into an infirmary and conducted a 
two-day marathon clinic to spay and neuter dogs in the Cree 
Nation of Nemaska.  On Friday and Saturday, the team will run 
another clinic in Waskaganish, the nearest community and 210 
kilometers away by gravel road. 
James Bay Cree communities are working with animal protectionists 
to provide humane alternatives to dog shooting days. 
"It's an opportunity for the people to realize there are other 
methods to control the dog population than dog shoot days.  It's 
nice not have to shoot the dogs." Said James Wapachee, acting 
public safety officer for Nemaska: 
The clinics are part of a long term, comprehensive program which 
includes humane dog control, proper dog handling, registration 
and licensing, shelters, sterilization and humane euthanasia, 
public education and training. 
"IFAW and WSPA are proud to work with the Cree Nation to find 
long-term solutions that help both the people and animals of the 
region," IFAW Campaigner Barb Cartwright said. 
The communities of the James Bay Cree are isolated and without 
veterinarians.  For residents of Nemaska and Waskaganish, the 
nearest vet is in Chibougamou - over 400 kilometers away by 
gravel road. 
"It is an honour to come up here and use my skills to make a 
positive difference in these communities," volunteer veterinarian 
Robert Rock said. 
Without vet services, the dog population explodes exponentially.  
Each community has its own host of problems - stray and feral 
dogs, dog bites, disease and animal cruelty.  The problem is a 
common one in northern Canada.  In October, a toddler was killed 
by his grandmother's pack of dogs in northern Manitoba. 
Many communities are forced to conduct dog shoot days.  When the 
dog population is deemed to be too high, the responsibility falls 
on the public safely officers to shoot all stray dogs. 
"Lacking access to humane societies, animal shelters, even basic 
veterinary services, it is understandable that northern 
communities turned to dog shooting to keep dog populations in 
check," WSPA Project Manager Rob Laidlaw said. 
"Unfortunately, dog shooting is a symptom of a larger problem - 
uncontrolled breeding," Laidlaw said.  "Communities get locked 
into a vicious cycle with one dog shooting day leading to the 
next. We hope to establish a successful model for humane dog 
control, that can eventually be exported to jurisdictions 
throughout northern Canada" 
Pat Tohill
tohill at 
Katy Heath-Eves
kheath at 



Patrick Tohill

Campaigns and Communications Manager, Canada

World Society for the Protection of Animals

90 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 960, Toronto, ON  M4P 2Y3 CANADA

Tel: (416) 369-0044
Fax: (416) 369-0147 
e-mail: tohill at
Internet: <>   



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