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October 29, 2013

Mass Sterilization and Vaccination Clinic for Dogs and Cats in First Nation Community of Wemotaci, Qc

Humane Society International/Canada

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MONTREAL — More than 100 dogs and several cats were vaccinated and sterilized during a four-day clinic on the Wemotaci reserve of the Atikamekw First Nation in the Mauricie region of Quebec. Humane Society International/Canada proudly assisted, working alongside “Chiots Nordiques” (Northern Puppies), an organization dedicated to the humane management of stray and roaming dogs.

Ewa Demianowicz, campaigner for HSI/Canada, said: “We were thrilled to have helped Chiots Nordiques provide veterinary services so desperately needed in Quebec’s First Nation communities. These mass sterilization and vaccination clinics not only help to humanely reduce the stray dog population in these communities, but they also contribute to public health and safety by reducing the incidence of rabies and dog bite injuries.”

Éric Coïa, president of Chiots Nordiques, added: “Wemotaci is an amazing community - people were literally waiting at the door to bring us their pets so that we could sterilize and vaccinate them. They are aware of the problems related to canine over-population, and have opted for a humane solution. The financial resources of these communities are small, and I thank Humane Society International/Canada from the bottom of my heart for their support for this clinic.”

Dogs hold an important place in First Nation communities, but the lack of access to veterinary services in these areas has led to overpopulation of stray dogs and neglect. Chiots Nordiques held its first clinic in Wemotaci in May, where veterinarians tended to more than 194 dogs. With contributions from HSI/Canada, Chiots Nordiques was able to proceed with the second phase of vaccination and sterilization of remaining dogs in the community. Another team brought back some homeless puppies and kittens to Montreal to place for adoption with loving families.

Recently, the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food created a task force to provide recommendations on the issue of stray dog overpopulation in Northern Quebec and in First Nation communities. HSI/Canada and Chiots Nordiques are part of the committee.

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Media Contact: Christopher Paré, HSI/Canada:  514.395.2914; cpare@hsi.org

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than 11 million members and constituents globally—on the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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