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May 19, 2017

Culls not the solution to dog overpopulation in First Nation communities

Humane Society International/Canada

  • A dog being treated at a spay/neuter clinic held by HSI/Canada and Chiots Nordiques on the Manawan First Nations reserve in Quebec. Michael Bernard/HSI Canada

The tragic dog attack that took the life of Donnelly Eaglestick in the First Nation community of Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba underlines the urgency of managing canine populations actively and properly over time. To prevent dog overpopulation, Humane Society International/Canada advocates for humane and effective methods, such as sterilization and vaccination clinics. Spay/neutering is a long-term and humane solution to stray dog overpopulation that has proven effective all over the world.

Dr. Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun, a licensed Quebec veterinarian, stated: “Many remote communities in Canada face a canine overpopulation crisis, and providing desperately needed veterinary services helps these communities effectively address the issue. Free spay and neuter clinics have a lasting, positive impact. They reduce the overall stray and roaming dog population. Moreover, data collected from all over the world indicates that sterilized dogs are far less likely to bite. For example, a street dog sterilization program in Jaipur, India has reduced the incidence of dog bites by 70 percent over a 20-year period.”

Ewa Demianowicz, campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated: “Lethal dog control methods, such as dog shoots are ineffective over the long-term, and frequently inhumane. Dogs, like many canids, will compensate for the removal of adult dogs by having larger litters and higher puppy survival rates. Preventing dog problems in communities requires changing human behaviors and we find that sterilization programs appear to do just that, leading to better human-dog interactions over time. Culling is a brutal method that does not prevent future problems, and is traumatic for many of the people of these communities who have strong bonds with their animals.

“We encourage communities across the country to adopt a proactive and effective dog management approach by implementing spay/neuter programs for dogs within their territories,” added Demianowicz.

Support the efforts of HSI/Canada to prevent cruelty and save lives.


  • HSI/Canada works with local group Chiots Nordiques in remote communities in Quebec and organizes mass sterilization and vaccination clinics for stray dogs. Since 2013, the groups have sterilized, vaccinated and dewormed close to 1,000 dogs in First Nation communities. They are heading to Wemotaci, Qc for their 10th clinic together at the end of May.
  • Humane Society International has developed a high-volume sterilization program and is working with governments in many countries (including Panama, Bhutan, Philippines, India and Mauritius) to address street dog populations. HSI has sterilized hundreds of thousands of dogs across the world.
  • The World Health Organization states, “There is no evidence that removal of dogs alone has ever had a significant impact on dog population densities or the spread of rabies.”

Media Contact: Christopher Paré, 514 395-2914 x 206, cpare@hsi.org

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