MONTREAL – Humane Society International/Canada has just completed its 18th free veterinary clinic in partnership with Friends of HSI and Chiots Nordiques (northern puppies). The veterinary response team was in Chisasibi – their third visit to date – where dedicated veterinarians, animal health technicians and volunteers examined, treated, sterilized and/or vaccinated a total of 115 animals.
Chisasibi, a Cree community located over 1,400 km north of Montreal, has become a model for effective animal management in remote First Nations regions that don’t have access to veterinary services. Gone unchecked, stray and wandering dog populations can grow and can lead to malnutrition, untreated injuries, parasites and other health challenges. This free clinic, done at the community’s request, is designed to help manage overpopulation while fostering improved coexistence between residents and animals without resorting to culls.
Ewa Demianowicz, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated: “The community of Chisasibi has been proactively working in managing its companion animal population and each time we visit them, we witness the tremendous impact their actions and initiatives are having on animal welfare. Not only do they regularly request help to provide veterinary services to their pets, which are not accessible in the region, but they have also put in place an animal welfare by-law and an animal shelter. We are extremely honoured to work with Chiots Nordiques and the community of Chisasibi to ensure the welfare and health of the community’s companion animals.”
Dr. Daphnée Veilleux-Lemieux, President – Chiots Nordiques, added: “The objective of this clinic was to maintain an annual partnership with a community whose approach to controlling canine populations is a model of innovation, delivering results while respecting local needs – all despite geography, temperature and funding constraints. A team of about ten volunteers took part in this clinic, which was teamwork at its finest.”
Remote Indigenous communities in Canada often lack access to veterinary services, leading to overpopulation of stray and roaming dogs. HSI/Canada works with Chiots Nordiques in remote Quebec communities to provide mass sterilization, vaccination and emergency veterinary services for such animals. Since 2013, the two groups have treated over 2,000 dogs in First Nation communities.
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