Animal rescues

How animal rescues are helping northern Saskatchewan. communities reduce wandering populations

SASKATOON – Two Alberta rescue organizations are giving new life to 87 animals in northern Saskatchewan.

The Saving Grace Animal Society visited the northern village of La Loche with the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) in February. The village had contacted Saving Grace in hopes of reducing its stray dog ​​population.

Erin Deems, executive director of the Saving Grace Animal Society, said most of the rescues were dogs and five were cats. The AARCS cared for approximately 20 of the animals with the remainder going to Saving Grace in Alix, Alta.

Some of these have already been offered for adoption, but some will be in their care for a bit longer, including a puppy with a broken pelvis and dogs with varying degrees of frostbite and mange, a skin condition.

“We are very happy that they have another opportunity and a second chance, so I think once they’ve all been fully vetted and gone through the programs, they’ll go to some really successful homes and for always, ”Deems said.

“I like being able to welcome them, show them the love, the luxury that we can offer, have them sterilized and sterilized.”

She said they had to euthanize an elderly dog ​​with several health issues.

“I think people in the cities and things don’t realize that there is no access to vet care there, you know the nearest vet is three hours and up,” she added.

La Loche Mayor Georgina Jolibois said the village is setting up an animal control committee and is working with volunteers from La Loche and the Clearwater River Dene Nation to keep the dogs running free.

“What we wanted to do was exercise different options apart from, if necessary, destroying dogs,” she said.

In the summer of 2019, La Loche called off a dog slaughter after fearing it was not the right approach to deal with the growing dog population.

Jolibois said the village was willing to work more with relief organizations.

“We have invited them to come back if they can come back in the near future. If there are other initiatives like Saving Grace, I understand that we would work with them.

La Loche isn’t the only northern community to invite rescue organizations – Deems said they’re also working with other First Nations communities in northern Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In addition, the Canine-Community Alliance is working with First Nations bands across the province to save the dogs. In mid-March, they will be at Fond du Lac, accessible only by plane or by ice road in winter.

The non-profit association was co-founded by Christina Pfeil.

“These dogs, their lives are forever changed. They go from life on the streets, to fighting disease, infection, mass farming, all that sort of thing, being able to relax and be in a family environment where they can be spoiled. She said.

Pfeil said it also relieves stress for people who can no longer take care of their pets.

“I don’t think a lot of people are paying attention to the root of the problem, fixing it at the root of the source rather than just removing the dogs over and over because they are just going to continue to breed if we don’t. not something more, ”she said.

Like Deems, Pfiel said the goal of the Canine-Community Alliance is to make sure dogs are spayed or neutered.