Manitoba animal rescue groups mobilize to move stray dogs after pack attack – Winnipeg

Shamattawa First Nation and animal rescue organizations work to prevent more stray dog ​​attacks in community after 7-year-old girl from Northern Manitoba First Nation had to be transported by plane to Winnipeg with “serious injuries” last Thursday.

The girl playing outside her home would have died if the local carpenter hadn’t stepped in to fight the dogs and save her life, Shamattawa First Nation Chief Eric Redhead told Global News on Tuesday.

She is now in a Winnipeg hospital awaiting further surgeries, he said.

Read more:

Girl attacked by pack of dogs in Manitoba First Nation

“This kid is known to be a dog lover, a very kind and gentle soul, very happy to be with dogs,” said Redhead.

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The community has been trying to control the wandering population for years by trying to get them treated, he said, but that comes with challenges as an isolated community.

In light of the attack, they had to make the difficult decision to slaughter more than 100 dogs, he said.

“We tried to fix this problem without having to resort to what we had to do,” Redhead said. “It’s something we don’t take lightly.

“We couldn’t go fast enough for a number of reasons. The pandemic has slowed down a lot. Shelters are full, foster homes, and the cost of getting these dogs out to safe homes. “

External assistance to come

The chief of the Northern Manitoba First Nation, over 700 km northeast of Winnipeg, welcomes outside support.

Two dog rescue groups, K9 Advocates and Save a Dog Network, are teaming up to organize a chartered plane to find homes for other stray dogs in the community as soon as possible.

Animal advocates like Save a Dog Network president and founder Katie Powell say overcrowding stems from a lack of education and resources, such as vets who can run mobile spaying and neutering clinics in locations. remote places.

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The organization has worked with Shamattawa for four years, eliminating between 500 and 750 stray animals, Powell said, but the problem is reaching every corner of the province.

“It’s an absolute crisis in Manitoba, and it’s happening. A family is now devastated. A child is now in critical condition, and you know, we are reacting instead of being proactive, ”said Powell.

Overpopulation can quickly get out of hand, with some dogs producing litters of five to 10 puppies, two to three times a year, which can then increase in numbers within a few months, she said.

“They’re tearing up in the garbage. They spread diseases. They urinate and defecate on… children’s toys and… vehicles, ”said Powell. “It’s an absolute (n) nuisance. “

“These animals live in harsh winter conditions, where food is very, very scarce. “

Attacks like the one involving the seven-year-old happen because dogs without owners pack their bags and learn to survive on their own, said Dr. Jonas Watson of Grant Park Animal Hospital at 680 CJOB, potentially becoming fearful or suspicious of people.

“We need basic veterinary care and population control, dog population control in remote and isolated communities,” Watson said.

“Much of the work that is done to resolve these issues is done at the grassroots,” he said. “It can make a difference, and if you go there with some regularity, you can really make a difference.”

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Watson has visited St. Teresa Point First Nation on several occasions volunteering with the Save a Dog Network. On his last visit, he said they had reached a point where they could no longer find dogs to spay or neuter.

“It takes vigilance,” Watson said. “It requires repeated visits.”

Demographic boom exacerbated by the pandemic: voluntary first aid worker

People often give these communities a hard time over dog overpopulation, said Lindsay Gillanders, volunteer with Manitoba Underdogs Rescue, in an interview with 680 CJOB.

“It’s a whole different environment,” she said. “There are no community vets. You know, neutering or neutering a dog or an animal takes a huge investment.

“You have to go to an urban center, stay there for a few days with the animal (and) find a vet if there are any problems with the procedure afterwards.”

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Manitoba Underdogs Rescue was unable to access some of its communities during the pandemic, said Gillanders, a period of almost two years in which they noticed a huge change in the population.

“We know these sterilization and sterilization clinics are working,” she said. “Community members are always delighted to see us and give their dogs the opportunity to live a life without puppies and to live in safety. “

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“We just need the funds and the access to be able to do it,” said Gillanders.

Groups like Manitoba Underdogs Rescue and Save a Dog Network are not receiving government funding, say Gillanders and Powell, which Watson said it should change.

“We cannot count on grassroots efforts alone to solve this problem,” he said. “The communities themselves and governments really need to make an effort to subsidize this work. “

“If we don’t make serious efforts in this direction, these kinds of incidents will continue to happen, and it is tragic.”

Dog rescue groups, which are donation-driven and run by volunteers, must fill the void, Powell said, because these stray animals are not pets or wild animals, and therefore do not fall into categories. clear under provincial jurisdiction.

“It’s not (the communities) fault,” she said. “It is (a) a systematic and problematic problem at many levels that needs to be addressed from the leader and councils in government to every member of the community to every person in Manitoba. “

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Girl attacked by pack of dogs in Manitoba First Nation

Girl attacked by pack of dogs in Manitoba First Nation

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