December 4, 2013 / Attawapiskat Spay Clinic
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very first spay/wellness clinic ever to be held in Attawapiskat was a great success. It ran from November 29th to December
3rd and involved flying a team of four people into town to offer the first medical care the dogs had ever known.
Three people on the team knew what to expect and one, while experienced in animal care, was a novice to the north and its
conditions. All, however were eager to get started as each one knew that time was short and the need was enormous.
The people of Attawapiskat were not sure what to expect so the first clinic is a challenge in that it must educate, persuade,
plead and deliver all that it promises. It is already minus 40 degrees F up there so the Parish Hall, where the clinic was
held, was cold even though all efforts had been made to keep it warm. The entrance door froze while the clinic was
in progress so a box had to hold it closed. Fortunately we had sent up mats and boxes of fleece and wool blankets that
had been donated to us so the dogs had something to lie on after surgery that kept them warm.
Dogs were rounded up if they were strays or taken in if they were considered "owned".
Several operations took a great deal of time as two dogs suffered from internal infections and others had so much scar
tissue due to multiple deliveries at such young ages. The vet required great skill and patience.
Two of the dogs would not have lived another two weeks if they hadn't received the medical attention they needed. Thirty-one
dogs were spayed/neutered in total and each received a rabies vaccination and a Revolution treatment for deworming and
lice infestation. The clinic days were long and hard but no one complained. Each person involved knew what they were accomplishing
and just what it meant.
I had requested (some would say demanded) that the community participate
in what we were doing so in addition to the letter from the Band Chief inviting us to attend I asked if they would provide
a voucher for food to help feed the Moosonee Puppy Rescue team - and they did. Every dog in the community should
have received a rabies vaccination but I felt it necessary to share that responsibility with the residents of Attawapiskat
as a means of inclusion. I asked that each owner pay something towards the costs of the Parvo Vaccination and the Rabies
shot - I was more than willing to pay the balance but needed a personal contribution as well. Eight people
lined up to pay $25, the full amount, for both vaccinations at the evening wellness clinic. I am more than pleased with
this number as it represents the beginning of worth, care and value for the dogs of Attawapiskat. I am content with
baby steps if they are in the right direction. This clinic was two years in the making and it cost $15,000. We travelled
up hill, down hill and in circles for much of the time but we never lost sight of our goal - the dogs needed us to succeed
and we did. Most impressive though are the people who helped to make it happen. So many donated money and others
sent us blankets, fleece, food and more. Even a car wrecking company sent us rubber floor mats for the dogs to lie on in the
snow once they were let go again. I am a thousand times grateful to all who shared in this with us.
None of this would have been possible without Heidi, the young woman who started me in rescue work
ten years ago (picture below). Without her on the ground I would never have spent the money or trusted the venture. She knows
my mind, thoughts, weaknesses and strengths and she protects them all. She has been my hero for many years and together we
have saved close to 1,100 dogs. Her strengths and capabilities amaze me on a regular basis and to me, she was the
heart beat of this clinic.
As much as we have to celebrate there
are realities to face as well. We have been made aware that there are many more dogs and pups in Attawapiskat
than we ever thought. Our rescue worker, Floyd, is almost at his breaking point with the number of dogs in his care and there
are still two week old puppies under steps and in debris waiting to be rescued. One mother dog, who had been hit by a car
in the summer, went untreated and was allowed to become pregnant. She delivered her pups, cared for them then died
the day they turned three weeks old. The three pups that survived are now safely in our care but the vision
of all we now know almost blinds me to what we have accomplished. The battle has simply been entered, certainly
not won. I am reminded time and time again that joy lasts but a moment in rescue work.
Still, it is the holiday season and there are many pups and dogs to share it with. We have fifteen pups
with us now and many more waiting to come down. I thank Nadia Brooks, owner of Fetch in Toronto, for organizing the four adoption
days being held in December. Her efforts will help place joy in the hearts of many and make it possible for more
to come in from the cold.
| Heidi, Dr. Jouppi, Natalie and Anna
Many remarkable pups are looking for their forever homes during this joyous season.
December 7th from 11am to 4pm at Wooftown, 10 Birch Ave. Toronto - 416-929-2840
Sunday December 8th from 11am to 4pm at Doggie Central, 3151 Lenworth
Dr. Mississauga - 416-412-7771
Saturday December 14th from 11am
to 4pm at Pet Social, 11 Fort York Blvd. - 647-748-7387
Sunday December 15th from 11am to 4pm at Fetch, 367 Roncesvalles
Ave. - 416-534-6986
Moosonee Puppy Rescue
Christmas Cards, each with a story of one
of our pups.
per set of 5
Louisa’s mother, Dulcy,
was rescued from Moose Factory when she
was pregnant. She had lost her first litter
during a brutal winter
and being chained outside made it impossible for her
to protect her puppies from the frigid elements.
When Louisa was born into safety
she was loved and adored.
Her mother watched over her with care and gratitude and it was
only as Louisa grew that she came to understand all her mother
Still, on quiet nights, Louisa thinks about the hardships
she was spared and
silently makes a wish for
peace on earth and goodwill towards all.
BarkBox | Goodies for Dogs
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- For every coupon used on BarkBox.com, our rescue will get a $10 donation from BarkBox.
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What is BarkBox? BarkBox is a New York City based dog-lovin'
company that sends high quality dog products to your pup every month. Each box is full of 4-6 goodies like bones, bully
sticks, toys, treats, gadgets, shampoos, hygiene products, and more.
Petfinder has been having technical
difficulties so we have created our own Adoptable Dog Page. We invite you to be impressed with our remarkable Northern