Unwanted puppies thrown into the river to drown, packs of hungry dogs stealing sandwiches from children at the school playground, abandoned cats with frostbitten ears and tails huddled under a rusting car. Scenes like these are repeated in many communities across the North and drove local volunteers to form the Lakes Animal Friendship Society to improve the welfare of animals in and around the Village of Burns Lake.
“The very small group consisting of Hayley Nielsen, Alistair Schroff and myself [Valerie Ingram], started with three main projects: animal care lessons for local school children, distributing donated pet food to low income families and building insulated dog houses for animals without proper winter shelter,” said Ingram, president of the Lakes Animal Friendship Society.
The society gathered support for action from local governments, the six resident First Nations, community members and organizations. With the full weight of local support behind them, the society invited the Canadian Animal Assistance Team to the Burns Lake area.
“This team of volunteer veterinarians and assistants from across Canada travels to rural and remote areas to provide Animal Wellness Clinics in community halls or other local facilities. They spay and neuter cats and dogs, conduct health checks, and administer vaccinations and deworming medicine. They also believe, as we do, that education is a big part of the long term solution and incorporate education into every phase of the clinics,” says Ingram.
The Canadian Animal Assistance Team agreed to hold an Animal Wellness Clinic in the Burns Lake area from June 6 to 14.
Volunteers from animal welfare groups and organizations from around the province will be helping the Canadian Animal Assistance Team members and locals at the clinic.
In the end, it all comes down to making our communities happy, healthy and safe places for residents, including the four legged ones.