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Visitor Number: 18,664,571

Northern Dog Lady, Thunder Bay, ON

View Available Dogs  
Impressions: 16,963 Hits: 16490 Map to Location
807 577-2025
Animal Rescue & Adoption Services

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ~ Mahatma Gandhi"

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

** See articles on the plight of northern dogs below the dogs for adoption....

** * Donations of plastic cages needed for shipping/ also old towels and blankets




“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”, Mahatma Gandhi

Karen Bester
Northern Dog Lady
577-2025 (807)

** Advocate for activism that has the most far-reaching, substantial and lasting difference ….. Education!!

Death is merciful for the thousands and thousands of northern dogs born each year across Canada. Life is starvation; lonely and cruel, with dog on dog aggression and on too many occasions, abuse by people. Death is merciful for these dogs. Dog shoots, the only method currently available to many small towns and northern reserves. Through out history culling has been “acceptable” to control animal populations has it not? Elephants, bears?? ….. the list goes on. So what about hanging? Is this ok too? What about drowning, does this work for you? What about slowly starving to death? Technically no ones hands get dirty?

Limited access and skyrocketing costs plague many northern communities across Canada. In the grand scheme of things animal welfare is low on the totem pole. People first, absolutely. But we can not spend the next century pretending that the problems facing northern dogs does not exist. Mahatma Gandhi, “I hold that, the more helpless a creature is, the more it is entitled to protection by man from the cruelty of man”. In this instance, whether cruelty is intentional or a by product of neglect and ignorance. Or just plain political.

The suffering of Canada’s dogs and cats in remote northern communities and the potential dangers they pose, particularly on youth and the elderly, necessitate a coordinated action that will ultimately contribute to the improvement of the overall mental and physical health of community members as well as put an end to the suffering of the animals. Study after study has shown the negative psychological affects of exposure to neglect/abuse and animal suffering as perpetuating the cycle of despair, hopelessness and violence which thrives in environments of social stress and isolation. With the high suicide rates of Youth on reserves, this is yet one more emotional contributing factor that is within our power to address. Uncontrolled animal populations also pose physical health risks to community members, ranging from dog bites/attacks to rabies and death.

Ideally, a coordinated government strategy is necessary to significantly address this problem due to its severity and the costs involved in servicing any remote Canadian community. But let’s face it, dogs can’t vote. Resolution will ultimately only come very slowly, over the years, from the ongoing commitment and dedication of animal lovers; through the establishment of priorities and targets with community based groups, and the development of strategies that would be sustainable over time. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has”, Margaret Mead.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals www.wspa.ca organized the first ever, Northern Dog Conference, in October of 2007 as a starting point for networking the many individuals and small not-for profit groups across Canada that are active in northern rescue work. As the Northern Dog Lady here in Thunder Bay, Ontario, I have rescued/relocated over 450 dogs in the past four years. My goal now is to facilitate access to spay/neuter programs on northern Ontario reserves. A daunting task on many levels. In 2007 I had received fantastic news from the Canadian Animal Assistance Team www.caat-canada.org/ , a registered charity animal welfare organization out of Vancouver comprised of Vet professionals across Canada dedicated to the care of needy animals world wide. The plan was to work together on offering their first remote spay/neuter and immunization program on a remote northern fly in Ontario reserve in the Spring of 2008. From there, it was my intention to put together an educational package on the advantages of spay/neutering animals as a means of population control, with a cost / benefit analysis, both for the people and the animals, that would be distributed to other northern reserves. Following, the goal was to link interested reserves with a mobile Vet Clinic. Unfortunately, recently identified barriers within the regulations of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) resulted in the cancellation of this project.

In the meantime, Canada’s northern animals will continue to suffer and die; Canada’s northern community members will continue to be exposed to the detrimental effects of standing helplessly by; government policy makers will continue to sleep peacefully in their beds, and the average Canadian citizen will have no idea that this problem even exists. But with the dawn, comes a new day.

On a related note, Thunder Bay and District also needs more affordable access to Vet services. A co-ordinated program aimed at subsidizing spay and neuter services to single and lower income homes and the elderly, would certainly lighten the burden on local animal rescue organizations including the Humane Society, Thunder Bay Animal Services, New Hope Rescue and Local Dog Rescue.

WHY DOG CULLS DON'T WORK - Information taken from new Northern Dog Canada website - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/northerndogscanada/ Josey Kitson of World Society for Protection of Animals

1) Culls do not address the SOURCE of the problem

2) Culling methods have to be used continuously and permanently
It is true that population management requires continuous effort and
that there is no "end". However, effective methods such as
sterilization, humane education and enforced by-laws do achieve a
level of homeostasis leading to the need for checks and follow ups
only. Shooting, poisoning and hanging will go on continuously.

3) Dangerous to humans and owned dogs
Especially for children.

4) Inhumane
Culls are often undertaken by inexperienced individuals who are not
interested in animal welfare.

5) Met with resistance from community
This data can be collected through household surveys or through
community meetings

6) Does not assist with rabies elimination or prevention
There are studies available to show that rabies can not be eliminated
through culls Windiyaningsih et al (2004) The Rabies Epidemic on
Flores Island, Indonesia (1998-2003) Journal of the Medical
Association of Thailand, 87(11), 1-5

7) Encourages dogs to relocate to other areas
If dogs are threatened they will simply migrate to other areas and
return at a later time.

8) Lead to greater resources for surviving dogs
Unless all of the dogs are eliminated through the cull it can lead to
greater resources for those dogs left behind or for owned dogs. This
in turn leads to improved welfare and greater capacity to re-produce.
Which of course, means more litters.


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