Northern dogs know a thing or two about giving

Dogs know a thing or two about giving. Each and every dog that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing has left an indelible mark on my soul, and the dogs from Canada’s remote communities give me more joy than words can describe.

The most recent bundle of puppy love to warm my house for the holidays was Brill, a husky-cross who was homeless and being endlessly teased by children in a schoolyard. Brill means “glasses” (I was told in the Netherlands), and this guy sure does want to examine everything he sees with those beautiful eyes and that unusual mask. He gave me more than a few laughs over the days he was with me.

Brill is one of many dogs who have needed the International Fund for Animal Welfare, a new home and a little TLC. Thanks to the many people who make the Northern Dogs Project possible, a great many dogs got a little love back this year.

IFAW was able to give new homes to 58 dogs in 2011, and through our Northern Dogs clinics we vaccinated and treated almost 1,000 more.

Support came from many unexpected places: volunteers who help each spring with the clinics in the communities, individuals in the communities who make sure we know what’s going on and call us if there is a dog in need, ARF and Paws United who help us to rehome dog and cats, puppies and kittens, adoptive families who can’t thank us enough for their wonderful new family members, the vets and graphic designers who give us their time and expertise for reduced rates, Pawlooza who helped us do a pet food drive, and the Ontario Veterinary Group who has given us a head start on an amazing set of clinics next year.

They have donated one vaccine for every new ‘like’ or ‘follow’ that they receive on their Facebook and Twitter pages until December 31, and at last count we were well on our way to having enough vaccines for all of next year’s clinics. If you haven’t ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ them yet, please do by checking the details here.

Looking back on this year and what we’ve accomplished, and remembering all the dogs who wholeheartedly gave all of their love, makes me brim with the spirit of the holiday season.

Thanks to everyone who makes this work possible.

All the best for 2012.

-- JH

Comments: 4

5 years ago

I know it is usually you guys who do the fundraising for your rescue efforts, but I wanted to speak on behalf of the SPCA in Happy Valley Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, who are in desperate need of a new shelter to help our animals (dogs). The number of homeless, neglected and abused puppies in Labrador is horrendous. I adopted one and I give a little money when I can, but what can I as a person do to try and get these people some much needed funds to help them realize our dream. Do you have any suggestions? I am not from that area so I can't help with my time even, but I would really love to help get these people some money to do what they do best - saving dogs like my Roxie Roo.....Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank

5 years ago

I would love to know how to adopt a dog from one of the remote communities mentioned in this article. Only saw "Brill" recently on animal planet... And was searching desperately ever since, to see if he had been adopted. What a cutie!

5 years ago

This is kind of for Anon - - they now have a mobile Vet with 2 Vets! (husband-wife team)
CBC News
Posted: Dec 10, 2011 5:42 PM CST

"A veterinarian has set up shop in Iqaluit, making her the only resident animal doctor in Nunavut.

Leia Cunningham, who was born and raised in the Apex area of the city, wants to open a permanent clinic in that part of town, but for now has established a mobile veterinary care business she calls “NunaVet.” more info in the article, if this helps anyone....

5 years ago

it would be amazing to have you come up to Iqaluit and other Arctic Communities to do spay/neuter-release program! just saw you on TV.. it's the same thing here.. We had a Humaine Society but not enough $$ for it even though it would only cost about $50,000/year or so since it's all volunteer based. Thanks!

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Cora Bailey
Director, Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW)
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Ellie Milano, Program Officer, Community Animal Welfare
Program Officer, Community Animal Welfare
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Animal Rescue-Wildlife
Manager, Animal Rescue-Wildlife, IFAW HQ
Jan Hannah
Northern Dogs Project Manager
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters