Northern Dogs enjoying their new doghouses

Sky was so excited when I visited her that she could not stop wiggling. She was one of the dogs I met on a recent visit up north. She was the proud owner of a shiny new dog house. And she was obviously thrilled with it.

Sky lives in a northern First Nations community where winters are long and cold, and can be deadly to young pups and old dogs. And while the people here love their dogs, many don’t have the resources to provide adequate shelter for them. That’s where the Northern Dogs Project comes in. We not only provide veterinary care, education, and outreach to these communities, we also help those who need it by delivering doghouses to their dogs.

Stanford Owl, the community’s number one dog lover (officially the Animal Care and Control officer) told me that the dogs receiving dog houses knew when he was coming to deliver them. They were more excited to see him than usual – and for good reason.

These doghouses are built with care to exacting standards by the ever-capable Construction 12 students at College Heights Secondary School in Guelph, Ontario. They have 2x4 construction, asphalt shingles, and high density foam insulation – just like people houses!

The reality is that not every dog lives inside but with appropriate shelter, every dog can live comfortably through the winter. As we continue to work with communities towards long term change, we are helping to provide warm, comfortable houses for dogs who might otherwise be left out in the cold.

So thank you to all the people who made it possible for dogs like Sky to receive their very own place to call home. Thanks to the students at College Heights Secondary School. Thanks to Stanford Owl for coordinating the delivery, and for taking such good care of the dogs in his community. And most of all thanks to all the IFAW supporters who made it possible to build these houses in the first place.


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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters