Three Northern Dogs with lots to be thankful for

Benny.My Thanksgiving table is going to be full this year - especially underneath it.

Vying for fallen bits of dinner will be my own four dogs, and three very thankful dogs from up North.

Two of these are eight-week-old pups who were left over from a litter of four.  These two girls came to IFAW’s attention when a community contact called to ask for help.  

Two unspayed females would have definitely been old enough to have litters of their own by the time the Northern Dogs Project team was back next spring with the vet clinic, so getting them out of the community was definitely the best option. 

One of the puppies.Thanks to an amazing network of volunteers, transport was arranged for the 18-hour trip to my house, where they can have a warm spot under my Thanksgiving table.  

Benny is the other remarkable dog that will be joining us, and there probably aren’t enough words to describe how glad both he and his community rescuer are that IFAW is able to take him.  Someone had noticed him with his mangled front leg, unable to support his weight, and called to ask if IFAW would take him, have his leg fixed and find him a home… if his owner was willing to relinquish him. 

It didn’t take his owner long to hand Benny over because he knew he couldn’t meet his dog’s needs and there was no way for him to get Benny the vet care he needed.  A day after Thanksgiving, Benny will be in surgery having his leg amputated. But Benny will be thankful, as he will no longer be in pain and he won’t be dragging his front leg any longer.

I’m always thankful for the animals that pass through my life and for the people who help along the way.  This Thanksgiving, I am particularly grateful to have been able to help three more beings-in-need find health, new homes and new lives.  


Since 2002, each year IFAW’s Northern Dogs Project takes a team of vets and educators to remote and underserved Canadian communities. As well as providing clinics for much-needed veterinary services, they collaborate with community members to create stable, healthy dog populations. 

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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
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
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters