Spotlight Canada: Northern dogs get a leg up in 2012

Another patient benefits from the Northern Dogs Project.We’ve just said goodbye to January, the month of new beginnings, headstarts and shiny optimism for the year ahead. And I’m carrying a bucket load of optimism, mostly because of some of the great things that happened on the Northern Dogs Project in 2011.

Partnerships, volunteers and people’s energy are what propel this work and make it possible to help more animals. Partners like Animal Rescue Foundation help us with things we can’t do and we do the same for them. They re-homed close to 40 dogs and even some cats from the Project in 2011, and we worked together on a wellness clinic in Sagamok (and are planning our next one).  Paws United and Ann and Pete’s Foster Home for Dogs also took in dogs from us, finding super homes for another 20 dogs who would otherwise have met unknown fates.

Our new friends at the Ontario Veterinary Group and the staff and clients from their six clinics across Ontario, joined together and gave us a head start for this year. For every new ‘follower’ or ‘like’ that they got on Twitter and Facebook, OVG donated one vaccine to the Northern Dogs Project. Thanks to this generous effort, all of the vaccines for this year’s clinics are now covered! We cannot thank them enough and encourage everyone to ‘like’ them…we like them a lot.

We have a dedicated crew of vets and technicians as well as the volunteers who bring skill and passion that inspired me so much last year. Our vets MJ and Martine have been doing 30 surgeries a day for 5-7 days, two times a year, for eight years, and each time we work together I thank my lucky stars. The vet techs who assist MJ and Martine in surgery and on intake, and the enthusiastic volunteers who use their vacations to come with us…thank you.

Our contacts in the community are deepening their engagement in this work, and my phone continues to ring with more people interested in how to help, get involved and make a difference for dogs in remote communities.

Adieu to 2011 and all you brought…thanks a million. Here’s to shiny optimism for 2012, and all the headstarts that we’ve been given. More dogs, more help, more progress.


Check out Jan on Canada’s CP24 TV’s “Animal House Calls” – December 13th – Part 1 - talking about the International Fund for Animal Welfare Northern Dogs effort and partnership with the Ontario Veterinary Group. 

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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