Canadian Communities and Volunteer Vets Close Another Successful Clinic Season

The International Fund for Animal Welfare Canadian Norther Dogs Clinic team wraps up another successful season.

This is it for this trip. And boy it did turn out to be a whopper! Go, go, go from my almost forgetting Catherine at the hotel this morning to the vet team jumping into the van and burning it up on our way out of town to meet Ted of Cloud Nine Rescue Flights for their hop back to Montreal, and for Becky, back to Toronto.

It wasn’t that crazy as far as surgeries were concerned. The vets said it was just "steady" in the back as they worked through 22 spays and neuters. But remember, they can accommodate 36-40 surgeries a day, even with big spays or late term spays.

I have said it before MJ and Martine are amazing. They are not just competent, they are open minded, interested in new techniques, engaged in the broader vet issues, and easy to accommodate. The one thing they DON'T do very well is accept praise, so I have to find a way to thank them another hundred times for another successful clinic.

Margaret was leaving around 4 pm to pick up four pups who were being flown in from one of the more northern communities. So she left then. Ted was flying in for 6 pm so the surgeries were wrapped up around 3:30 and then the team packed away the equipment and supplies so that all I had to do was pack the vans after they departed. But as often happens here, as all was moving in an orderly fashion in the back, the number of dogs brought in for vaccinations towards the end of our time there was off the map. Crazy.

Becky, our intake tech, was being run off her feet as was Jodi, her trusty sidekick. Becky was doing health checks while Jodi was drawing vaccines and holding animals for Becky to vaccinate. And the people and their dogs just kept coming. We have a master sheet that keeps track of all the patients coming in for spay/neuter and vaccinations only and to give you an idea of what those records look like, all 22 surgeries are marked down but I only got as far as 11 vaccinations… the total number of animals who came in for vaccinations was 63.

There was no time for additional paperwork. It was intake sheets, vaccination certificates, move to the next animal. When the vets were ready to leave, they came out of the back and into the fray. The vet techs joined in the vaccinating and boom, the crowd was done, the dogs were gone, the team was gone and all that remained were Jodi, Heidi, PJ, me and a bunch of stuff to be loaded into the remaining van. Amazingly, we didn’t have to turn away one surgery or one vaccination.

I have to thank the communities for inviting us back again this year. The community members come and if they come, the service is worthwhile. Is there lots more you want to do and lots more you want to convey?… for sure. But I can also say that after a rush like today, you feel appreciated and you leave feeling that the dogs have been looked after.

More tomorrow, but for now, we’ve still got some hours of driving, circling back to pick up the vet team’s van at the airport and then another hour further back to overnight in Mistissini before picking up dogs and cats who will start their new lives bright and early tomorrow morning.

-- JH

To read Jan's previous post on her team effort to help dogs in northern Canadian communities click here.

For more information about the International Fund for Animal Welfare effort to save animals in crisis around the world visit

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