In an effort to help as many animals and communities as possible, The Winnipeg Humane Society regularly visits remote, Northern communities that don't have easy access to veterinary care.
While we are strong advocates for spaying and neutering in order to reduce unwanted and stray pets, we understand that not every community has the resources necessary to provide this service on an on-going basis. When animal populations become too large to manage, both the people and animals suffer; strays scrounge for food and scramble for warmth during the winter, while people become hesitant to walk the streets due to the overwhelming number of loose dogs.
Twice a year, a Winnipeg Humane Society veterinarian and registered animal health technician travel to Churchill, MB to hold a Spay and Neuter Clinic. This team also travels to other remote communities when requested. Over the past decade, we have been very lucky to work with many remarkable people from these communities who take on the responsibility of coordinating the event before we arrive. We require a space to use (usually a community centre or hockey arena), a volunteer to help us and, at times, certain medical equipment that would be too expensive to transport ourselves. Appointments are made in advance so that we can get right to work when we arrive.
Our team can perform 15-20 surgeries a day, along with vaccinations, depending on the need in the community. We generally make our services available to everyone who needs us and our veterinarian will treat any health problems that a pet is experiencing while we're there. We also work closely with dog teams or “Mushers” and provide check-ups and treatments to ensure the dogs are healthy and feeling good.
A typical trip will last for about 4-5 days but the end result lasts much longer. Every dog that is spayed or neutered means there will be several fewer stray or homeless animals in the future. Everyone deserves a chance to practice responsible pet ownership and the more we are able to help, the more animals we will all be able to save.