Winnipeg Humane Society and Province of Manitoba develop first One Health Initiative in Manitoba | Winnipeg Humane Society
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Program Addresses Lack of Access to Veterinary Care in Remote and Northern Communities

One Health recognizes the interconnection between human, animal, and environmental health – The newly launched One Health Program based out of the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) will focus on providing much-needed access to veterinary services in remote communities in Manitoba and will help address human health and safety, access to spay/neuter, animal health and prevent disease and zoonotic transmission. The program will be supported in collaboration with the Chief Veterinary Office (CVO), community partnerships, and generous lead donor funding.

“The Manitoba Government is pleased to provide $750,000 in funding for this program,” Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Alan Lagimodiere Announced today. ”This funding recognizes that additional support is needed to address the barriers faced by communities in accessing veterinary care and other animal health interventions. Our investment will help ensure Manitoba remains a leader in animal health across Canada with improved preventative and educational measures.”

Thanks to the support of generous donors, the WHS has a total commitment of $450k over three years to add to new provincial funding to perform these multi-faceted clinics.

Operating from a community-engaged and reconciliation framework and working with Indigenous communities to provide access to affordable veterinary care in community; this program addresses the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 19 (Health) to ‘close the gaps in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities’.

Working with community partners and local rescue organizations in 2021, the WHS spayed and neutered close to 375 animals from remote communities and vaccinated another 224 from 18 communities across the province. Our goal is to continue and expand on this portfolio of work.

“The safety and health of animals is of paramount importance to me,” says program donor Naomi Z. Levine. “I have seen the enormous benefits of animal companionship and the bonds that develop between people and animals.   I believe that it is our obligation to provide all the care we can to safeguard the health and safety of animals.  I am very happy to contribute to the Winnipeg Humane Society, and fully support the Society’s work with the One Health initiative in caring for animals in need within remote communities that need veterinary assistance.”

“Working in partnership with remote and Northern community partners, Winnipeg Humane Society can help with spay/neuter surgeries and can help find homes for unowned animals. By working together, this is a win-win initiative.” Says program donor Bob Williams.

“Providing access to veterinary care in remote communities from a One Health perspective has a positive impact and allows for sustainable results as we build on the connection between animal, human, and environmental health.” Explains WHS Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Gina Bowen.

The program will also promote knowledge sharing regarding animal health, pet food/food insecurity, dog house optimization, and community-based animal health and programming.

We are proud to unveil the new One Health logo. Created by Gabrielle Giroux, she is a proud Déné woman from Hatchet Lake First Nation (Treaty 10) and the owner of Encore Graphic Design and Marketing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Treaty 6). In 2019, Giroux earned a President’s List Diploma in Graphic Design, and is currently studying marketing at the University of Saskatchewan.

“When creating the logo for One Health, I wanted to highlight the relationship between the people, land, and animals,” explains Giroux. “A silhouette of a rez dog being caressed by a hand showcases the bond between animal and human, which is of importance in Indigenous culture. Lastly, the flower was inspired by traditional Indigenous and Metis beadwork.”

To donate in support of One Health please call 204-982-2041 or visit https://winnipeghumanesociety.akaraisin.com/ui/onehealth