Eabametoong First Nation Takes Steps to Manage Dog Population

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Eabametoong First Nation

Eabametoong First Nation – NEWS – Eabametoong First Nation is making significant progress in managing its dog population, promoting the health and safety of both pets and people. On June 3 and 4, funded by PetSmart Charities of Canada, volunteers from Cat Lake Friends of Animush and Matawa Animal Services Lead Coordinator Judi Cannon conducted an animal wellness clinic in the community.

Wellness Clinic and Community Engagement

A veterinary team, including Dr. Wendy O. Williams, Vanessa Weider, and Sandy Setley, provided care for 84 pets, offering wellness exams, parasite control, and vaccinations, including rabies shots. On June 3, a listening circle allowed community members to share their vision for pet management, offering critical input for the upcoming dog management plan.

Addressing Overpopulation and Safety Concerns

Eabametoong First Nation, located 360 kilometers north of Thunder Bay, faces challenges common to remote communities, including limited access to veterinary care and a high number of free-roaming dogs. With approximately 600 dogs in a community of 1,600 people, safety concerns have arisen due to the risks posed by stray dogs to residents, pets, and wildlife.

Developing Sustainable Solutions

To enhance community health and safety, Eabametoong First Nation is creating best practices for human-animal population control. Plans include introducing a bylaw to limit the number of dogs per household, partnering with animal services groups, and establishing sustainable veterinary care access.

Holistic Health Approach

Matawa’s Animal Services pilot project follows an Indigenous worldview, emphasizing a holistic understanding of health that connects human well-being with the health of animals and the environment. This approach aligns with the One Health concept, which recognizes the interconnected health of humans, animals, and the environment.

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