In our volunteer work, we are often travelling to remote places where access to veterinary care is limited to none. This was no exception. The Yukon is a vast territory with miles and miles of spectacular wilderness with massive mountains and forests as far as you could see.
Our team had come to work with two different First Nations communities that had reached out for help with their animals. The closes veterinary hospital is in Whitehorse and many people cannot afford the drive there (or simply don’t have the transport), and the vet bill and hotels needed to stay while their pet receives services.
We started our journey flying into Whitehorse (thanks to our Aeroplan donors) and then driving 5 hours to our first stop, Ross River. We had been to this community in 2019 and were going to return in 2020, however the pandemic delayed that visit. Then, last year, we were delayed again, by forest fires that closed the roads. Therefore our team and the community members were very happy to see us finally arrive! We saw so many pets in need of care! We even saw a couple of pets that had matted hair that the owners could not cut or brush, so we shaved them down to make them more comfortable. Having the spay/neuter and vaccination services right in their small community made all the difference in the world!
Before we knew it we were packing up our temporary hospital and heading out to Pelly Crossing. After a 4 hour drive to get there, we were setting up our hospital again to get started in this community. Again, we had a steady stream of pet owners bringing in their pets for care.
In Pelly Crossing we were able to have two class trips come from their local school to give the youth an opportunity to learn about what we are doing and why. We also had the opportunity to provide dog bite safety presentations in the school where the children asked a lot of great questions and learned how to reduce the risk of being bitten (a real issue in remote communities with packs of dogs running loose).
In both communities, local people were working along side our team, assisting with coordination, admission, recovery, etc. It was a wonderful collaborative effort by all. We saw 248 animals in total and had many very happy pet owners who don’t have to worry about their female pets having any more litters and their male dogs wanting to wander and fight as much.
Thank you to our Aeroplan donors for making it possible to get our volunteers to where they are most needed to provide the services that help make a real difference to individual pets and to the community as a whole.