In September 2015, the Canadian Animal Assistance Team (CAAT), a registered Canadian charity animal welfare organization, held a spay/neuter clinic in the community of Bella Bella, BC. Bella Bella is a remote island off the coast of British Columbia that has no access to veterinary care locally. Recently, we received a letter from Elizabeth, the ByLaw Officer, who, along with the Heiltsuk Band Council worked so hard to get CAAT to Bella Bella. We want to share the progress report with you, our Aeroplan supporters, who helped get our team members to BC to be able to get to Bella Bella.
In Elizabeth's letter she told us that when she first moved to Bella Bella, it was immediately evident that there was a problem. She said that, "Dogs were chasing cars, children and Elders up and down the street daily. On the schoolyard children huddled together to protect their recess snacks from being stolen by the hungry packs of dogs. The rate of puppies born here was staggering and with a limited supply of dog food it was becoming a problem for dog owners. Everyone loves a puppy, however, they grow up and eventually are allowed to run free on the reserve adn the cycle begins again and again."
After months of planning CAAT arrived on the island to start work. Several local community members were ready to offer their assistance during the clinic and within hours the community hall was transformed into a temporary veterinary hospital. In the course of 4 days, CAAT was able to spay/neuter every animal on the island!
In Elizabeth's letter this spring, giving us an update on the progress, she says, "Today, as I drive down the street I see the occasional dog running free but not every day. I know that not one litter of puppies has been born in our community in six months. I watch as the Elders walk confidently through the streets and do not worry about dogs chasing them or stealing their groceries. The schoolyard patrols of one year ago are rare. What a difference a visit from the Canadian Animal Assistance Team can make. Their visit gave us the helping hand we needed to take control of the uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats. Now, through public education, properly enforced Animal Control By-laws, partnerships with willing rescues to accept the occasional surrendered animals we have made a lasting change. "
CAAT is so proud to have been part of this amazing transformation in Bella Bella. Our team members come from all across Canada to help in the remote communities that ask for assistance. The donations to our Aeroplan Beyond Miles account make it possible to get our team members to places that need a helping hand to make a change.
EVERY person that donates their Aeroplan miles makes a difference in the lives of the animals and the people in the places CAAT visits.
Thank you to everyone who helped CAAT with Bella Bella and with other project in 2015. PLEASE continue to donate to CAAT. There are many more communities, just like Bella Bella, that need us to help them to provide a humane and long-lasting alternative to dog and cat population control. We have the team willing to volunteer their time and expertise, we need to keep the donations coming in to help get the right people to the animals that need them.