Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 18, 2014 - 2:33 pm

Volunteer vets spay, neuter, vaccinate scores of Cambridge Bay pets

“If we spay one dog, it stops them from having maybe two litters in a year"

KELCEY WRIGHT
Calgary veterinarian Susan Kutz holds a puppy during a three-day clinic she and four colleagues held in Cambridge Bay between Aug. 16 and Aug. 18. (PHOTO BY KELCEY WRIGHT)
Calgary veterinarian Susan Kutz holds a puppy during a three-day clinic she and four colleagues held in Cambridge Bay between Aug. 16 and Aug. 18. (PHOTO BY KELCEY WRIGHT)

CAMBRIDGE BAY — Five volunteer veterinarians from Calgary flew to the western Nunavut town of Cambridge Bay this past weekend to spay, neuter, vaccinate and do dental work on scores of local pets at discounted rates.

“It’s going really well,” said Allan Thompson, one of the clinic’s organizers. “Last year we did 96 spays and neuters and this year we’re looking to exceed that.”

The vets held their clinic, the second annual such event, from Aug. 16 to Aug. 18 at the Nunavut Arctic College community learning centre in Cambridge Bay.

The volunteers were also willing to provide services for free for people who couldn’t afford the discounted rates.

“I volunteer because I think doing clinics annually is the best way to make a difference,” said Susan Kutz, the head veterinarian.

“I can see that people do care about their pets. They sometimes just don’t have the resources that they need.”

The veterinarians were flown up by a local animal rescue organization called Diamonds in the Rough.

That three-and-a-half year old group is run by Allan Thompson, his wife Bernie, and Joan Brown.

“We raised money from bingos, bake sales and private donations,” said Thompson, who advertised the clinic on Facebook, on the radio, and in flyers.

Since Diamonds in the Rough began, the group has found homes for stray and abused dogs across Canada and has now held two in Cambridge Bay.

“A lot of people just need to be educated on how to care for their pets,” said Kutz during her second volunteer trip to Cambridge Bay. “We provide outreach, support and that education.”

As well as the three-day clinic in town, the group added a fourth day to go out on the land and vaccinate dogs that may not have been in town on the weekend.

The organizers were happy with the clinic’s popularity and hope more residents will bring in their pets each year.

“If you just do it once, it’s a bandaid. It’s not a solution,” said Kutz. “If we spay one dog, it stops them from having maybe two litters in a year, and that’s saving about 60 to 70 dogs.”

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