This coming month will mark the 20th consecutive year a team of animal-health specialists from the Winnipeg-based Tuxedo Animal Hospital will conduct a veterinary clinic in Rankin Inlet.
John Hickes and Page Burt organize the Rankin clinic, and Hickes said it’s extremely expensive to take, or send out, a pet to Winnipeg for veterinary care or diagnostics.
He said all local pet owners should take advantage of the veterinary clinic in Rankin from Sept. 9 to 14 to have their pet checked, have minor surgery performed and the like.
“As dogs reach the age of eight or nine, they should receive a geriatric checkup to see if there are health problems related to aging that can be treated,” said Hickes.
“The vet updates your pet’s vaccinations and medications, checks joint mobility, eyes, ears, teeth, skin, abdominal organs, general health, etc., and will make recommendations that should make your pet more comfortable.
“These pet ‘senior citizens’ have given us much joy and comfort and they deserve care in their old age.”
Call Page Burt at (867) 645-2650 to book an appointment for your dog or cat.
In addition to the main clinic, Burt and Hickes are going to try to offer a subsidized, low-cost clinic in September.
Burt said she’s currently working with staff members a
t the Tuxedo Animal Hospital to make that a reality.
She said some spays and neuters may even be done for free.
“We raised about $8,000 through a bingo game and we’re using those funds to buy the supplies that are needed, such as the drugs and all the consumables for the surgeries,” said Burt.
“I’m going to sit down with Mark (Rankin Inlet Fire Chief Mark Wyatt) to look at dogs that are having litter after litter, and then approach the owners to see if they want to get their animal spayed.
“People can just talk to me about it if they feel they need some assistance.
“The low-cost clinic is not for people with high-paying jobs who should be able to pay for any work done to their pet like everyone else, but for people in school or people unemployed; that type of thing.”
Burt said they realize some people want their dogs to have litters because they’re selling the puppies for $50 or more apiece.
She said her group sent out somewhere around 135 dogs this year in search of new homes.
“These are dogs that people don’t want, so the pattern just repeats itself over-and-over-and-over again.
“Some people get puppies and then – because they don’t train them, they don’t house-break them and they turn all the interaction with the puppy over to the kids – they end-up with puppies that bite, or are hard to handle and are pooping all over the floor.
“Some of these dogs end-up living their lives on the end of a chain once they’re tied outside by the porch.
“We’ve all seen that, so we’re, at least, trying to keep those dogs that are always tied outside from having one litter after another.”
Burt said too many dogs in Rankin are bred every time they go in heat and that’s not good for the dog.
She said some dogs are bred on their first heat, start having litters immediately and simply keep having them because there’s no way to keep them from being bred.
“If they’re tied outside, they’re going to get bred. That’s all there is to it.
“I don’t want people to get the impression we’re looking down on anyone because of the way they handle their dog. We’re just trying to get people to be more responsible about keeping dogs.
“And, we’re trying to address the fact that a lot of dogs are unwanted after they reach about six-months old.”