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I have a whole new respect for people who are working in animal control and are out on the streets seeing the problems first hand and dealing with them.

Today I went, basically for a "ride along" with the woman who started the Humane Society here. First we dropped off a dog in Binche who had been shot three times in the neck and Angela picked her up, took her to the vet where the bullets were removed, she was fixed up and also spayed, and today we brought her back to the greatful owners.

Before the HS was esstablished in Fort the outter communities such as Binche, Tache, and Takla (sp?) Landing had "dog days" where they go and shoot any wandering dogs once a year. Dogs are shot and killed all year round if problems arise or if they are females in heat because the dogs form packs, become aggressive and are attacking and killing dogs and attacking people as well. These dogs are practically wild and surviving on their own.

Angela tracked down one of the men who organize these shootings and we talked to him today. He's actually part of the tribe council and is a responsible pet owner. He told us himself he doesn't like shooting dogs but it's such a huge problem that this is the only option they had. Angela told him "well now you have another option, you have us". So the HS is going to start working with these outter communities as well as Fort St. James and the reserve.

While we were in Binche Angela got a call that a pack of dogs were attacking a dog on the reserve. We raced back to Fort but by the time we got there we couldn't find the dogs and there was no sign of a fight. We talked to some people who owned one of the dogs who did the attacking and convinced him to surrender his dog (unfortunately the dog was gone at the time so Angela is going to go back tomorrow). They told us it was a young puppy being attacked and that it'd ran off. We searched for it but couldn't find it.

Then we went and talked to some people at the Band Office about this paticular pack that has been causing problems. Angela was able to pick up most of the dogs from this pack about a week ago but they were all stollen back out of the local "pound" (the lady who runs the pound isn't allowed to pick up dogs from the reserve but because the HS doesn't yet have a building many dogs are held at the pound).

Next step was to pick up a cat and drive it to Vanderhoof (a town that's about 45 minutes away) and drop it off at the vet clinic for spaying (a program the HS offers). While we were in Vanderhoof we got another call about this pack on the reserve that had been spotted going after the same puppy again. We drove back to Fort but again, no sign of the pack or the puppy.

By this time it was about 4 o'clock and time for me to go home.

Talking to these people and seeing what Angela deals with on a daily basis, the kind of stress and heartache was a real eye opener. Up until now I've been involved with the HS by helping with fundraising and training dogs that owners call to surrender due to behavior problems and lack of training. I knew what a big problem the dog overpopulation is and I knew these packs of dogs were aggressive but I guess I didn't exactly know to what extent. And today was one of the easier days!

So I have a whole new respect for people who do this line of work, and do it for little or no pay (as Angela does). The stress and the heartache all to help these poor animals and the people who are either uneducated or do not have the finances to take care of these animals like they should be taken care of.

So I want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who does their part in rescue, big or small. You all hold a place in my heart now and I will forever appreciate you.
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