The sounds of puppies fill Jill Britton’s home in Windsor Park. Puppies sleep, play, chirp and whine for attention. They are warm and fed but this is not something they were born into. Their ribs can be felt and their tummies swell with worms.
The Norway House Animal Rescue brought a new shipment of animals to Winnipeg late on the evening of Oct. 23. Organizer Debra Vandekerhove is exhausted as she holds a young pup.
"If I put her down she’ll start crying," said Vandekerhove, the director of this unique animal rescue shelter.
Norway House Animal Rescue works with two foster homes for dogs in Norway House and is looking to implement a new contraceptive implant program in the northern community.
Controlled shoots have been held in the northern community to keep dog numbers dow, but the implants are cheaper than spaying and neutering and will also allow the animal rescue to track the animals through their lives.
"The implants are inserted under the skin of the female dogs, right between the shoulder blades, and it stops them from getting pregnant for two years," Vandekerhove said, adding that the life expectancy of a dog on a reserve such as Norway House is only about two years.
The implant was developed by Dr. Judith Samson-French, a veterinarian in southern Alberta. She first developed the program in 2009 for the free-roaming dogs that lived in that province. When Vandekerhove discovered the implants, she knew the innovation would work in Manitoba.
"What I was looking at was the cost of the spay and neuter versus the implant," said Vandekerhove. "The simplicity of the implant and the amount of time to do one versus the time to spay a dog."
An implant costs approximately $80 and only needs a veterinary technician and a veterinarian. A spay and neuter surgery can cost up to $300.
Vandekerhove wants to bring the implant program to Norway House but needs $10,000 in additional funding.
To help raise money the animal rescue is hosting a waffle breakfast on Sun., Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m at the Caboto Club, 1055 Wilkes Ave.
The breakfast is $15 and includes waffles, a jazz quartet, the S.A.R Dog Team and a silent auction.