After travelling more than 1,700 kilometres, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society arrived Tuesday in Naicatchewenin First Nation, located north of Fort Frances, where it worked with the community to deliver spay/neuter and wellness services to area pets.
The mobile clinic marked the first time the Ontario SPCA has travelled to Northwestern Ontario to reach underserved communities since launching its SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness Services unit in June.
Naicatchewenin First Nation welcomed pet owners from other nearby areas during the two-day clinic, which was made possible thanks to a grant by PetSmart Charities of Canada to keep pets in their homes through the delivery of pet wellness services.
Pet care was provided on the 38-foot SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness unit, which has two surgical tables where 20-30 spay/neuter procedures can be performed per day.
The trailer, which was made possible because of a grant provided by the Pet Valu family of stores through its Giving Back Project, is part of the Ontario SPCA's ongoing efforts to control pet overpopulation and help build relationships with pet owners and their local veterinarian.
“We acknowledge our pets are a spiritual being, according to the teachings of our elders of our community,” said Wayne Smith, Chief of Naicatchewenin First Nation.
"We need to care for these pets with the same values as we would our children. The community of Naicatchewenin recognizes this need and is grateful that there are other good people out there with the same respect for animals.
“We would like to thank the volunteers for coming to our community and giving their time to help us with our pets, the other members of our families,” added Chief Smith.
As part of its community outreach, the Ontario SPCA also had members of its team available during the clinic to share tips and resources.