The Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force works with First Nation communities, at their request, in order to assist with managing their companion animal populations by providing high volume spay and neuter clinics and to provide guidance, training and resources regarding a community based Dog Care and Control Program. This Program includes culturally appropriate bylaws, humane enforcement, education, registration and licensing of dogs, facilitating an off-site holding kennel for stray or impounded dogs, and assistance with re-homing them as well as a structured free food program for eligible members. This applies to working with 6 First Nations, all in different stages of implementing this Program. They have also partnered with the Siksika Nation for the last 2 years and this community has implemented the entire Program, and continue to mentor this innovative First Nation.
Since their first clinic in 2008, they have spayed or neutered over 15,000 animals and placed over 6,200 relinquished or stray animals with their partner rescue groups to be re-homed. Every animal is vaccinated for rabies as well as other diseases, treated for internal and external parasites, and tattooed. Each clinic requires up to 26 Veterinarians, 26 Registered Veterinary Technologists and 130 “lay” volunteers. An average of 2,900 (primarily volunteer) hours are required to plan and execute each clinic. They apply for a license from the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association for each of their clinics and must meet their guidelines in order to provide safe surgery for all of the animals that are in thier care. Funding is provided in whole or in part by the First Nation and they visit these communities by invitation only.
Their Task Force has also assisted with disaster relief during the 2013 Alberta floods and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires. They are part of the “Companion Animal Disaster Response Capability Steering Committee” that was formed in response to the need to create a province wide plan for companion animals in times of disaster. The Committee is led by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association and the Director of Alberta Provincial Social Services among other provincial agencies and animal welfare groups. They are also a non-profit member of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.
They also have a Pet Retention Fund assists qualified owners whose companion animals require veterinary care that the owner cannot afford. The owner is requested to pay a portion of the cost. This assists with reducing the number of pets entering shelters and aims to keep loved pets in homes.
As you have read they are aptly named in that they are a Force to be reckoned with when it comes to animal welfare, and we are so glad we could assist them in there never-ending challenges.
For more information on this group, please click here: https://abtaskforce.org/