Some people spend the (commercially appointed) most romantic day of the year eating chocolate covered strawberries, sipping champagne on beds of rose petals, revelling in the magic of love.
…And then there’s the Finding Them Homes volunteer team.
10 dedicated volunteers including founders Lisa and Jules De Zoete, vet Pauline van Veen, techs Katrina Mari and Amanda Adamiak and 5 other adventurous ladies drove over 1000km (each way!) to run a week long spay/neuter clinic on the James Bay coast from February 13-20.
For those interested in the SparkNotes version, 35 pre-sponsored surgeries were performed and 14 surrenders were brought back to Barrie to be fostered and, eventually, adopted.
But you’re not interested in the SparkNotes version, are you? 😉
The first three days of this amazing undertaking were spent in Attawapiskat. The clinic was held at the parish hall, but our volunteers were there to do so much more than simply perform a few surgeries! Volunteers Karen Metatawabin and Diane Holmes drove around Attawapiskat not only picking up and delivering dogs, but catching strays within the community – particularly around the schools. Karen, one of our northern heroes who makes it possible for us to stay connected with the northern communities, went door to door educating residents about the benefits of spaying and neutering their dogs. She also invited them to bring their furry family members to the clinic for grooming and vaccines where they were able to receive further education from FTH’s very own Pauline Van Veen.
The final three days were spent in Fort Albany, doing much of the same work as in Attawapiskat. The clinic in Fort Albany was held at Karen Metatawabin’s house (seriously, what would we do without her?) and she also graciously opened her home to the rest of the volunteer team during their time there. These opportunities for education in the northern communities are invaluable, because education is the key to helping control the overpopulation of dogs in these regions. When their work in the clinics concluded, 14 dogs were brought back South to begin their search for their furever families. To see them, and all of our available dogs, you can click here.
You may be wondering how an undertaking such as this is possible. How do ten professionals leave their jobs, homes, and families for a week to perform these veterinary and educational services? The answer is: some amazing volunteers with vacation leave, warm clothes, good winter tires, and YOU. Every single surgery performed was previously sponsored by amazing donors such as yourselves. The fact is that these remote northern communities simply don’t have access to the veterinary services that we do. They have limited resources to help them address the number of stray dogs in their towns and villages. All of the volunteers in the world couldn’t have made this possible without the financial support of our incredible benefactors. This was truly, in every sense of the word, a group effort.