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North Spirit Lake Spay & Neuter Clinic

On Thursday, February 20th , eight members of the FTH team travelled from Barrie to North
Spirit Lake (a 15 hour drive followed by a two hour flight).
Veterinarian Dr. Pauline van Veen, technicians Cherie Weir-Cooper and Amanda Adamiak, and
volunteers Shellie Houle, Trista Lawless, Kim Yeaman, Phoebe Richards, and Crystal Lynch all
made the long journey north on behalf of the rescue. Based out of the local school gymnasium,
they quickly got set up, spaying, neutering, vaccinating, and deworming 27 dogs over three days.

The North Spirit Lake community was eager to get involved – observing surgeries and learning
more about the work FTH does. Families were encouraged to sit with their animals as they
awoke from surgery, ensuring they were able to wake up to familiar faces – every dog woke up
with a wagging tail. Seeing a community so devoted to their fur babies is always a delight, and
North Spirit Lake was certainly no exception!

It’s easy to forget how fortunate we are – things like access to clean, safe water is something most
of us have never been without. However it’s not uncommon for communities like North Spirit
Lake to struggle with issues like freezing pipes due to the climate and local infrastructure.
Though this could have impeded the clinic, the community did a fantastic job of ensuring we
always had access to clean drinking water and anything else we needed. Their resourcefulness
was critical to the success of the clinic.

North Spirit Lake is also home to a beautiful hotel that our team was able to call home for the week. There they would take some time to reach out to the families they had seen that day and check in on their dogs. Fortunately, everything went off without a hitch and every patient was back to being themselves within 24 hours.

On the final day of their visit, the team helped deliver over 2,000 lbs of dog food throughout the community, before packing up and starting the long journey home. They were accompanied on the return trip by four dogs, including the mother of over half the pups in the community, who will be fostered as they await eventual adoption.

FTH would like to thank the entire community of North Spirit Lake for being such gracious hosts. One community member in particular, Marilyn Keno, went out of her way to assist the team throughout the week, driving them to and from the clinic each day, transporting families and pets as required, delivering dog food and making sure our team remembered to eat. Marilyn, your generosity was touching and we are truly grateful for all of your help. We are already looking forward to our next visit to your wonderful home!