Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, Sept. 27

Column: 'It takes a village:' Tuba City Humane Society encourages responsible pet care

A mobile spay/neuter and vaccination clinic is held in Tuba City in May in conjunction with the Parker Project. Tuba City Humane Society helped more than 646 dogs and cats in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Tuba City Humane Society)

A mobile spay/neuter and vaccination clinic is held in Tuba City in May in conjunction with the Parker Project. Tuba City Humane Society helped more than 646 dogs and cats in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Tuba City Humane Society)

By Tuba City Humane Society

We have been pondering what to post to the community about the current animal overpopulation situation happening on Navajo Nation, and the very tragic and very concerning dog bite attacks.

A 13-year-old was killed by a pack of dogs in Fort Defiance a few weeks ago. There was also a dog pack attack on a child in Tuba City since then, that was partially caught on video. Mike Sixkiller wrote an article in the To'Nanees'Dizi Chapter newsletter about the dog pack attacks and there were many stories from runners who have experienced dogs coming out of nowhere at them.

The Navajo Nation is looking at ramping up animal control to protect public safety, and also changing some laws. The animal overpopulation has been bad in a longstanding way but this is the worst we have ever seen it, probably because animal control was basically closed for most of 2020 due to COVID-19 and spay/neuter was very restricted last year also.

Our small all-volunteer foster based rescue group is doing everything we can to bring services to Tuba City, and to provide resources to owners that are reaching out for help. We are completely overrun with requests for help, and all of the groups that help on Navajo Nation and surrounding Navajo Nation are going through the same thing.

The best thing you can do is to please sign up your animals for spay and neuter and bring them to the appointments, and come to the vaccination clinics, and get them safe from Parvo and Distemper, and get them fixed before they have a litter. There are literally not enough places for them to go, with the huge animal overpopulation that we are seeing. We have reached out to all our network partners and even national groups for help.

Also please do not dump animals. Please be patient with all the groups and shelters that are trying to respond to requests for help. Everyone is overloaded and doing the best they can. It will get better. But it will also take all of us to make that happen.

New animal control laws and regulations are aimed at trying to get each person to take more responsibility for their own animals. The services that we bring are being utilized a lot. There is a backlog of need. Please be patient and become part of the solution.

We are also always looking for volunteers that can help us. We need foster homes, even temporary ones, so that animals that are picked up have a place to go. When we pick up strays, they need a place to go. When we are able to rescue out of animal control, those animals need a place to go. When we are able to respond to the police about abandoned animals, they need a place to go. When owners ask us for help, the animals need a place to go.

If you have ever considered fostering with us, now would be a great time.

We are an all-volunteer group. We rely on "the village," that is, every single person who can help us, in whatever they can, whether that is through fostering, transporting animals to Flagstaff or Phoenix, or people who can pick up an injured animal and bring them to our veterinary partners, or people who can volunteer at vaccination clinics. We really need our village to be the humane community that we see in our hearts.

Here is our https://www.tubacityhumanesociety.org web site, if you want more info about how to foster or volunteer with us.

For everyone who donates and supports our efforts, thank you. You are also an important part of our village and we rely on you and you allow us to help as many as we can, which this year is more than ever.

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